I recently made these S’mores Cupcakes when asked to participate in ‘Frosting for the Cause’ – the project of another food blogger to bring bakers together who would agree to bake something for the blog, contribute $25 to a charitable cause and also give the results of their efforts to a group of their choosing. I thought is was a fantastic way to bring together not just a group of people willing to serve a greater good but think of what a wonderful resource Paula’s website will be!
I had seen this recipe for S’Mores Cupcakes in the RSVP section of the latest issue of Bon Appetit magazine and they seemed perfect for both Paula’s site and for RSVP Redux where bloggers create a dish from Bon Appetit’s RSVP section of the magazine; all recipes from restaurants or bakeries that have been requested by readers. This one is from Society Bakery in Dallas, Texas. Who doesn’t love S’Mores anything? For me it’s not just the flavor combination but the collective memories of childhood Girl Scouts all the way to barbecues in my backyard making S’Mores over the firepit!
I honored my Aunt Patsy with my effort on Paula’s site. Though she had just recently passed away, she was recuperating from breast cancer sm I made ay donation to Susan G. Komen in her honor. My aunt and uncle had recently moved into a care facility as a result of his Alzheimer’s disease and the burden it was on her, so it was somewhat surprising to have her leave us so soon after they went to live there. I can’t help but think that when she could quit worrying about her husband, she could let go too. As it turns out, my Uncle passed away this past week; seems there were destined to be together. There are sweet memories but no tears at their passing; they both lived a very long life, were in their nineties and had been married for 60+ years; I think the timing was perfect for them. No long term suffering and a sweet reunion after only months apart.
My original intent when I decided to make these S’Mores Cupcakes was to give them to a local organization that serves children. That was easier said than done; they need advance notice, especially if sweets are involved so I had to rethink what I would do with my food contribution. Then it hit me…I’ve occasionally donated food to the neighborhood fire station but it had been awhile. To be honest, it has been a long while. That practice was more often after a sports event my kids participated in that resulted in a couple of extra pizzas or maybe foodstuffs from an annual Pancake Breakfast I chaired that couldn’t be saved for the next year.
It somehow seemed prophetic…giving cupcakes that require the topping be burned to the local fire station…perfect right? For some of the finishing touches, I made a trip to a new find, a local shop that is filled with cake decorating supplies and found the perfect wrappers AND a cupcake sparkler. Though I used that to simulate the fire needed to brown the marshmallow creme; these would be a great 4th of July dessert too, don’t you think?
S’mores Cupcakes – Bon Appetit RSVP
- 1 1/2 cjups graham cracker crumbs (about 15 whole crackers ground in food processor)
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup milk
- 8 oz bittersweet chocolate (not to exceed 61% cacao), either chips or chopped
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3/4 cup plus one 7-oz jar marshmallow creme (Before you buy this, be sure to read notes below!)
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 12 - 1 inch pieces broken graham crackers (optional, for garnish)
For the Cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 standard muffin cups with paper liners.
- Whisk graham crumbs, flour, baking powder and pinch of salt in medium bowl. Set aside.
- Beat butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating to blend between additions.
- Beat in vanilla.
- Add graham cracker mixture in 3 additions alternately with milk in two additions, beginning and ending with the graham cracker mixture.
- Divide batter into muffin cups
- Bake cupcakes until a tester inserted into the middle comes out clean; 18 to 22 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
For the Ganache:
- Place chocolate in medium bowl.
- Warm whipping cream just to boil in small saucepan and pour over chocolate.
- Let sit for 1 minute; stir until smooth. Cool ganache to lukewarm.
To Assemble the Cupcakes:
- Using an apple corer, melon baller or even a half teaspoon, core about an inch of cake out of each cupcake in the center.
- Spoon 3/4 cup marshmallow creme into resealable plastic bag, pushing into bottom corner. Cut 1/2 inch off the corner and pipe marshmallow into the holes of each cupcake (I found that keeping some water handy and wetting the tip of my finger helped a lot when pushing the creme into those holes so my fingers didn't become a sticky mess...wait, I found that out AFTER the fact!).
- Spread a layer of chocolate ganache over each cupcake.
- Preheat broiler. Coat rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray.
- Spoon dollops of the marshmallow creme onto the sheet.
- Broil until lightly charred, 1 to 2 minutes. Spoon a dollop of charred creme over each cupcake and if desired, garnish with a piece of graham cracker.
I wasn't crazy about the notion of browning blobs of marshmallow creme for the topping so I decided to use a super big serrated icing tip. Can I just say...WHAT A MESS!! That creme has the sticking quotient of fly paper. I liked the way the tip gave a design to the 'blob'' but I would not do this again; you don't know how many things I used that ended up with some of that 'fluff' on them! After the topping was fired (I used a mini torch), I put the cupcakes in my dining room with expectations I would get a photo in the morning.By morning, half of the cupcakes had topping that had slid half the way off of the ganache. Pretty!
So...what would I do next time? Would there even be a next time? Here's the pros...I love the actual taste of graham, chocolate and browned (burnt?) marshmallow, they come closer to replicating that real s'mores flavor than anything I've ever tried in a baked good. The only real con is that creme mess. I would either try it the way they suggested but seems I might expect the same problem with the warm marshmallow cream sliding OR I'm thinking I'll put mini marshmallows into the gooey ganache and fire them with my mini torch. I like using the mini torch; something about having a need for it beyond creme brulee makes me feel it was worth the expense!
Bottom line…they were a huge hit, with both the firefighters and the neighborhood boy who knows he can stop in and find something good to eat!