Still on a baking high, I took inspiration from a marshmallow slice I saw in a cookbook and decided to turn s’mores into a slice. It’s not the first time I’ve turned s’mores into something different, I made these babies for the Food Blogger Mad Hatter’s Picnic last year. For those who have no have idea what s’mores are, they are a typical camping treat in America and Canada which comprise of a toasted marshmallow and a piece of chocolate sandwiched between 2 graham crackers. The idea is that the heat of the toasted marshmallow that has been held above a camp fire would melt the chocolate as you sandwich with the graham crackers.
I love the idea of recreating desserts in a different form, like apple crumble ice cream, strawberry shortcake macarons, baklava ice cream, caramel slice tart, lemon meringue cupcake etc So I was really excited about this idea of mine and couldn’t wait to try it out. These were to be made for the Cancer Council Biggest Morning Tea that I hosted for my department at uni and they were a hit by all.
You could create a bake-free version of this slice by using crushed up biscuits and melted butter to form the base but I remembered the Masterchef masterclass episode where Donna Hay makes her baked cheesecake and Billy tries it and comments that the base is “short, creamy and buttery” so I thought I had to use the base recipe in this slice. I was trying to create a spiky effect in the marshmallow but because I didn’t have enough gelatin to start with the marshmallow was a little too soft/runny to work with.
Initially I thought since the layers are uneven there would an imbalance of sweetness due to the marshmallow and biscuit layer, but the chocolate layer helped tone down the sweetness. So I’d imagine using dark chocolate for the ganache would cut the sweetness down further. Every component worked well with each other, the marshmallow was pillowy soft (almost like the texture of toasted marshmallows) and the biscuit layer was instead buttery and crumbly. Delish!
After trying these slices, most of my colleagues said that I should try out for Masterchef… No thank you! It’s not for me… I’d so suck at being inventive and I think I’d be one of those emotional wrecks as I can be hopeless at dealing with stress sometimes. Is anyone else is the same boat? Have friends/family/colleagues told you to try out for Masterchef? And would you?
Makes 24 3x5cm (~1×2 inch) slices
1/2 cup (55g) almond meal
1 cup (150g) plain flour
1/3 cup (80g) caster sugar
135g butter, cubed
Simple chocolate ganache
200g milk chocolate (feel free to use dark chocolate)
1/2 cup (125mL) thickened cream
Vanilla bean marshmallow
1 tbsp and 1 tsp powdered gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup (90g) light corn syrup (essentially liquid glucose)
1/8 tsp salt
1 large egg white
1/2 vanilla bean pod, scraped
For the biscuit base
- Preheat oven to 160C (320F) and line a lightly greased 20cm (8 inch) squared tin with baking paper.
- Place the almond meal, flour, sugar and butter in a bowl. Rub the mixture with your fingertips until a rough crumbs forms.
- Pour mixture evenly into the prepared tin.
- Using the back of a spoon, press the mixture into the base and level.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until light golden. Set aside.
For the chocolate ganache
- Chop up chocolate finely and add to a metal bowl.
- Heat the chocolate and cream over a saucepan of boiling water until the chocolate has melted. Set aside.
For the vanilla bean marshmallow (to be made ~2 hours after the chocolate ganache)
- Sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup water in mixing bowl of stand mixer and let it stand.
- Combine 1/4 cup water, sugar, corn syrup and salt over low heat in a saucepan, stirring with a wooden spoon until sugar is dissolved.
- Increase heat to medium and boil mixture, without stirring until a candy thermometer registers 115C (240F).
- Remove pan from heat and pour sugar mixture over gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin is dissolved.
- Mix gelatin mixture on high speed until mixture has nearly tripled in volume.
- Meanwhile, whisk egg whites in a separate bowl to stiff peaks.
- Add vanilla bean to the egg whites and whisk until just combined.
- Pour the chocolate ganache over the baked biscuit base.
- Set aside to allow chocolate to firm up.
- Pour marshmallow over the set chocolate layer.
- Set aside for at least two hours or overnight.
- Take the slice out of the tin. Using a hot knife, cut the slices into 24 pieces.
- Toast the marshmallow with a blow torch.