Brown Butter Carrot Sheet Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese German Buttercream


 
Brown Butter Carrot Sheet Cake is taken to the next level with a fluffy, whipped vanilla bean cream cheese german buttercream. This cake comes together super easily but is super delicious, and would make the perfect easter dessert. #brownbutter #carrotcake #sheetcake #germanbuttercream
Brown Butter Carrot Sheet Cake is taken to the next level with a fluffy, whipped vanilla bean cream cheese german buttercream. This cake comes together super easily but is super delicious, and would make the perfect easter dessert. #brownbutter #carrotcake #sheetcake #germanbuttercream
Brown Butter Carrot Sheet Cake is taken to the next level with a fluffy, whipped vanilla bean cream cheese german buttercream. This cake comes together super easily but is super delicious, and would make the perfect easter dessert. #brownbutter #carrotcake #sheetcake #germanbuttercream
Brown Butter Carrot Sheet Cake is taken to the next level with a fluffy, whipped vanilla bean cream cheese german buttercream. This cake comes together super easily but is super delicious, and would make the perfect easter dessert. #brownbutter #carrotcake #sheetcake #germanbuttercream
Brown Butter Carrot Sheet Cake is taken to the next level with a fluffy, whipped vanilla bean cream cheese german buttercream. This cake comes together super easily but is super delicious, and would make the perfect easter dessert. #brownbutter #carrotcake #sheetcake #germanbuttercream
Brown Butter Carrot Sheet Cake is taken to the next level with a fluffy, whipped vanilla bean cream cheese german buttercream. This cake comes together super easily but is super delicious, and would make the perfect easter dessert. #brownbutter #carrotcake #sheetcake #germanbuttercream
Brown Butter Carrot Sheet Cake is taken to the next level with a fluffy, whipped vanilla bean cream cheese german buttercream. This cake comes together super easily but is super delicious, and would make the perfect easter dessert. #brownbutter #carrotcake #sheetcake #germanbuttercream
Brown Butter Carrot Sheet Cake is taken to the next level with a fluffy, whipped vanilla bean cream cheese german buttercream. This cake comes together super easily but is super delicious, and would make the perfect easter dessert. #brownbutter #carrotcake #sheetcake #germanbuttercream
Brown Butter Carrot Sheet Cake is taken to the next level with a fluffy, whipped vanilla bean cream cheese german buttercream. This cake comes together super easily but is super delicious, and would make the perfect easter dessert. #brownbutter #carrotcake #sheetcake #germanbuttercream

Can we take a quick wee sec to talk about how AMAZING sheet cakes are?! Nothing on regular layer cakes, I love them too, but sheet cakes are the perfect combo of fancy and laid back (I like to think of myself as that, dreams are free right?!). There’s no stacking required, but you can still use a fancy buttercream, and you get the best buttercream to cake ratio, in my opinion anyway. You can also frost them directly in the pan, which makes them the best for transporting. When I offer to take cake places, I often will make a sheet cake if it’s a bit more of a casual situation. I’ve had my fair share of cake disasters in an uber in the NYC summer, so a stress free transport is a huge bonus for me too. Plus, you get to live your best buttercream swooping life, which is one of my favourite things to do.

Today’s recipe is one that I am so excited to share with you - it’s a brown butter carrot sheet cake, with a vanilla bean cream cheese german buttercream. I’ve teamed up with my faves at Heilala Vanilla to bring it to you - their amazing vanilla bean paste is in both the cake, and in the dreamy frosting. Not only is their product great, but they are run by the most amazing people, who are doing all kinds of incredible things by injecting money into the economy and providing jobs in the Kingdom of Tonga - you can read a little more about what they do here. They control the whole process from the growing to the processing of the beans, which results in an extremely ethical, high quality, organic product. I am super proud to be partnering with them again.

I started with a pretty simple cake - a fairly standard carrot cake, but upped my game a little by replacing some of the oil with brown butter, and adding some cardamom in along with the other spices. Cakes with both butter and oil are my new fave. You get the moistness from the oil, in this case a neutral oil, but you also get the richness and flavour from the butter, giving you a total win win situation. In this case I browned the butter, which gives it the most incredible depth of flavour to the cake, and plays perfectly with the spices.

