Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The One With the S'mores Cupcakes

I love s'mores and everything having to do with them. So when I opened up my most recent issue of Cuisine at Home, I was super excited to see the S'mores Cupcakes recipe and couldn't wait to give it a try. I thought our family vacation to Seaside would be a great opportunity.

These cupcakes are delicious and messy, true to their inspiration: the original s'more.  They are made of graham cupcakes, a chocolate ganache, and topped with marshmallow cream.

I slightly varied the recipe I found there and here's my version: 

To make the graham cupcakes:
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered graham cracker crumbs (about 12 whole graham crackers)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter (12 tablespoons) - at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs - at room temperature
  • 1/2 Tbls. water
  • 1/2 Tbls, vanilla
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk*
Prepare cupcake pans with liners.

To make the powdered graham cracker crumbs, all you need to do is break the graham crackers (I do six at a time) into a Ziploc bag. Use a heavy rolling pin to crush the crackers. You'll want to shake up and re-roll the crumbs several times to get them to a powder consistency (as opposed to sandy, like you would use for a graham cracker crust). Or, you could use a food processor to powder the graham crackers. Save any extra crumbs for garnish.
Whisk together the graham cracker powder, flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in water and vanilla. Alternately add graham mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the graham mixture.
Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 full of batter. Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes.

*I used a powdered buttermilk blend. I added the required amount of powdered buttermilk to the dry ingredients and added the 1/2 cup water alternately with the graham mixture. 

Meanwhile, make the chocolate ganache:
  • 1 1/3 cups milk chocolate chips (8 ounces)
  • 2/3 cups heavy cream
  • 4 tsp. light corn syrup
Place the chocolate chips in a heat-safe bowl. In a 1 qt. pan over medium heat, stir together the corn syrup and heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Pour over the chocolate chips and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Whisk mixture until chocolate is smooth. Refrigerate for an hour or so to let it thicken up into a spreadable consistency.

Assemble the cupcakes: spread the chocolate ganache over the graham cupcakes and top with a dollop of marshmallow cream. I didn't have a kitchen torch to lightly roast the marshmallow cream, so I placed my cupcakes under the broiler for a few minutes (watch them very carefully if you do this). Of course, it also melted my ganache. It was still delectable, but I really do wish I had a kitchen torch so my ganache could have stayed a little more intact.

I think next time I'd like to attempt these cupcakes with a dollop of marshmallow cream surrounded by my mother's go-to chocolate buttercream (you can find a recipe here). That just sounds yummy.

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