I love camping! I’ll take a night in my bag under the stars over a night in between 600-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets at the Ritz any night.
We kicked off the camping season with a s’mores fest this weekend. Whoever created that culinary masterpiece was a genius.
A few years ago I witnessed a disturbing trend in upscale restaurants. Marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate not from a box, but artfully created from scratch, served on handcrafted skewers to be warmed over candles. Outrageous!
The fun of the s’more is that you’re camping! You must be sitting outside, your sneakers covered in camp dust, and your hair unwashed for two days hidden under a jaunty bandana. The fire must be crackling as you slowly circumnavigate the fire pit in a fruitless attempt to evade the smoke. And the satisfaction of having assembled your s’more on your lap is only surpassed by flavor of this sweet reward.
And the dessert itself is perfection. It’s everything a fine dessert should be. Elements contrast each other exquisitely. The hot steamy marshmallow comes in contact with the cool crisp Hershey bar, and the two meld into one sensual mouthful of creaminess. Texturally, the cracker provides a crisp counterpoint, offsetting the filling with a honey laden exclamation point. The presentation is simplistic and utilitarian, almost artful in its attention to structural integrity. That’s an A+ dessert if ever I saw one.
If, however, you are not the camping sort, I have graciously provided you with a home version. It tastes remarkably similar, and you eat it in a civilized manner on a plate with a fork. It’s all the fun of camping without any of the fun of camping!
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2-1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup mini marshmallows
1/2 cup chocolate chips (preferably Hershey’s)
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. Coat a 10-inch round cake pan with pan spray and line with a circle of parchment. Beat butter and sugar together until smooth and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, then vanilla. Combine crackers, flour and baking powder, and add alternately with milk. Fold in marshmallows and chocolate chips.
- Transfer batter to prepared pan and bake 25 minutes, or until a pick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely.
- Frost this cake with a generous helping of marshmallow fluff, then brown it under the broiler for a minute or two.