And now let’s talk about the buttercream. Ohhhh my, this buttercream. Another thing that I love about sheet cakes is that you can load them up with buttercream that might typically be too unstable to stack a cake with - like soft peaks of whipped cream, or in this case, a German buttercream with a whole load of cream cheese whipped into it. I love cream cheese frosting, but I am not a huge fan of how sweet and gritty it can be from the powdered sugar, so instead I whipped cream cheese into a vanilla bean German buttercream. If you’re new round here, German buttercream is my absolute fave. It is custard or pastry cream (same thing) based, rather than the meringue base of an Italian or Swiss, or powdered sugar base of an American buttercream. This gives it a whole dimension of flavour that the others lack - a beautiful richness, with the pastry cream cutting the butter just perfectly.

Because this cake didn’t have to stack, the buttercream was able to tolerate much more cream cheese than it usually would. The cream cheese gives it a beautiful tang, and sits so nicely with the vanilla, and against the subtle spice of the cake. It is also pillowy soft, and impossibly smooth, making it the perfect pair for the slightly denser nature of a carrot cake. I know I say this a lot about a lot of things, but this buttercream might be my favourite so far. It’s just perfect.

This cake would make the most perfect Easter baking project - I can’t wait to see you enjoy it. Happy Sheet Caking! x

A few wee tips:

  • Heilala have given me a discount code for you to use on vanilla! You can purchase it here, and the code CLOUDY20 will get you 20% off any of their products! I love the paste, the extract, and also the beans (Affiliate link).

  • Both the cake and the pastry cream need time to cool, so I like to make the pastry cream either the day before, or just before I start the cake, to give it plenty of time to cool. Putting it in a shallow dish to cool in the fridge helps too by increasing the surface area, meaning it cools a bit faster. Make sure your cream cheese and butter is also at room temp.

  • If you don’t like nuts in carrot cake, you can just leave them out!

  • If you haven’t made brown butter before, here is a great tutorial. Make sure that you allow it to cool a little before using in your recipe. I like pouring it into my stand mixer then leaving it to cool, swirling occasionally to help distribute some of the heat.

  • I took the cake out of the pan to add the buttercream, but you can absolutely frost it in the pan if you like. Frosting it in the pan is perfect for if you are transporting it, as it makes it super, super easy to carry, because the pan protects it.

 

 

Carrot Sheet Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese German Buttercream

- Makes one 9” x 13” sheet cake -

Carrot Sheet Cake
450g raw Sugar
160g neutral oil
115g butter, browned and cooled
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp Heilala Vanilla Bean Paste
150g all-purpose flour
150g whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp baking soda.
360g carrot, grated
100g walnuts, coarsely chopped

Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese German Buttercream
110g sugar
12g corn starch
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp Heilala Vanilla Bean Paste
190g whole milk
340g unsalted butter, at room temperature
225g cream cheese, at room temperature

 

- PROCESS -

CARROT SHEET CAKE

Preheat the oven to 350°f / 180°c. Grease a 9”x13” (22x33cm) baking pan, and line with parchment paper (I like to cut a piece slightly bigger than my pan, then cut a slit in each corner which form ‘tabs’ and allow you to fold the parchment into the corners nicely).

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the raw sugar, neutral oil, cooled brown butter, and eggs, and mix on medium speed until well combined and slightly lightened in colour, 2-3 minutes. Add the Heilala Vanilla Bean Paste and mix until combined.

In a medium bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and baking soda. Add to the mixer and mix until just combined. Add the carrots and walnuts and mix on low until just combined.

Transfer to the pan, and bake for 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. 

VANILLA BEAN CREAM CHEESE GERMAN BUTTERCREAM

In a bowl, whisk together the sugar and corn starch, then add the egg, egg yolk and salt, and whisk together well. In a medium non-stick saucepan, heat the milk and Heilala Vanilla Bean Paste to just shy of a simmer. Remove from the heat.

Using one hand to whisk constantly, pour half of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture. This helps to temper the eggs and stop them from scrambling. Whisk until incorporated, and then pour the whole lot back into the saucepan. 

