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S’mores Cupcakes

s'mores cupcakes
I am often inspired to convert an existing to dessert into a cupcake. It is definitely a recurring theme. This time around, I applied the cupcake treatment to another favorite – the s’more. Anything that reminds me of being a kid again!

The end result was delicious, as I hoped. The cake had some issues (see note below), but tasted nice and graham-crackery, especially with the graham cracker bottom. The cake wasn’t too sweet, which is good considering the very sweet marshmallow filling. All on all, I found it a successful representation of s’mores in cupcake form.

Graham Cracker Cupcakes
15 regular cupcakes / 350 degree oven

1 cup graham cracker crumbs, from 6 whole graham crackers
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs, from 2-1/2 whole graham crackers
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Combine 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs and melted butter.
2. Scoop a heaping teaspoon into each cupcake paper, pressing down to cover the bottom.
3. Beat butter on high speed until soft, about 30 seconds.
4. Add brown sugar. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
5. Add eggs one at a time, beat for 30 seconds after each.
6. Whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
7. Measure out milk and vanilla together.
8. Add about a fourth of the flour to the butter/sugar mixture and beat to combine.
9. Add about one third the milk/vanilla mixture and beat until combined.
10. Repeat above, alternating flour and milk and ending with the flour mixture.
11. Scoop into cupcake papers three-quarters full.
12. Bake for 20-22 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Note: This recipe takes great, but needs a bit of work. The cupcakes didn’t rise much (which is fine) but also shrunk quite a bit on cooling… my only real complaint. I suspect that there is too much butter and next time I try the recipe, I will cut the butter to 1/2 cup.

graham cracker crumbs
scooping crumbs

making the graham cracker bottoms
pressing crumbs

baked cupcake
baked cupcake

Chocolate Ganache

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate like Valrhona 61% cocao
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Chop chocolate and transfer into a heat proof bowl.
2. Heat cream until bubbles form around the edge of the pan, pour cream over the chocolate.
3. Let sit for 1 minute then stir until combined.
4. Add vanilla and stir until combined.
5. Let cool to room temperature.

Marshmallows from MarthaStewart.com

Vegetable oil, for brushing
2 packets unflavored gelatin
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1. Line a 9-by-9-inch baking dish with foil. Brush foil with oil. Set aside.
2. Put granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of water into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cook, without stirring, until mixture registers 238 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 7 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, put 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold water into the bowl of an electric mixer. Sprinkle with gelatin. Let soften for at least 5 minutes.
4. Attach bowl with gelatin to mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. With mixer on low speed, beat hot syrup into gelatin mixture. Gradually raise speed to high. Beat until mixture is very stiff, about 7-9 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Pour into prepared dish, and smooth with oiled fingers.
5. Set aside, uncovered, until firm, about 3 hours.
6. Sift 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar onto a work surface. Unmold marshmallow onto confectioners’ sugar; remove parchment. Lightly brush a sharp knife with oil, then cut marshmallow into 1/2-inch squares. Roll each marshmallow in the sugar to coat.
7. Marshmallows can be stored in an airtight container up to 3 days. And they are great in hot chocolate.

homemade marshmallow
transferring marshmallow

cutting up marshmallows
cutting squares

Assemble

marshmallow fluff

1. Using a small pairing knife, cut off the top of the cupcake in the shape of a cone. Flip the top over and cut off the cone.
2. Fill the cavity with fluff.
3. Replace the top of the cone.
4. Scoop a tablespoon of ganache on top of each cupcake. Smooth with a small offset spatula. (I dip the spatula in hot water, wipe off, then smooth.)
5. Top with a marshmallow and toast with a culinary torch.

marshmallow filling
filling cupcakes

toasting marshmallows
toasting marshmallows

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