As a kid, the thrill of spying marshmallows and graham crackers among the camping supplies was on par with plunging to the bottom of the Happy Meal for the plastic toy.
“S’mores are such a nostalgic treat,” says Michelle Snow Bracken, owner of Chevy Chase’s Frosting, A Cupcakery (1 Wisconsin Circle; 301-539-9021), whether you grew up foraging kindling or it’s you — not the chocolate bar — that melts at the sight of a tent. (In fact, the recipe for s’mores dates back to the 1927 Girl Scouts handbook.)
The grown-up you still smacks your lips wistfully at the thought of the classic combo but could do without the inevitable sticky fingers and lighter fluid undertones on “blackened” ‘mallows.
For an urbane take on the campfire sweet, take a cue from creative chefs who look to the roasted treat as a muse but amp up the flavors with homemade tweaks. We asked a few local confectioners to dream up inspired concoctions, and the results skew from wholesome slices of pie to posh scoops of gelato. Kumbaya, indeed.
The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown, 3100 South St. NW; 202-835-0500
» 1 cup sugar
» 2 cups plus 2 tsp whole milk
» 1 vanilla bean
» 3/4 cup egg yolks
» 3 tbsp cocoa powder
» 1/2 cup dark chocolate
» 1/2 cup plus 1 tsp heavy cream
» 1/4 cup marshmallows
» graham crackers, pulsed to crumbs in a food processer
Bring milk, sugar, heavy cream and vanilla bean to a boil.
Add a small amount of hot liquid to the egg yolks, stirring to temper. Temper in the yolks. Add egg mixture back into pot. Stir in chocolates at low heat until incorporated. Strain liquid to remove bean; pour into ice cream maker to freeze. When frozen, stir in marshmallows, sprinkle gelato with graham cracker crumbs and serve.
Frosting, A Cupcakery, 1 Wisconsin Circle, Chevy Chase, MD., 301-539-9021
» 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
» 4 large eggs
» 2 cups granulated sugar
» 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
» 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
» 1 lb. graham cracker crumbs
Cream butter and sugar until smooth. Add vanilla and eggs one at a time, blending well between each addition. Add graham cracker crumbs and buttermilk alternately until all ingredients are incorporated. Prepare muffin cups with paper liners. Fill cups about one-third full with cake batter. Bake at 325 degrees for 17 minutes.
» 9 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped 1 cup heavy cream
» 1 tbsp light corn syrup
Place the chocolate and light corn syrup into a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil. When the cream has come to a boil, pour over the chopped chocolate mixture, and whisk until smooth. Add thin layer of ganache to cool cupcakes. Ganache must set for at least one hour before frosting is piped on top.
» 1/2 cup sugar 2 tbsp water 2 egg whites
» 1 (7 oz.) jar marshmallow cream 1/2 tsp vanilla
Combine sugar, egg whites and water in a double boiler and beat with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Whip in marshmallow cream. Remove from heat and beat in 1/2 tsp vanilla extract. Pipe frosting on top of ganache and dust with graham cracker crumbs.
Dangerously Delicious Pies, 1339 H St. NE; 202- 398-7437
» 10 oz. graham cracker crumbs
» 2 tsp sugar Melted butter
Mix butter and sugar into graham cracker crumbs. Take crumbs and line the surface of a 10-inch pie tin. Prebake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for five minutes. Line the bottom of your crust with some Marshmallow Fluff.
» 2 cups bittersweet dark chocolate, busted into pieces
» 1/2 cup heavy cream
Melt chocolate and cream, and mix together. Add three egg yolks, and folk into chocolate. After all ingredients are mixed together, pour into pie shell and place pie in oven for five minutes at 350 F. Pull out and let it stand for 10 to 15 minutes.
Spread a healthy coat of Marshmallow Fluff over the surface of the entire pie. Bake for a few minutes with the fluff to brown it slightly. Take some melted dark chocolate and drizzle as you please over your pie. Chill and enjoy.
» Recipe File: Smore’s Ice Cream Cake, Jenna Huntsberger, ModernDomestic.com
Written by Express contributor Katie Knorovsky