S’mores Cupcakes

These have been a classic favorite of mine since I started baking and learned how to make Italian meringue. Graham cracker crust, chocolate cake, and Italian meringue, torched in the broiler of your oven, super simple, super fun. For this rendition, I doctored up my meringue a little by introducing gelatin into the simple syrup, just to add more structure and body to the meringue itself. This ensures that the egg whites won’t bleed simple syrup into the cake over time, but rather, just holds its form in general. I also use egg white in my crust so that it binds properly and does not just fall apart when you bite into it and leave a giant mess on your lap, which let’s be real here, nobody wants a messy cupcake. Since I’m using so many egg whites in the components of the cake, I opted to use the egg yolks in the cake batter itself, offsetting that with using both baking powder and soda to guarantee that the cake is not too dense.

Now I don’t really have too many long-winded stories about s’mores cupcakes, other than seeing posts on Instagram from Sprinkles made me want to make some again. Well, that and I want to just bring a batch of these whenever I am having a late night hang out with friends during the summer where we just sit in my car and listen to/watch scary movies, either nearby the wilderness, or in the parking lot of a convenience store, which is shady af but whatever, we’re not being actual hooligans and graffitiing or peeing on the building, so leave us alone and let us watch our CreepyPastas and SlenderMans and what not.

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For the crust:
1 cup crushed graham crackers
4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1 egg white

Blitz together into a fine ground texture. Press into the bottom of 12 cupcake liners and bake at 350 degrees F for 8 minutes.

For the cake:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup chocolate chips; melted
1 stick unsalted butter; melted
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons Chinese black vinegar
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 egg yolks

Combine ingredients. Fill the cupcake liners and bake at 350 degrees F for another 18 minutes. Cool completely before removing.

For the marshmallow Italian meringue:
3 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon gelatin powder + 1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
a pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Measure out 1/3 cup of the 1/2 cup of sugar and whisk with the egg whites and cream of tartar. Melt water, gelatin, remaining sugar, salt together and bring to a simmer. Once the egg whites are whipped stiff, pour in the syrup into the whites and continue whipping until the egg whites are stiff again. Finish with vanilla and transfer to a piping bag and keep at room temperature just so that the mixture does not fully set yet.

For assembly:

Turn on the broiler setting in your oven. Pipe the cupcakes with the marshmallow meringue mixture and then bake in the broiler for 30 seconds to a minute, closely monitoring the brownness of the meringue so that it does not burn.

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