S’mores gateau

I have done quite a few s’mores desserts in the past, but this one is different in that it is a cake-based dessert. I used graham crackers in place of 75% of the flour for the cake, and for the chocolate components, I did both a chocolate ganache and a chocolate panna cotta. I have always had a fondness for chocolate cream cheese frosting, so I decided to follow that route with this concept, making the panna cotta using cream cheese and Calpico (a Japanese yogurt drink) for the base instead of heavy cream. You can use kefir for the same effect. For the marshmallow component, I debated on whether or not I wanted to do meringue shards or torched meringue. Because of the nature of the panna cotta, I did not want to potentially melt the panna cotta while torching the meringue, so I opted for caramelized meringue tuiles instead, so sort of a compromise between the two.

For the cake:
1/2 cup graham crackers; blitzed and sieved into a fine powder
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
a pinch of salt

Combine ingredients. Spread onto a lined sheet pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 12 minutes. Cool down the cake completely before assembly.

For the ganache:
1/3 cup dark chocolate
3 tablespoons heavy cream
a pinch of salt
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolk

Melt together the chocolate and heavy cream on a double boiler. Season with salt, cocoa powder, and vanilla. Finish with the egg yolk. Keep in a liquid state because you will be using this to layer up the cakes.

For the panna cotta:
1 tablespoon cream cheese
1/4 cup kefir or Calpicco
1/2 teaspoon gelatin powder + 1 tablespoon cold water
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
a pinch of salt
3 tablespoons dark chocolate chips

Mix together the gelatin and water and allow it to bloom. Combine ingredients and bring to a simmer. Pass through a sieve. Pour into silicone half dome molds and freeze completely.

For the meringue tuiles:
1 egg white
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
a pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whip together ingredients until the meringue yields stiff peaks. Spread onto a parchment sheet and bake at 250 degrees F for 40 minutes. Keep in the oven, turned off, until it is time for assembly.


Pour the ganache over the entire layer of sheet cake. Using a cookie cutter, cut out your rounds. With the janky leftover pieces of cake, you will alternate between perfect rounds and the leftover pieces, until you can make a mini cake that is approximately 1 1/2 inches high. Repeat this until you use up all of your cake; for me, I managed to make about 1 mini cakes from this. Place the panna cotta on the top layer of the cake, using the ganache to glue it down. Press shards of the meringue around the edges of the cake, since again, the ganache will be your glue that holds it all together. Serve within an hour of plating.

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