Heat the milk and egg mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it begins to bubble. It will thicken quickly. Once it has thickened, cook for one minute, then remove from the heat. Pour into a shallow dish or bowl of a stand mixer and press some plastic wrap over the surface to avoid a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cold. If you are in a hurry, you can speed up this process by placing the custard mixture into a bowl, and placing the bowl into an ice bath, stirring frequently.

Fit your mixer with the whisk attachment. Whip the custard mixture on medium until creamy and lump-free. Begin adding the butter, a few cubes at a time, until fully incorporated. Add in the cream cheese, and whip until smooth, then whip for a further 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Switch to the paddle attachment and beat on low for 3-4 minutes to help remove any big air bubbles.


ASSEMBLY

Carefully remove the cooled cake from the pan - I do this by turning it onto a wire rack, then using another wire rack with parchment paper on top to flip it up the right way - alternatively you can also put the buttercream on while it is still in the pan, which makes it super easy to transport.

Scrape the buttercream onto the cake, and spread using an offset spatula - swoop it on as desired.

Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature or the fridge.

Brown Butter Carrot Sheet Cake is taken to the next level with a fluffy, whipped vanilla bean cream cheese german buttercream. This cake comes together super easily but is super delicious, and would make the perfect easter dessert. #brownbutter #carrotcake #sheetcake #germanbuttercream

Thank you so much to Heilala Vanilla for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own,.

Frozen Yogurt Cookie Sandwiches with Brown Butter Streusel Cookies


 
Frozen Yogurt Cookie Sandwiches with Brown Butter Streusel cookies from Cloudy Kitchen. Streusel Cookies sandwich a creamy, dreamy frozen yogurt, which is incredibly easy to whip up, and requires no straining of the yogurt! #frozenyogurt #frozenyoghurt #cookiesandwich
Frozen Yogurt Cookie Sandwiches with Brown Butter Streusel cookies from Cloudy Kitchen. Streusel Cookies sandwich a creamy, dreamy frozen yogurt, which is incredibly easy to whip up, and requires no straining of the yogurt! #frozenyogurt #frozenyoghurt #cookiesandwich
Frozen Yogurt Cookie Sandwiches with Brown Butter Streusel cookies from Cloudy Kitchen. Streusel Cookies sandwich a creamy, dreamy frozen yogurt, which is incredibly easy to whip up, and requires no straining of the yogurt! #frozenyogurt #frozenyoghurt #cookiesandwich
Frozen Yogurt Cookie Sandwiches with Brown Butter Streusel cookies from Cloudy Kitchen. Streusel Cookies sandwich a creamy, dreamy frozen yogurt, which is incredibly easy to whip up, and requires no straining of the yogurt! #frozenyogurt #frozenyoghurt #cookiesandwich
Frozen Yogurt Cookie Sandwiches with Brown Butter Streusel cookies from Cloudy Kitchen. Streusel Cookies sandwich a creamy, dreamy frozen yogurt, which is incredibly easy to whip up, and requires no straining of the yogurt! #frozenyogurt #frozenyoghurt #cookiesandwich
Frozen Yogurt Cookie Sandwiches with Brown Butter Streusel cookies from Cloudy Kitchen. Streusel Cookies sandwich a creamy, dreamy frozen yogurt, which is incredibly easy to whip up, and requires no straining of the yogurt! #frozenyogurt #frozenyoghurt #cookiesandwich
Frozen Yogurt Cookie Sandwiches with Brown Butter Streusel cookies from Cloudy Kitchen. Streusel Cookies sandwich a creamy, dreamy frozen yogurt, which is incredibly easy to whip up, and requires no straining of the yogurt! #frozenyogurt #frozenyoghurt #cookiesandwich

There are a few things I am kinda mad I missed out on eating as a kid. It's not that I was deprived - we just do food differently in New Zealand. And Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches are one of them. The only type we ever had was slabs of vanilla ice cream sandwiched with these bright pink wafers. They simultaneously gave you brain freeze and caused you to choke on wafer crumbs at the same time. So my little mind was blown the first time I tried a proper cookie sandwich at a food market when I first moved to NYC. When I got an ice cream maker last year I knew that cookie sandwiches were going to be fairly high on the list of things to make, and they quickly became my favourite thing to take for a dessert if I'm going somewhere for dinner - you can make the cookies ahead of time, and then either make ice cream or pick some up on the way. They are super easy to put together, and always a huge crowd pleaser. 

