This deliciously decadent Chocolate S’more Cake is topped with toasted vanilla bean marshmallow frosting and then drizzled with extra-bitter chocolate and homemade graham cracker pieces.
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups granulated cane sugar
- 2 extra-large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup flavorless vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
- Zest of 2 oranges
- 2 teaspoons espresso powder (optional)
- Marshmallow frosting
- Crumbled graham crackers for garnish
- Melted bitter chocolate for garnish
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Line 2 8-inch x 8-inch baking pans with parchment paper, then coat sides with nonstick spray.
Using a whisk, sift together flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar.
In a separate medium sized bowl, combine the eggs, milk, oil, vanilla extract, grated orange peel, and espresso powder. Whisk to blend ingredients well. Add wet ingredients to the flour mixture and combine well, without incorporating too much air.
Divide batter into the 2 baking pans.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes; cake should spring back slightly to the touch. Remove cakes from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
When cake has cooled, remove from pans and peel off the parchment paper. Place one cake layer on a desired serving platter. While marshmallow frosting is still warm, spread a 1/2-inch layer on top of the cake base. Place second cake layer on top. Spread the top of the cake with remaining marshmallow frosting, then brown the frosting with a torch until deep amber color.
Drizzle your favorite extra-bitter dark chocolate over the marshmallow. Break graham crackers into small pieces, and then sprinkle over marshmallow and melted chocolate.
Marshmallow Frosting (make when you are ready to assemble cake)
- 3 3/4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 cups granulated cane sugar, divided into halves
- 1 ½ cups light corn syrup
- 4 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 Tahitian vanilla bean, split horizontally
Put gelatin in a small bowl. Add the water and stir. Set aside to soften
In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, combine 1 cup of the sugar with the corn syrup. Place over medium heat and stir to incorporate. When sugar starts to boil, do not stir. If any crystals form on the sides of the pan as the mixture heats, wash them down with a wet pastry brush. Continue cooking without stirring, until the mixture reaches 250°F on a candy thermometer. When the sugar syrup reaches 250°F, remove it from the heat and stir in the softened gelatin. The syrup will foam up and triple in volume.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk, beat the egg whites and vanilla seeds on medium speed until soft peaks form. Add the remaining 1 cup of sugar and continue beating until shiny firm peaks form.
When the sugar syrup has cooled to about 140°F, add it to the egg whites and whip until shiny firm peaks form. Allow frosting to sit for about 5 to 10 minutes before spreading on cake.
Homemade Graham Crackers
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons mild-flavored honey, such as clover or orange blossom
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons whole-wheat flour, preferably stone-ground
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
- 1 cup packed dark brown cane sugar
Combine the milk, vanilla extract, and honey together in a bowl. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, sift together flours, salt, and baking soda. Add the butter and beat on medium speed until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Add the brown sugar and continue to mix until no clumps remain. Add milk mixture and beat until a smooth dough forms.
Turn dough out onto a lightly-floured work surface and pat into a 5 inch square. Wrap with plastic wrap and let stand for 3 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line 2 12-inch x 18-inch sheet pans with parchment paper.
On a lightly-floured work surface, roll out dough into one eight inch thick sheets. Cut dough into 2 1/2-inch squares. Place the squares on sheet pans and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool before eating or storing.