August 10, 2016

S'mores Cake

Brown Butter Graham Cracker Crust
18 large grahams (the rectangle)
½ cup sugar
½ tsp salt
12 Tbs butter
Melt the butter and cook on low until the butter is a golden brown.
In a food processor, pulse the graham crackers with the sugar and the salt until the crumbs are really fine. Pour the crumbs into a medium bowl.
Pour the butter over the graham crackers and gently mix together until it is a uniform damp crumb.
Prepare three 8″ rounds with parchment paper rounds and non-stick baking spray. (I've always done two)
Divide the graham cracker crumbs between two of the three prepared pans, pressing them down firmly with a spatula. Set aside
Dark Chocolate Cake
2 cups boiling water
1 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup soft unsalted butter
2-1/4 cup white sugar
4 large eggs
1 Tbs vanilla
2-3/4 cups AP flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Put the coco powder in a small bowl, and pour the boiling water on top of it.
Whisk the water and coco together until smooth, and then set aside until cooled.
In a mixing bowl or standing mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
Add the vanilla and the eggs one at a time until they completely combined.
Sift all of the dry ingredients together.
Gently add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and half of the chocolate. Mix to combine.
Repeat with the remaining ingredients and mix into a smooth batter.
Divide the batter evenly between the three pans. Two of them, gently spread over the graham crust.
Bake the cake layers about 25 minutes, but keep a close eye on them because every cake is different.
Let the cake layers cool.
*** Note. I cooked the two graham-chocolate layers with an “even cake layers” strip around them so that they would turn out more flat. The third cake layer I left alone because I wanted it to puff up and be domed for the top of the cake.
2 cups heavy cream
1lb dark chocolate pieces
In a small pot, bring the cream to a simmer. Pour the cream over the chocolate pieces and let sit about 5 minutes.
Whisk the ganache until smooth and shiny. Set Aside.
Cover a cake plate in a few strips of parchment or wax paper.
Turn out one of the cake rounds with the graham crust onto the parchment covered cake plate, graham layer up.
Put a large dollop of ganache on top of the grahams. Spread evenly. Follow with another layer. Finally top with the third round which is just cake.
Refrigerate, at least 15-20 minutes.
Marshmallow Frosting
3 egg whites at room temperature
¼ tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup karo corn syrup
2 Tbs water
1 TBS vanilla bean paste
In the bowl of a standing mixer, whisk the eggs and salt until pale and frothy.
Meanwhile, heat the sugar, corn syrup, water and vanilla paste. Heat over medium flame until the sugar is dissolved and just simmering, about 5 minutes.
With the mixer on medium speed, add a tiny bit of the hot sugar mixture to the egg whites at a time. (Temper the eggs- don’t scramble them!)
Eventually all of the sugar will be added and then turn the mixer up to high. Beat the mixture on high for about 5 minutes or until very stiff and shiny.
While the marshmallow frosting is mixing, frost the cake. (Take it out of the fridge first!)
With the remaining ganache, which should be stiff and the texture of a glossy frosting, frost the cake in a smooth, even layer.
Ideally, pipe a layer of the marshmallow frosting on the top of the cake and then glop the rest on top in a big mound.  Using a kitchen torch, brown the marshmallow frosting.
From here