Baked S’mores

This dessert was partially inspired from my childhood. Specifically, we would always go to the local Souplantation(whihc my mom would affectionally call “Soupie”) for dinner on the weekends, and they would serve this molten chocolate cake, which was basically just a scoop of chocolate cake with fudge sauce over it. I wanted to take that molten chocolate cake and build off of it. So I went with a gooey chocolate brownie as my base, and wanted to combine it with s’mores, since while not everyone has a childhood based around Souplanation, almost everyone can say that they have eaten a s’more before!

For the other components, we have a graham cracker butter(think cookie butter, but with graham crackers), a graham cracker crumble, a torched Italian meringue for the marshmallow, and a chocolate sauce to guarantee that you have different textures of both the graham cracker and the chocolate throughout this. The rationale behind the graham cracker butter is that I wanted to do a take on a peanut butter brownie, and using the graham crackers to make a cookie butter worked perfectly for that application. For the crumble, that was to highlight the sandy texture and crunch to a graham cracker, while also giving it a cookie-like texture, just to make it more nostalgic and familiar. The chocolate sauce is a direct homage to the Souplanation cake, while the Italian meringue was to use up the leftover egg whites from the cake.

Makes about 6 servings:
For the gooey chocolate brownie:
1 cup dark chocolate
2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
a pinch of salt
1 tspn instant coffee
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tspn baking powder
Graham cracker butter*
Graham cracker crumbles*

Over a double boiler, melt the dark chocolate, sugar, butter, salt, instant coffee, and cocoa powder. Once fully melted and combined, take off heat and stir in the egg yolk, egg, flour, and baking powder. Divide into 6-lined ramekins or cake molds. Pipe inside of each cake the graham cracker butter, then sprinkle on the crumbles on top in a generous layer. Bake at 325 degrees F for 15 minutes. Allow the cakes to cool slightly before adding on the meringue.

For the graham cracker butter:
1/2 cup crushed graham crackers
2 tbsp canola oil
a pinch of salt
2 tbsp water

In a blender, blitz together until completely combined. Add more water as needed so that the ingredients can properly puree together. Transfer into either a squeeze bottle or piping bag.

For the graham cracker crumbles:
1/2 cup crushed graham crackers
2 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
a pinch of salt

Mix together into a dough. Break apart the dough into 1/4-inch(thumbnail) sized pieces. Spread onto a lined sheet tray and bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Cool down completely before using for the cake.

For the chocolate sauce:
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp unsalted butter or canola oil
1/2 tspn ground coffee
a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon chocolate liquor

Heat up everything in a pot until fully combined and melted. Keep warm for serving.

For the Italian meringue:
2 egg whites
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp water
a pinch of salt
1/4 tspn vanilla extract

In a bowl, whip the egg white with half of the sugar. In a pot, heat up the remaining sugar with water and salt and bring to a boil. Pour the boiling hot sugar syrup into the egg whites and whip until fluffy. Whisk in the vanilla. Transfer to a piping bag and pipe over the baked torte. Place into a 500 degree F oven(or oven set to the broiler setting) and carefully watch the meringue until it is browned, but not blackened.

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