Extra Decadent S’mores Bars

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Did you know that the marshmallow comes from a plant called marsh mallow, native to Europe and West Asia and North Africa. Marsh mallow, whipped with eggs, and sugar formed marshmallow. Instead of marsh mallow, today, gelatin is used to help marshmallows keep their buoyant shape. When it comes to food, much of what we eat today has a long history often originating in ancient times and/or from indigenous cultures. In an effort to somewhat decolonize food and conceptions surrounding food, it is important to me to know where something comes from. A product today called Marshmallows, that makes millions of dollars selling its product across the world including West Asia, and North Africa, first got its start in the exact places it sells to. Capitalism and imperialism at its finest.

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I used to think the idea of a s’mores pie or s’mores brownies was complete overkill. I mean, s’mores are already so good, why mess with success? Persuaded by my mom to make a s’mores brownie pie a while back, I’ve continued to up the ante on my s’mores brownie baking. One thing that bothered me about the previous attempts at s’mores brownies was the lack of melty chocolatey goodness that you get from a bona fide camp fire s’mores. So to solve that issue I layered on top of the brownie a thick smattering of chocolate ganache. I also severely under baked the brownie. And there you have it, an extra gooey brownie. I also can’t get enough of graham cracker crust, so I increased the thickness of the crust. And then instead of using store-bought marshmallows, I whipped up an egg white and sugar meringue to dollop on top. And one more thing about my preferences – I have never liked meringue, for some reason the egg-iness grosses me out. But for some magical reason, this meringue paired with this brownie, ganache, and graham cracker crust is seriously maybe the best thing I’ve ever made.

Graham cracker crust - recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated

16 graham crackers
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
In blender or food processor, blend sugar, salt, and graham crackers.
Slowly drizzle in the butter while blender or processor is going.
Press crust into pan - 8x8 pan for a very thick crust, 11x9 pan, or for a
thinner crust, a 9x13 inch pan.
Bake till crust is golden brown 15 to 25 minutes depending on thickness.

Cocoa Brownies - adapted from Bon Appetit 

1 stick butter
3/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Melt butter in a small saucepan. 
Add sugars and cocoa and mix.
Add 1 egg at a time till fully incorporated.
Stir in flour and salt, taking care not to overmix.
Pour on top of baked graham cracker crust.
Bake for 25 to 35 minutes depending on how gooey you like your brownies.

Ganache

1 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup cream

Melt cream and chocolate together in a saucepan over low heat.
Spread on top of baked brownie.

Marshmallow topping - recipe from Baker's Royale

5 egg whites
1 1/2 cup sugar

In a stand mixer bowl add egg whites and sugar.
Place the bowl over a sauce pan with 1 inch of simmering water.
Constantly whisk egg whites and sugar over heat till mixture reaches 160 
degrees on a candy thermometer.

Once mixture has reached 160 degrees, transfer bowl to stand mixer and 
whip for 8 to 10 minutes till still peaks form.
Dollop on top of ganache.
Broil in the oven for 10 minutes to get a bit of a crispy top.

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