I love tasting menus. Purely for the fact that you know there will be more than one dessert. Two minimum. Three if you are lucky. These gourmet s’mores consist of home baked graham crackers (we know them as digestive biscuits in SA), topped with a dollop of chocolate ganache and whipped marshmallow topping.
The idea comes from a superb lunch at Amass in Copenhagen a few months back. Amass is situated at the end of the Copenhagen harbour (you reach it by harbour boat) and is headed by former Noma head chef, Matthew Orlando. The food at Amass is contemporary organic with a strong focus on locally sourced ingredients. The menu is created “in the moment”, constantly influenced by the terroir, weather, what produce is available as well as what is available in the restaurant garden. In fact, during service, you will regularly see a chef walking to the garden and picking ingredients that will appear in an upcoming course of your meal.
The atmosphere is laid back and there is a sense that the chefs are having fun and absolutely enjoying what they do. A chef, rather than a waiter brings each course to the table, explaining the ingredients and cooking processes of what you are about to eat. A number of the courses are to be eaten with your hands, in fact it is encouraged “to make a mess”.
The s’mores were the last course of my meal and is a definite nod to chef Matthew’s American roots. S’mores are traditionally a campfire treat, prepared on an open fire, it consists of melted chocolate and marshmallows sandwiched between two graham crackers. This is my “gourmet s’mores” version that is certainly not as elegant as Amass’ but I would like to think nearly as good.
It is a fun, informal way of serving dessert. It is rich, sweet and chocolatey. You don’t have to bake the graham crackers and use store bought digestive biscuits but homemade is always better if you have the time. You could also use milk chocolate rather than 70% dark chocolate but I feel the dessert would then be very sweet so recommend using dark chocolate.
You will get about 16 – 24 crackers so the dessert will serve about 6 – 8 people. Depending on how much of the ganache and marshmallow topping your guests use there might be some of the toppings left over so just store them in the fridge for a quick sweet indulgence the next day. The marshmallow topping will hold shape well but is best used up within a day or two and store any left over crackers in an airtight container and the toppings.
There are only 3 spots left for our next Food Photography Workshop, taking place on Saturday the 21st of October 2017. Our goal for the day is to create a space where we all can play, learn from each other and have a lot of fun doing it. Come be inspired, get creative, get more comfortable with your camera and most importantly play. All the details can be found here and do let me know if you would like to join us for the day at the most beautiful location.
- Graham Crackers (from Martha Stewart) :
- Makes 16 - 24
- 178g cake flour
- 178g whole wheat flour
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 85g butter, softened
- 80g light brown sugar
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 large egg
- A splash or two of milk (if the dough is too dry)
- Chocolate Ganache :
- 125ml cream
- 175g dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
- ½ tsp instant espresso powder
- pinch of salt
- Marshmallow Topping :
- 2 large egg whites
- ½ cup caster sugar
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Graham Crackers :
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt
- Use an electric mixer and cream the butter, brown sugar, and honey until fluffy
- Scrape down sides of bowl, add the egg and beat at a low speed until combined and the mixture looks curdled
- Add flour mixture and mix until combined (add a splash or two of milk if the mixture is too dry and won’t come together into a ball)
- Roll the dough between two sheets of baking paper to a 3 - 5mm
- Remove top piece of baking paper and place the dough on a baking sheet
- Refrigerate until firm for about 30 minutes.
- Using a fluted pastry wheel, cut dough into 5cm squares and prick dough with a fork to create dotted lines (or use a cookie cutter of your choice, rerolling left over dough until all the dough has been used)
- Transfer the biscuits to two lined baking sheets and freeze until firm for 30 minutes
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees and bake the biscuits until golden brown (about 15 minutes), rotating sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through the baking time
- Transfer crackers to a wire rack to cool completely
- Chocolate Ganache :
- Heat the cream until it just starts to simmer
- Add the chocolate, give it a stir and remove from the heat
- Let the chocolate sit for a minute or two and start stirring until it has melted
- Keep stirring until the ganache is smooth and glossy
- Pour in a few small serving dishes and set aside (not in the fridge as it will set too hard to scoop out
- Marshmallow Topping :
- Place egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in a bowl set over a saucepan with simmering water
- Beat with an electric beater until the sugar has dissolved and the egg whites are warm to the touch, about 4 minutes
- Spoon the egg whites into the bowl of a standing mixer and start whisking on a low speed, gradually increasing to high, until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 7 minutes or so
- Add the vanilla and whisk until combined
- To Serve :
- Spoon the marshmallow mixture on top of the bowls of ganache
- Torch the marshmallow with a blowtorch if you have one and serve the crackers with the bowls of ganache and small spoons to spoon the ganache and marshmallow topping on top of crackers
A few more of my favourite chocolate recipes