One thing I wasn't able to nail with my ice cream maker though, was frozen yogurt (Or frozen yoghurt, we spell it differently in NZ!). I always had issues with it being too icy, or having a weird texture once it was frozen. This year I decided I wasn't going to let it get the better of me, and set out to nail the perfect frozen yogurt cookie sandwich. And I had the best base to start with - Brown Cow Yogurt. Brown Cow Yogurt is delicious and creamy, with this dreamy layer of cream on the surface of the yogurt. It comes in loads of different flavours, and it's creamy texture makes it perfect for the smoothest, tangiest, creamiest frozen yogurt. 

I did a load of research before I started recipe testing, and found a few things that can be done to avoid the dreaded ice, which can ruin the texture of your frozen yogurt. The main one was to strain the yogurt before using, to remove any excess water. I wanted to avoid that step if possible, as I found it made the process more labour intensive and time consuming than it needed to be. After a few tests, I was able to find a workaround which eliminated the straining, while still giving you a creamy end product. I ramped up the fat content of my mixture slightly by adding some mascarpone and a tiny bit of heavy cream. These helped reduce the likelihood of ice forming, but didn't mask the yogurt flavour, and still left a light mouth feel. The addition of sugar and an invert sugar also helped with the final texture. I used golden syrup to help compliment the taste of the cookies, but light corn syrup, honey, or glucose would work well here too. I think that's enough science for now - I promise I did all the testing, so you don't have to! Six batches of frozen yogurt later, and I managed to find a winning ingredient combination. I'm obsessed, and I think you will be too. 

Once I had a base recipe nailed, I experimented with flavouring the yogurt. Brown Cow has some super delicious flavours, which work perfectly for incorporating some flavour into your froyo. I ended up going a little overboard in the best way possible, and ended up making blueberry, raspberry, coffee and vanilla batches to go with my cookies - all each as delicious as each other.

Another thing that is so perfect about this frozen yogurt is that, unlike ice cream, it doesn't require making a custard base. I think that the work involved making an ice cream base is what puts lots of people off. Because there is no straining or cooking involved with this recipe, all you have to do is choose your flavour of yogurt, whisk all the ingredients together, rest the mixture in the fridge for an hour or so, then churn in your pre-frozen ice cream maker, spread into your container of choice, and after a second freeze, it will be perfect for scooping, or for making the best frozen yogurt cookie sandwiches ever. 

Seeing as I had four different flavours of fro-yo in my freezer, I decided to keep things simple-but-a-little-fancy with the cookie. I went with a coffee cake inspired cookie - a brown sugar cookie, loaded up with brown butter streusel, which Kate and I made last year, and is quite possibly one of my favourite things ever. The balls of cookie dough are rolled in the streusel before baking, then given another generous sprinkling just as they are finished baking to ensure maximum cookie to streusel ratio. They are perfect on their own, but become something special when used to sandwich a disc of creamy frozen yogurt. I think I am going to have to keep a stash of these in my freezer for sneaky treats on hot days, all summer. 

A few wee tips:

  • I ended up making four batches of frozen yogurt - the vanilla was made with Brown Cow plain whole milk yogurt, whilst the coffee, blueberry and raspberry flavours were made using several of the smaller flavoured containers of yogurt. I still can't decide which flavour is my favorite!
  • I added a little freeze dried fruit powder in the raspberry and blueberry flavours, and a little espresso powder in the coffee, just to help enhance colour. It is totally an optional step! 
  • I included ingredients for all four flavours (the method for each is essentially the same), but you only need one quantity of frozen yogurt for this recipe. 
  • Note that I made a double batch of cookies so I could show off all of the flavours - the final recipe makes about 10 large ice cream sandwiches. 
  • Feel free to scale these down, as they are fairly large. Just adjust the size of your cookies, bearing in mind they may need a little less baking time, then cut smaller discs of yogurt using a smaller cookie cutter. 
  • A cookie scoop will be your friend here! I used a 2 Tbsp one. 
  • I prefer to cut discs of yogurt because it can be a little tricky to scoop. If you would like the discs to be thinner, freeze the yogurt in a larger tray. If you would like to scoop the yogurt rather than the discs, freeze it in a loaf pan. 
  • Don't forget to freeze the bowl of your ice cream maker! 
 

