I realize I was pretty fortunate to go to summer camp. At least that’s what my parents kept telling me when I was a youngster. Then again, they seemed to have a pretty good time back home while I was away.
Come to think of it, I’m not really sure who got the better end of that deal.
One thing I knew for sure, I was having S’mores around a camp fire and they weren’t. I don’t think…
For anyone who just arrived on this planet, S’mores are a traditional campfire dessert favorite, simply constructed of a large marshmallow (on a stick) roasted (usually burnt) over an open flame (aka campfire) and sandwiched between two panels of graham cracker and a square (or two) of Hershey’s® milk chocolate, which melted in nicely.
It was ooohey, gooey deliciousness.
Child campers are drawn to these treats like bears to a garbage dump.
S’mores are still as popular as ever, and to prove it, from late spring through fall, when you come across marshmallows in the grocery aisle, you’ll no doubt see boxes of graham crackers and stacks of Hershey’s® chocolate bars right next to them.
Like a hot fudge sundae, I don’t know if you can ever improve the classic S’more.
You can reinvent them for the adults, however.
The basic components of graham cracker, chocolate and marshmallow (the marshmallows are the vanilla addition to the composition) have been a wildly successful flavor combination used by pastry chefs for decades.
Depending on how faithful you want to be to the original S’more, there are some permissible variables pastry chefs take liberties with. About the only constant is the graham cracker. The chocolate component can be anything from fudge to cake to pudding, and the marshmallows can be anything from meringue (which is quite close to a marshmallow) to vanilla custard.
The recipe I’ll share with you is a pretty elegant one and not too complicated. Well, kind of.
Pete’s Chocolate S’more Brulee (Serves 4 – 4 ounce portions)
First, you’ll need four 4- to 6-ounce brulee dishes or similar ramekins to bake your brulees in. You will also need about ½ to 2 cups of mini marshmallows.
Chocolate Crème Brulee Mixture
1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
½ Cup Milk
1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
3 Extra-Large Egg Yolks
¼ Cup Granulated Sugar
1/3 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
- In a small saucepan, bring cream, milk, sugar and vanilla to a scald, and then remove from the heat.
- Add chocolate chips and melt in while stirring.
- In a separate small bowl, beat egg yolks until smooth.
- Drizzle hot chocolate mixture into egg yolks while whisking. Set aside this mixture.
Graham Cracker Bottom Crust & Filling
¾ Cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
3 TBSP Melted Butter
- Stir together the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter to combine. Then divide evenly between each of the four brulee ramekins and tamp down to create a bottom crust for each dish.
- Place each of the ramekins in a baking dish and place a small amount of water in the pan to create a shallow water bath around the ramekins.
- Carefully fill each ramekin with the chocolate brulee filling and bake in a 275 F oven approximately 45 minutes or until just firm. The batter should appear to set like Jello®.
- When fully cooked, remove the baking pan from the oven, carefully remove the ramekins to a sheet pan and place in the refrigerator 2 to 3 hours to fully chill and set.
To Finish Chocolate Crème Brulees
- Remove chilled ramekins from the refrigerator and pat the surface of each to remove any water condensate that may have occurred.
- Coat the surface of each ramekin with a layer of mini marshmallows one marshmallow deep, with areas here and there of two deep to give the surface some uneven texture.
- Set your oven rack at the highest shelf and turn on your broiler. When hot, place the ramekins under the broiler until the marshmallows are medium- to golden-brown, being careful not to burn them.
- Place ramekins on a separate service plate and enjoy!
- Float Bailey’s Irish Crème, Godiva Chocolate Liquor or Meyer’s Rum over surface of the brulees before adding and browning the marshmallows.
- Sprinkle the finished brulees with toasted almonds or toasted coconut.