Tomorrow marks the start of a crazy few months. My best friend flies in from the UK. We have 5 days here in NYC eating and baking all of the things (she has requested lemon meringue pie pops which I am MORE than happy to make for her), then next Wednesday we hire a campervan and drive up to Rhode Island for our friend's wedding!! Ooooohhh I am so excited! We are arriving a few days early to help set up etc, plus I am making the wedding cake! This is only the third wedding cake I have ever made, but seeing as my first was for my own wedding, I feel as if anything after that will be a lot less stressful when I only have to worry about the cake. I will be doing a little testing over the next week or so, and will hopefully get all of the recipes that I use up on here! The flavours are all cakes I have made before so it should be just fine - I think we are going with Chocolate and Salted Caramel on the bottom, a vanilla and raspberry situation for the second tier, and then earl grey on top (my fave!) Cake will be dessert, so I am also going to do a few side cakes just to make sure there is enough, and something gluten free for those who are that way inclined too.
After the wedding we are holding onto the camper for a few days, sending Richie back to the city, and a few of us are going camping in Cape Cod for a few days! I have never been there but the internet tells me it looks beautiful, so if you have any recommendations, please please send them my way! Then there is a quick trip to Colorado once I get back, then off to Charleston for the Blog awards (!!! please remember you can still vote!). A few days after we get back from Charleston there is a sneaky trip to San Francisco planned which I can talk about a little more closer to the time (very exciting though and i'm defs buying some clogs), then not long after we get back from SF we are off to Amsterdam and Paris! For somebody who doesn't leave the house much, that sure is a lot of traveling. I feel like there is SO much to organise before all the crazy times start, that I'm not quite sure what to do with myself. I've been semi preparing by trying to make a load of stuff over the last two weeks or so, so that I will still have recipes to share!
All the recipes I have been making have been patiently lining up to get shared, and then yesterday I made this s'mores tart, and immediately got so excited by it I let it jump to the front of the line. I was surprised at how quickly it came together - there is a little waiting for the base to cook, and again for the ganache to cool, but because there's no fiddly pastry case to make, the whole thing happens pretty easily.
It starts with a graham cracker crust - crushed graham crackers, salt, a little sugar, and butter (which I decided to brown, and I am so glad I did because it was a game changer), quickly mixed together and pressed into a removable bottom tart tin. The crust is then quickly baked, allowed to cool, then filled with a silky ganache which sets up into fudgy deliciousness after a few hours in the fridge. You could totally stop here and top it with some salt, or caramel, or both, and have a bomb chocolate tart on your hands (I'm totally infusing the cream with earl grey next just to see how it goes), but I took it a step further and added a big dollop of marshmallow on the top, which then got blasted with a blow torch to toasty perfection.
Trust me when I tell you that you need to make it. Even if you skip the marshmallow part. It's insanely easy, and crazy rich, so will serve a lot of people. The crust can be made and filled with the ganache ahead of time, and you could even add the marshmallow and torch just before serving. It is a delicious balance of salty crumbly crust, rich filling, and sweet marshmallow. Everything that's good about a s'more, but in a tart. Or is it a Pie? Either way, it's good, and you need it.
A few wee notes:
- Some recipes have you make a 'marshmallow' frosting that you can torch, which is more of an italian meringue than a marshmallow. I went for an actual marshmallow topping to keep it as similar to s'mores as I could (plus home made marshmallow is super yum). Because of this, the marshmallow sets up. I found it was easier to take it off and eat it alongside the tart, as it can be a little sticky (but tastes AMAZING).
- If you don't want to add the marshmallow, you can keep this as a chocolate tart - it would be perfect finished with a little flaky sea salt, or salted caramel
- I used a 9" removable bottom tart tin for this, which meant that it was super easy to just lift out once I was done - I placed a bowl upside down and put the tin on top, which meant that the outer ring could be easily removed without awkwardly having to try and hold it at the same time as taking it off.
- I got my blow torch from home depot! I find it way better than a small kitchen torch - it's just a gas canister with a blow torch fitting.
- If you can't find graham crackers you can use digestive biscuits, or you can make your own using this recipe - just skip the coffee and up the cinnamon a little!
- Makes one 9" Tart, serves 8-10 -
Graham Cracker Crust
2 Sleeves / 290g graham crackers
3 Tbsp Sugar
1/4 tsp salt (taste once the crust is mixed and add more if necessary)
1 1/2 sticks (170g) unsalted butter
Chocolate Ganache Filling
550g (19.4oz) good quality dark chocolate, finely chopped (a bread knife works best for chopping finely)
6 Tbsp (90g) unsalted butter, cut into chunks, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (360ml) heavy cream
14g (2 packets) gelatine
80g (2.8 oz, 80ml) cold water
100g (3.5oz) light corn syrup or glucose
80g (2.8 oz, 80ml) water
270 (9.5oz) sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla paste, or the seeds of 1 vanilla bean
- PROCESS -
GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST
Preheat the oven to 350˚f / 180˚c.
Place the graham crackers, sugar, and salt in the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the crackers are broken down into crumbs. Transfer to a medium sized bowl.
In a medium sized saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat. Once it has melted, continue to cook, stirring occasionally and watching very carefully, until it turns golden brown in colour, and begins to smell toasty. Pour into the graham cracker mixture, and stir well with a spatula.
Press the crust mixture into a 9" removable bottom tart pan, pressing onto the sides, and then the bottom. Use a straight sided measuring cup or drinking glass to help you press the crust in tightly. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet.
Bake the crust for 10-12 minutes, or until beginning to brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
CHOCOLATE GANACHE FILLING
Place the chocolate and butter into a large heatproof bowl. Place the cream in a small saucepan, and warm over low heat until just shy of a simmer - you should see movement around the edges of the cream. Immediately pour the cream over the chocolate and butter, and cover the bowl with a lid or plate. Leave to sit for 5-6 minutes, then whisk vigorously to combine the chocolate and the cream. The mixture will look like it has split to begin with but keep whisking - it will come together and go glossy eventually!
Pour the chocolate filling into the cooled crust. Place in the fridge for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the filling has set completely.
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, corn syrup, sugar and vanilla. 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.
Pile the marshmallow on top of the tart. Torch with a blow torch before serving.
Cut into slices with a knife that has been run under hot water and dried before each cut is made. Store leftovers in the fridge.