 

Frozen Yogurt Cookie Sandwiches with Brown Butter Streusel Cookies 

- Makes about 10 large cookie Sandwiches -

Note: I have included four different flavours of fro-yo in this just to provide variety and options. The recipe only requires one batch - so pick your flavour from the options below! 

Frozen Yogurt

Vanilla Frozen Yogurt
One 907g Container (32oz) Brown Cow Plain Whole Milk Yogurt
115g (1/2 cup) Mascarpone
60g (1/4 cup) heavy Cream
135g (2/3 cup) sugar
20g (1 Tbsp) Golden Syrup or corn syrup
pinch salt

Blueberry Frozen Yogurt
900g (Six 150g tubs) Brown Cow Blueberry Yogurt
115g (1/2 cup) Mascarpone
60g (1/4 cup) heavy Cream
135g (2/3 cup) sugar
20g (1 Tbsp) Golden Syrup or corn syrup
pinch salt
2 Tbsp Freeze Dried Blueberry Powder (optional)

Raspberry Frozen Yogurt
900g (Six 150g tubs) Brown Cow Raspberry Yogurt
115g (1/2 cup) Mascarpone
60g (1/4 cup) heavy Cream
135g (2/3 cup) sugar
20g (1 Tbsp) Golden Syrup or corn syrup
pinch salt
2 Tbsp Freeze Dried Raspberry Powder (optional)

Coffee Frozen Yogurt
900g (Six 150g tubs) Brown Cow Coffee Yogurt
115g (1/2 cup) Mascarpone
60g (1/4 cup) heavy Cream
135g (2/3 cup) sugar
20g (1 Tbsp) Golden Syrup or corn syrup
pinch salt
2 Tbsp Espresso powder or instant coffee, dissolved in the heavy cream

Brown Butter Streusel Cookies

For the Streusel:
155g unsalted butter, cubed
200g Dark Brown Sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
230g all-purpose flour

For the Cookies: 
230g (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
300g Dark Brown Sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
300g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
 

- PROCESS -

FROZEN YOGURT

In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients, and whisk well to combine. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and rest in the fridge for at least an hour. 

Mix again well, and churn in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. While the yogurt churns, line a Quarter sheet pan (9" x 13") with wax paper, and place in the freezer until ready to use. Spread the churned yogurt into the lined sheet pan using a spoon or an offset spatula. Press a piece of wax paper onto the surface of the yogurt, and freeze for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight. 

BROWN BUTTER STREUSEL COOKIES

Preheat the oven to 350˚f / 180˚c. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper. 

To make the streusel, place the butter in a small pan, and place on the stove over medium heat. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter has melted. Continue to cook, until the butter begins to foam, smells nutty, and goes a deep golden brown colour. Remove from the heat and place in a medium heatproof bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, and mix well to combine. Using your hands, break up any large lumps. Set aside while you prepare the cookies. 

To make the cookies, cream the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt, and add to the mixer, mixing on low until combined. Scrape down the bowl to ensure the ingredients are evenly incorporated. 

Using a 2 Tbsp Scoop, scoop out balls of cookie mixture - I had 8 per tray, and worked with one tray at a time, scooping the next while the first was baking. Place in the freezer for 5 minutes to firm up slightly. Remove the tray from the freezer. Roll the dough into balls, and coat each one lightly with streusel, pressing down lightly to help adhere. Do not worry if it seems like there isn't enough - more is added during baking. Arrange evenly on the baking sheet, leaving room for spreading. If you are worried about your cookies holding hands in the oven, you can bake 6 per tray. 

