I entered these s'more cupcakes into the Cupcake Camp Montreal baking competition and was a finalist for Amateur Design. I spent weeks working on these cupcakes to make them just right, changing around ingredients, varying the method of the recipe, mixing up the design. Five well thought out batches later, I came up with these. The perfect flavors of a s'more in a cupcake form. And it tastes just as good as it looks. Believe me.
I often find baking can be quite the adventure. Like when you want to a make a large batch of meringue using 16 eggs and it won't stiffen because you got the teeeeniest bit of egg yolk into the whites. You thought you fished it all out with a spoon, but when you give up on your hopeless meringue after 20 minutes of beating it on high, you realized that maybe you hadn't. So the 16 egg whites go down the drain. And then, after making it right, you suddenly have 32 egg yolks sitting in your refrigerator (what on earth am I going to do with 32 egg yolks?!).
Or sometimes a squirrel steals your spatula. That happens too. Like when you set a pot of chocolate on the balcony to cool down for just a minute and a squirrel comes by, plucks up your spatula, and walks off whistling a little tune. Well, maybe not whistling, but he did look oh so smug. Even left a shiny little chocolate trail, squirrely footprints and all. I hope he realizes that spatula won't keep him warm at night.
He came back later to taunt me. He brought a nice girl squirrel over to lick up his fancy chocolate mess. I imagine this was quite the hot date. I just hope I don't have little squirrels coming back to steal more of my utensils in the spring. Spatula thief.
This s'mores cupcake features a graham cracker cupcake absolutely stuffed with a marshmallow creme, covered with a decadent dark chocolate, and topped with a toasted marshmallow meringue. All of the necessary and proper components are present (and are in the correct quantities!). The cupcake is light and, since its made of graham crackers, it tastes of graham cracker just like it should. The marshmallow filling is dense, sticky, and wonderful. I ate some of the dark chocolate straight from the bowl. And the marshmallow meringue honestly tastes like campfire marshmallows. Even if you burn it, it still tastes delicious (just try not to start a fire with these though).
Although these cupcakes are involved, they are well worth the effort and can bring campfire s'mores back into the fall season (or any season for that matter).
"Please, Sir, Can I Have S'more?" Cupcakes
Yields 12-14 cupcakes
Graham Cracker Cupcakes
Adapted from Vanilla Garlic
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup cake flour
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
Make absolutely sure your ingredients are room temperature. No shortcuts or you'll end up with a dense cupcake.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer until it is fluffy, about 30 seconds. Add the sugar and beat together the butter and sugar until it is very light and fluffy, about 7-8 minutes. Yes, you read that right.
Add the egg yolks to the butter mixture one at a time, beating for 30 seconds between additions. Rinse off the electric mixer beaters. In a small bowl, beat together the egg whites until they are voluminous and foamy.
In a food processor, pulverize the graham crackers until they are very small crumbs. Alternatively, you could double bag the graham crackers and beat them with a hammer until they become microscopic.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Sifting is important to get rid of the larger graham cracker crumbs and to add air to the cupcakes. You will want as much air as you can get.
Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix with a spatula. Add 1/2 cup of the milk. Mix. Add another 1/3 of the flour. Then the rest of the milk and the rest of the flour. Add the foaming egg whites and fold the mixture until just combined.
Scoop the batter into cupcake wrappers 3/4 of the way full and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the cupcake tops bounce back when pressed. Cool completely on a cooling rack.
1 cup Marshmallow Fluff (or prepared marshmallow cream)
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In a medium bowl, beat together the marshmallow fluff, shortening, sugar, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon light corn syrup
In a saucepan, melt together the chocolate, butter, and corn syrup over medium heat and stir until completely combined. Remove from heat and allow to cool in room temperature for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
4 egg whites
1 cup sugar
In a double broiler, whisk together the egg whites and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved and the egg whites are warm to the touch, about 3-4 minutes.
Remove from the heat, transfer to a medium mixing bowl, and beat the egg whites until they form shiny, stiff peaks, about 5-8 minutes. Use immediately.
Take a graham cracker cupcake and, using a sharp knife, cut out a cavity in the center of the cupcake. I run the knife in a circular motion, while always pointing the knife towards the center of the cupcake. The cavity should be coned shaped. Using a pastry bag, fill the cupcake with the marshmallow filling until the marshmallow just reaches the top. Cut off the interior of the cupcake you've removed, and place back on the top, pressing down so it becomes flush with the cupcake.
Next, using a knife or off-set spatula, spread a thick layer of chocolate glaze on top of the cupcake, covering up the seam and extending the chocolate to the edge of the cupcake. Make sure your chocolate is not runny! Let set for a few minutes.
Use a pastry bag to pipe the meringue on top of the cupcake. You can pipe it as high as you'd like (but keep in mind how wide your mouth is). Turn the oven onto broil, and place the cupcakes onto a cookie sheet in the top shelf of the oven. It will only take a minute or two to get a nice toasty marshmallow look, so watch them closely. Even if you do burn them a little, it will just taste like you set your campfire marshmallow aflame. Remove from the oven. While the chocolate is still melted, you can sprinkle on any leftover graham cracker crumbs to give it an extra special look.
These cupcakes may be involved, but the result is well worth the effort! This recipe can be easily doubled or quadrupled.