S'mores aren't really a thing in New Zealand. We don't have graham crackers, and our marshmallows don't go anywhere near as melty as the American ones. So our versions were always kinda crappy, but still delicious and sugar coma inducing nonetheless. Whenever we went on holiday to the States, they always seemed like a huge treat.
Over the last year or so I have made my own marshmallow a few times. I am always super surprised at how it becomes this bouncy pillow of squishy amazingness, with the ability to totally destroy your kitchen (Trust me on this - never attempt to put marshmallow in a piping bag without some sort of aid. I found it in my ear like, a week later, and had to wipe down 3 of my 4 kitchen walls). However, I have managed to develop a couple of coping strategies that makes marshmallows a much less stressful situation than they used to be, so now I make them on the regular! The super fun bit is that you can flavour them with anything that is liquid / soluble in liquid!
These S'mores were a product of another amazing baking day with my friend / NYC Mum Jill! We always have the best time ever - and we are slowly getting more productive as the days go on, which can likely be attributed to the fact that the days are getting longer, which prolongs the race to get the last few shots before the light fades. However, Jill just got a new PUPPY who is the cutest ever, so productivity levels are TBC for the near future I think, which I'm totally fine with, because PUPPY.
We were both lucky enough to have been sent some beautiful patterned rolling pins from our friends over at Propped, so we wanted to come up with something which would help show them off. We used a graham cracker recipe from Dorie Greenspan's amazing book, riffing on it slightly and adding espresso to give the crackers a deeper flavour profile. We paired them with some honey marshmallows, drizzled them in dark chocolate, and there we were! And oh my goodness. The flavours compliment each other perfectly - there is a little honey in the graham crackers, accentuated by the lovely honey flavour in the marshmallow, and the dark chocolate ties it all together. 100% would make again. (100% have made again, and it's only been a week since we made these!) The rolling pins also did an amazing job at imprinting the cookies with their pattern - we carefully rolled the pin over the dough just before placing into the freezer.
A few wee things:
We added espresso to the crackers - if you aren't a coffee person, simply skip the coffee, and up the cinnamon to 1 teaspoon
Marshmallow can be super sticky and messy if you let it. A good way to avoid this is to have everything ready to go before you start - have your tin greased, and some "marshmallow dust", which is equal parts icing sugar and corn starch, ready for dusting.
A lightly oiled spatula will be your best friend when you are smoothing down the marshmallow. Once it is fairly flat, you can also get in there with wet fingers and finish off the smoothing.
When you cut the marshmallow, dust the knife with marshmallow dust between cuts to help reduce stickiness.
Take care to not over whip your marshmallow. 5-7 minutes seems to be the sweet spot!
You need a stand mixer for the marshmallows, because they tend to take some heavy whipping. A candy thermometer is also super important. I use this one, which is perfect for me because it has an alarm on it! A scale will also be handy - measuring volume of honey sucks. Weighing it is way easier. Trust me.
We made the marshmallow in these photos in a 9" x 9" tin, however I re-tested with a 9" x 13" and found that it made a much more manageable size when it comes to eating them!
Espresso and Honey S'mores
- Makes approximately 20 S'mores -
21g (0.75oz, or 3 packets) gelatine
114g (4 oz, 114ml) cold water,
155g Liquid honey
114g (4oz, 114ml) water
400g (14oz) sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla paste, or the seeds of 1 vanilla bean
1/2 cup (65g) powdered sugar
1/2 cup (65g) Corn Starch
Espresso Graham Crackers
1/3 cup (80ml) whole milk
1/4 cup (100g) liquid honey
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup (140g) Whole wheat flour
2 1/4 cups (350g) all-purpose flour
1 tsp Baking soda
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
2 Tbsp freshly ground coffee
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup (150g) packed brown sugar
7 Tbsp (100g) cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
150g Good quality dark chocolate, melted
- PROCESS -
Grease a 9" x 13" baking tin with neutral oil or butter. Combine the powdered sugar and corn starch and set aside. This is your "Marshmallow dust".
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the cold water and gelatine. Mix well with a fork, and leave to bloom while you prepare the sugar syrup.
In a medium pot, combine the water, honey, vanilla, and sugar. Heat over medium to high heat, stirring occasionally. Heat until the syrup reaches 240˚f / 120˚c, then remove from the heat and leave to cool to 210˚f / 100˚c.
Turn the mixer on to medium, and mix for a few seconds to help break up the bloomed gelatin. With the mixer running, VERY carefully pour the hot sugar syrup into the mixer. Turn the speed up to high, and whip for 5-7 minutes, until the marshmallow has doubled in volume, has turned white, and holds somewhat of a peak when you stop the mixer and lift out the whisk.
Scrape the marshmallow into the prepared tin using a lightly oiled rubber spatula. Smooth the surface using an oiled offset spatula, or back of a spoon. Use wet fingers to help the smoothing process if needed. Dust liberally with the marshmallow dust. Allow to cure for 3-4 hours.
Carefully turn out onto a board, and dust the entire surface with the powdered sugar and corn starch mix. Using a sharp knife dusted with marshmallow dust, cut into 2" x 3" pieces (or the same size as you have made your crackers). Lightly dust the cut surfaces of the marshmallow with the marshmallow dust to help avoid them sticking together.
Combine the milk, honey and vanilla in a small jug.
In the bowl of a food processor, add the flours, baking soda, cinnamon, coffee, salt, and brown sugar. Pulse briefly to combine.
Add the butter to the food processor, and pulse until the mixture has a crumbly texture. Slowly add the milk and honey mixture, pulsing to combine. Continue to pulse until a dough comes together that balls around the blade of a food processor.
Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap, and divide in two. Wrap up one half of the dough while you work with the second half.
Roll the first half of the dough out between two sheets of parchment paper, until it is very thin, approximately 1/8 inch, or 3mm (Roll thinner than you think, as the crackers will rise in the oven). If you are creating a pattern on the dough, peel off the top layer of parchment, carefully roll the patterned rolling pin over the surface of the dough, then replace the parchment sheet. Place the dough, still between the parchment sheets, on a baking tray, and transfer to the freezer. Repeat with the second half of the dough, and transfer to the freezer. Freeze for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350˚f / 180˚c. Remove the first sheet of dough from the freezer, and peel off the top layer of parchment. Using a ruler and a pastry wheel or knife, cut the cookies into a grid of 2" x 3" rectangles, either re-rolling scraps, or leaving them in place to snack on later. Leave the dough as one piece rather than separating the cookies - you will do this once they come out of the oven. Repeat the cutting process with the second tray, and store in the freezer while the first tray bakes. (Unless your oven can take two trays of cookies at once, you lucky dog)
Transfer the cut dough, on the parchment, to a baking tray. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until the cookies are a deep golden brown colour. Remove from the oven, sit for 5 minutes, then go over the cut lines with a pastry wheel or sharp knife. Leave to cool completely before breaking into individual crackers. Repeat with the second tray.
Spread a graham cracker with melted chocolate. Place a marshmallow on top, and top with a second graham cracker. Serve immediately. Marshmallows can be toasted with a blow torch if desired! Store leftover crackers and marshmallows individually, and assemble more s'mores as needed.