Bake the cookies for 12-13 minutes. After 10 minutes of baking, open the oven, and sprinkle the tops of the cookies generously with extra streusel. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 15 mins before transferring to a cooling rack and allowing to cool completely. 

Repeat the baking process with the remaining cookies. 

ASSEMBLY

Match up the cookies into pairs the same size. Remove the frozen yogurt from the freezer, and peel off the top piece of wax paper. Using a cookie cutter the same size as your cookies, dip the cutter in water and cut out discs of frozen yogurt. Sandwich between two cookies. Repeat until the remaining yogurt has been used up - you can mix and match pieces of yogurt to create a full circle to get a few extra, or you can use an ice cream scoop to scoop the leftover ice cream. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, and transfer to the freezer to harden slightly. Store leftover cookie sandwiches in an airtight bag in the freezer. 

 

Frozen Yogurt Cookie Sandwiches with Brown Butter Streusel cookies from Cloudy Kitchen. Streusel Cookies sandwich a creamy, dreamy frozen yogurt, which is incredibly easy to whip up, and requires no straining of the yogurt! #frozenyogurt #frozenyoghurt #cookiesandwich

Thank you so much to The Feedfeed and Brown Cow Yogurt for Sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the companies who help support my blog! 

S'mores Tart


 
S'mores tart - brown butter graham cracker crust, silky chocolate ganache filling, and toasty vanilla bean marshmallow. #tart #chocolatetart #s'morestart #grahamcracker #smorestart #brownbutter #chocolateganache
S'mores tart - brown butter graham cracker crust, silky chocolate ganache filling, and toasty vanilla bean marshmallow. #tart #chocolatetart #s'morestart #grahamcracker #smorestart #brownbutter #chocolateganache
S'mores tart - brown butter graham cracker crust, silky chocolate ganache filling, and toasty vanilla bean marshmallow. #tart #chocolatetart #s'morestart #grahamcracker #smorestart #brownbutter #chocolateganache
S'mores tart - brown butter graham cracker crust, silky chocolate ganache filling, and toasty vanilla bean marshmallow. #tart #chocolatetart #s'morestart #grahamcracker #smorestart #brownbutter #chocolateganache
S'mores tart - brown butter graham cracker crust, silky chocolate ganache filling, and toasty vanilla bean marshmallow. #tart #chocolatetart #s'morestart #grahamcracker #smorestart #brownbutter #chocolateganache
S'mores tart - brown butter graham cracker crust, silky chocolate ganache filling, and toasty vanilla bean marshmallow. #tart #chocolatetart #s'morestart #grahamcracker #smorestart #brownbutter #chocolateganache
S'mores tart - brown butter graham cracker crust, silky chocolate ganache filling, and toasty vanilla bean marshmallow. #tart #chocolatetart #s'morestart #grahamcracker #smorestart #brownbutter #chocolateganache
S'mores tart - brown butter graham cracker crust, silky chocolate ganache filling, and toasty vanilla bean marshmallow. #tart #chocolatetart #s'morestart #grahamcracker #smorestart #brownbutter #chocolateganache
S'mores tart - brown butter graham cracker crust, silky chocolate ganache filling, and toasty vanilla bean marshmallow. #tart #chocolatetart #s'morestart #grahamcracker #smorestart #brownbutter #chocolateganache
S'mores tart - brown butter graham cracker crust, silky chocolate ganache filling, and toasty vanilla bean marshmallow. #tart #chocolatetart #s'morestart #grahamcracker #smorestart #brownbutter #chocolateganache
S'mores tart - brown butter graham cracker crust, silky chocolate ganache filling, and toasty vanilla bean marshmallow. #tart #chocolatetart #s'morestart #grahamcracker #smorestart #brownbutter #chocolateganache

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!
 

 

S'mores Tart

- 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

Marshmallow Topping
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.

MARSHMALLOW TOPPING

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. 

S'mores tart - brown butter graham cracker crust, silky chocolate ganache filling, and toasty vanilla bean marshmallow. #tart #chocolatetart #s'morestart #grahamcracker #smorestart #brownbutter #chocolateganache