It's almost s'mores season! Of course, I wouldn't restrict s'mores to any particular season, as they are enjoyed all year long, but it is about time to uncover the barbecues, start up some camp fires and enjoy summertime foods. I got myself in the s'mores spirit by microwaving myself one!
It has been years, at least 15 years, since I've eaten one of these. Where have I been! This was so good and I'm using leftover ingredients from my s'mores cupcakes to make more s'mores.
I spent a while trying to decide how I wanted to build my s'mores cupcakes. I've seen it done so many different ways. I couldn't decide between a graham cracker cake or a chocolate cake, or a chocolate graham cracker cake.
I chose to toss out my ideas when I saw this recipe on the Martha Stewart website; it's a recipe for chocolate graham cracker cupcakes and toasted marshmallow frosting from Trophy Cupcakes in Seattle. It has a graham cracker crust base, a layer of bittersweet chocolate, chocolate cake, and graham cracker crumbs and chopped bittersweet chocolate baked on top. The frosting is basically a marshmallowy 7-minute frosting.
There had been comments on the recipe that it took a while to prepare; for me, I thought that the crushing of the graham crackers and chopping of the chocolate took the longest time. If you had a food processor or similar, unlike me, I'm sure it would make the task quicker.
The recipe calls for whole milk, but we only drink skim milk. So I searched for a quick substitute and ended up using a mix of skim milk and melted butter; 1 cup of skim milk, plus 2 teaspoons of melted butter. I used unsalted butter. It seemed to work fine. The cupcakes rose nicely, they have a very velvety sort of texture and are really moist.
I used the very last bit of sugar in our cabinets to make the frosting, so I hoped that I wouldn't ruin it. I haven't made 7-minute frosting before, so I wasn't familiar with the process. As I was whisking the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar over a pan of simmering water, I noticed the mixture was very yellow and I thought for sure I had ruined it, but after 6 minutes under the care of the KitchenAid's whisk it whipped up so perfect, so glossy and so white. It is a really beautiful marshmallowy frosting.
The recipe suggested using a kitchen blow torch to toast the frosting, but as I have no kitchen blow torch on hand, I put them under the broiler (on a low setting) in the oven for a few minutes (but moved the oven rack to the center of the oven). It didn't toast them like a blow torch would, but it did give them a toasted appearance and crunch.
Unfortunately, I have heaps of frosting left and am not sure what to do with it. Egg whites don't freeze well, I've heard, and I'm not sure how long it might keep in the refrigerator.
Anyway, these cupcakes taste so nice! I wouldn't say they taste like the traditional s'mores sandwich, however. With the addition of bittersweet chocolate, instead of the traditional milk chocolate, I would consider this a grown-up's s'mores cupcake!
Updated later: As there are egg whites in the frosting, it's best to refrigerate your leftover cupcakes. Let them warm up to room temperature before enjoying, or give them a quick zap in the microwave; I put mine on defrost for 10 seconds and it warmed up the chocolate pieces to make them nice and gooey again. 🙂