Camp It Up: Pastry Chefs Reinvent the S'more

July 20, 2011


Aside from toast, there’s nothing easier to make than a s’more. There are only three ingredients — chocolate, marshmallows, graham crackers — that come together to form the tastiest of trifectas. “One of the reasons they’re so popular is because there’s crunchiness, softness and gooeyness,” says Logan Cox, the executive chef at Ripple. “It’s exciting to eat three different textures together.” Now chefs are revisiting this campground classic and updating it in unexpected ways that are anything but simple.

Co Co. Sala
“We wanted to do something fun for the camping season,” says executive chef Santosh Tiptur. “But we had to do something different.” So, he crafted the Some More Co Co. ($12). The centerpiece is a chocolate crème brûlée filled with melted vanilla marshmallows and finished with crunched-up graham crackers. A chocolate brownie and a tumbler of rum-spiked chocolate milk complete the plate.
» Co Co. Sala, 929 F St. NW; 202-347-4265, Cocosala.com. (Metro Center)

Baked & Wired
One day, while making graham cracker crusts for her cheesecakes, baker and co-owner Teresa Velazquez realized that the golden base would be the perfect starting point for a s’more bar. To complete her vision, she added sticky layers of caramel and homemade marshmallow fluff, and topped it off with a layer of dark chocolate ganache. Not knowing what to call it, she decided to test it out on customers. “One of my regulars took a bite and the first thing out of his mouth was ‘Oh, my god,’” Velazquez says. It’s been called the O.M.G. bar ($2.50) ever since.
» 1052 Thomas Jefferson St. NW; 202-333-2500, Bakedandwired.com. (Foggy Bottom)

Fahrenheit
When Daniel Mangione had his first messy, magical bite of a s’more, he fell in love with desserts. Now an executive pastry chef, Mangione has created a number of seasonally appropriate twists on the childhood classic for this restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton Georgetown. “You don’t want something hot during the summer; you want something cold,” he says. So he created a rich burnt-marshmallow milk shake (available free everyday to anyone in the lobby from 6:30-7 p.m.), a marshmallow-chocolate-graham gelato ($9) and a s’more cheesecake with graham cracker crust, a molten chocolate center and mini-marshmallows dotting the top ($9).
» Fahrenheit, 3100 South St. NW; 202-912-4100, Ritzcarlton.com. (Foggy Bottom)

Ripple
“I enjoyed s’mores as a kid,” Cox says. “And I’ll enjoy them even after I die.” To pay homage to his longtime favorite, Cox starts by whipping up a dollop of dense, silky Belgium dark chocolate cremeux (a thick mousse), which he places atop a bed of crumbled graham crackers. Then he adds a brushstroke of torched brown marshmallow fluff and a crisp graham cracker to finish it off ($8). It might not look like a traditional s’more, but its transportive flavors will help get you in touch with your inner child.
» 3417 Connecticut Ave. NW; 202-244-7995, Rippledcom. (Cleveland Park)

Jackie’s Sidebar
“There’s something distinctly Girl Scout-y about s’mores,” says Carolyn Crow, the pastry chef at Jackie’s Sidebar. Her s’more soufflé cake ($8) is a sophisticated update on the campground treat. Instead of using small rectangles of Hershey’s, the resourceful baker creates a rich, flourless dark chocolate cake. She crowns this with a scoop of homemade marshmallow fluff and a sprinkle of graham cracker shards. “It’s always very satisfying to see diners scraping at the plate to get that last little bit,” she says.
» 8081 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring; 301-565-9700, Jackiesrestaurant.com. (Silver Spring)


Whoopie!
If you’re as bored with the cupcake trend as we are, then you’re probably seeking a new solution for your sugar cravings. Whoopie pies sandwich a frosting filling between two cake-y cookies to create the perfect handheld device for dessert junkies on the go.

B. Hall, Baker
Send some love by buying a tin full of a dozen whoopie pies ($39.50 plus shipping) from this mail-order bakery, which offers a rotating cast of flavors such as rich Mexican chocolate, zesty pink grapefruit and sunny coconut.
Where: 202-596-6611, Bhallbaker.com.

Eat Wonky
If you like tracking down treats on Twitter, then follow this food truck’s feed. The mobile eatery sells a revolving assortment of whoopie goodies ($3 each) from Virginia’s SweetLadies Bakery, including a Reese’s-style chocolate-peanut butter and a tart orange-raspberry.
Where: Twitter.com/eatwonky, Eatwonky.com.

Red Hook
After standing in line at this food truck for an hour, you deserve dessert. These whoopie pies ($3.50) from Maine have a soft chocolate cake exterior and a creamy marshmallow filling.
Where: Twitter.com/lobstertruckdc, Redhooklobsterdc.com.

Written by Express contributor Nevin Martell
Photo courtesy Co Co. Sala

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Nevin Martell · July 19, 2011