S’more Cupcakes

S’mores aren’t just for summer campfires.  People do make them in the winter, bundled up and cozy in front of their fireplaces, don’t they?  I’ve got a gas range, so I’ve even charred some marshmallows over the stove top. Why not?   My point really is, I came across a recipe in the January 2011 issue of Bon Appetit magazine for S’more Cupcakes, and I was dying to try it.  Never mind that it’s not really s’more season, I wanted to bake something new and exciting for another birthday celebration for my son.  What ever happened to having one birthday celebration, anyway?  Seriously, birthdays go on for about two weeks these days.  It’s a good thing I like to bake.

This S’mores Cupcake recipe was created by Society Bakery in Dallas, TX.  It sounded so different that it caught my eye.  The cake is made with a combination of graham cracker crumbs and flour.  Intriguing, isn’t it?  I was worried that the cake wouldn’t seem cake-like, but it absolutely was.  It was buttery, light,  and graham crackery (I know that’s not a word, but I like it).  The cake only took about 10 minutes to get into the oven.  Gotta love that.

While the cake was baking, I chopped the chocolate and made the ganache for the frosting.  The ganache needs to be cooled to room temperature, so the timing worked well.  You could also make the ganache the day before and just reheat it in the microwave a few seconds to get it to room temp.  The more steps you save the day of, the better, I always say.  The recipe called for bittersweet chocolate, which I used, but I thought milk chocolate would be better next time.  I normally prefer dark chocolate over milk chocolate,  but where s’mores are concerned, dark chocolate can be so overpowering with the light flavors of graham crackers and marshmallows.  Funny, my 9 year old told me that the chocolate was too chocolatey.  If a 9 year old thinks that, then it must be true.  :Wink:  If you do decide to use milk chocolate, you can add a tablespoon of light corn syrup, such as Karo, to the heavy cream before you bring it to a boil.  This will give the milk chocolate ganache more elasticity.  I got this info from a cookbook I have by Sherry Yard titled “The Secrets of Baking”.  It’s a stand-by for me, especially when it comes to working with chocolate.

Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, it’s time to fill them with marshmallow creme.  The recipe recommended using an apple corer to remove the middle of the cupcake for the filling, but I just used the smaller side of a melon baller and scooped out about an inch from the middle.  Worked like a charm.  I also got to eat little balls of cake.

Now, I’ve never used marshmallow creme, and I found out pretty quickly that is sticky.   The recipe recommended scooping the marshmallow creme into a plastic zip-top bag, snipping the corner, and piping it in.  I did this, but I snipped too much off of the corner and it came out in big, sticky blobs.  It wasn’t the easiest, but luckily I only had twelve cupcakes to deal with.  The cupcakes are now ready to be topped with the room temperature chocolate ganache.  If it’s cooled off too much and is not spreading consistency, zap it in the microwave for just about 10 seconds, maybe even less.  You don’t want it hot!

Since a s’more isn’t a s’more without some charred marshmallow, here comes the fun part.  This is genius.  Turn on your oven broiler, then spray a small baking sheet with cooking spray.  Place 12 dollops of marshmallow creme on the prepared baking sheet, and broil 1-2 minutes or until the creme is nicely charred.  I removed each dollop easily with a small spatula and placed them on top of each cupcake.  I happened to have a box of mini Honey Maid graham crackers, so I put one mini graham on top of each dollop of the charred marshmallow creme.  The charred creme was a nice touch and it really made this cupcake taste like a s’more.  They were delicious, and I will definitely make them again, spring, summer, winter, or fall.  Click the S’mores Cupcakes link above for the complete recipe.