Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Camperless S'mores

Happy Canada Day everyone!! We up North may be winding down on our national birthday, but this "national day of hooky" is just the first in what looks to be a host of excuses to embrace Summer sun, heat and food!

One of those quintessential Summer treats is the s'more - that combination of ooey, gooey fire-toasted marshmallow, sweet and creamy chocolate and crispy graham cracker that both shatters and melts into oozy, decadent oblivion when you bite into it. Now, I don't know about you, but building up a big ol' campfire in the backyard isn't always practical (or legal) - especially if you have a gang over which includes a lot of wee ones, or if the soiree you're hosting is a little fancier than standard BBQ fare. I, for one, couldn't very well start stockpiling a heap of firewood in the back playground at my school when we're running the Summer camp, but since we're not doing anything else relatively "campy" (like pitching tents or hiking) I wanted to bring one of the gastronomic delights to the older kids right before our classes ended for the year.

S'mores without the campfire?  Yes please!  #teaching #MLCP #homeeconomics #sweet #summer #simplefood #vegetarian

Now, there are recipes for s'mores at home which use the broiler or oven to toast up the marshmallow, and they're delicious on their own. But to me, a s'more just isn't a s'more without that little touch of fire... not to mention we were without an oven in the Home Ec room. My solution? Bring the fire to the classroom with a kitchen torch, whip up a marshmallowy meringue and nestle a softer, graham-laced chocolate filling between mallow and graham. The combination worked better than I could have hoped for, yielding square upon square of Summery goodness that was, dare I say, fancy while being totally kid friendly!

Not only do these not require tromping outside at dusk with the blackflies and mosquitoes, but they're also seasonless - if you have graham crackers, chocolate and egg whites on hand and the butane topped up, nothing is stopping you from enjoying a little Summer at Christmastime!

Camperless S'mores
Makes 14

Base:
14 square graham crackers

Chocolate:
2 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped (I love my Callebaut, but use your favourite!)
2 oz milk chocolate, chopped (go for the traditional stuff!)
2 tsp salted butter
1 tbsp graham cracker crumbs

Meringue:
2 egg whites (or ¼ cup pasteurized egg whites)
¼ tsp cream of tartar
1/8 tsp salt
⅓ cup sugar

Base and Chocolate:
  1. Place the graham crackers on a baking sheet lined with foil and set aside.
  2. Combine the chocolates and butter in a microwave safe bowl and microwave until melted and smooth, stirring every 45 seconds.
  3. Mix in the graham cracker crumbs and refrigerate 15 minutes, until thickened.
  4. Spoon the chocolate mixture onto the centre of each graham cracker and set aside.
Meringue:
  1. In a spotlessly clean bowl with an electric mixer, whip the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until soft peaks form.
  2. Gradually add the sugar while whipping and beat until stiff glossy peaks form, about 8 minutes.
  3. Dollop meringue on top of the chocolate mixture and toast the meringue one of three ways:
    - Place the tray of topped crackers under the broiler for 30 seconds-1 minute, until golden.
    - Place the tray of topped crackers into a 325°F oven until set and golden brown, 14 to 16 minutes.
    - Use a kitchen blowtorch to lightly toast the tops of the meringue.
  4. Serve immediately (which I recommend) or cover lightly and store in the fridge up to 1 day.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 94.0
Total Fat: 3.7 g
Cholesterol: 2.2 mg
Sodium: 49.5 mg
Total Carbs: 14.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.6 g
Protein: 1.5 g