Torched S’mores Layer Cake

January 27, 2016 § Leave a comment

Version 2

I knew I would find a reason to justify the fact that I’m super late in sharing this recipe and I’ve found the best excuse there is: apparently January 27 (aka today) is National Chocolate Cake Day! Not like I really need a reason to eat chocolate cake but I will gladly accept the affirmation! It seems like every day (in America/Instagram anyway) is a celebration for some kind of delicious food and you know what, I can get down with it.

It also seems like s’mores variations have been popping up everywhere so all the more reason to make this cake! I first thought to do a s’mores layer cake when I was brainstorming ideas for my brother’s birthday cake. He turned 14 and he’s not an adventurous eater so it can be difficult being creative with his cakes but having him like it, which is obviously crucial. How horrible would it be if you didn’t like your own birthday cake?

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I was so excited with how this cake turned out! I have been experimenting with six-inch layered cakes because whenever I bake larger ones for my family, the leftovers never get finished. This s’mores layer cake is by far the best one I’ve made yet, and you don’t even need a six-inch cake pan to make it!

It’s a little whimsical yet sophisticated and so delicious. The chocolate cake is incredibly moist (I used my go-to recipe) and you can really taste all the components of a s’more: chocolate fudge is added between the cake layers, graham crackers are crushed and added to the frosting, and meringue is piped on top and torched to a perfect golden-brown finish, just like a campfire marshmallow.

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This cake may be more work than making traditional s’mores but it elevates the satisfaction you get from graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows to a whole new level. Yes, it’s a labor of love but it tastes amazing and is sure to impress so make this for a special occasion or for celebrating someone special in your life!

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Torched S’mores Layer Cake

Yield: One 6″ four-layered cake

Adapted from Natalie Eng

Ingredients:

Chocolate Cake

  • Ingredients for one batch of this chocolate cake or your favorite chocolate cake recipe that makes 24 cupcakes or two-layerd 8″/9″ cake

 

Fudge Sauce (Adapted from David Lebovitz)

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup, golden syrup, or agave nectar (I prefer golden syrup)
  • 1/4 cup + 1/8 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-processed
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

 

Graham Cracker Mixture (for frosting)

  • 190 g (~ 12 full cracker sheets, if store-bought) graham crackers
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, room temperature

 

Graham Cracker Frosting

  • Graham cracker mixture (from above)
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

 

Swiss Meringue Marshmallow Topping

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

 

Directions:

Chocolate Cake

Follow instructions here except pour batter into a 9″ x 13″ baking pan that is greased and lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes, or when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely on cooling rack. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least several hours, preferably overnight.

Fudge Sauce

In medium saucepan, bring water, granulated sugar, and syrup to a boil over medium heat. Gradually whisk in cocoa powder and salt until smooth and no solid lumps remain. Reduce sauce until slightly thickened, whisking constantly. Remove from heat and whisk in chopped chocolate until melted. Allow sauce to cool and thicken before using.

Graham Cracker Mixture

In food processor, pulse graham crackers to a fine crumb. Add sugar and salt; pulse to combine. Melt butter and whisk in heavy cream. Add butter mixture to graham cracker crumbs and pulse until clumps form. Set aside.

Graham Cracker Frosting

Add milk into the food processor with the graham cracker mixture and process until smooth.

In bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugars, and cinnamon until pale and fluffy. Add in the graham cracker mixture and beat until well combined. Increase speed to medium high and beat for another minute until light and fluffy. Use directly or store for up to two weeks.

Swiss Meringue Marshmallow Topping

*After assembling and frosting the layer cake*

In the bowl of a standing mixer, whisk egg whites and sugar together. Set it over a pot of simmering water, making sure the water does not touch the bowl. Heat egg white mixture until sugar is completely dissolved.

Remove from heat and whisk on high until glossy and stiff peaks form. Whisk in vanilla. Use immediately.

Assembly

Carefully remove chocolate cake from the pan by lifting the parchment paper. If needed, use a serrated knife with a gentle sawing motion to level the top surface of the cake. Using a six-inch circle (pan, mold, plate, etc.) as a guide, cut out two six-inch cake rounds. Halve each cake round crosswise so there are four cake rounds in total. Reserve leftover cake for another use, such as cake pops or for snacking.

Place a small dollop of frosting on your cake stand to help provide stability to the final product. Gently press one cake round on the cake stand. Cut four strips of parchment paper and slide them partially beneath the cake so that the cake stand is completely covered.

Use an offset spatula to spread an even layer of frosting on the cake. Drizzle some fudge sauce on top. Take another cake round and gently but firmly press it over the first cake round. Repeat with remaining cake rounds.

Spread a thin layer of frosting on the top and sides of the cake to make a crumb coat, which prevents crumbs from showing on the final product. Place in freezer for about 15 minutes, or until frosting is firm.

Use the remaining frosting to completely frost the top and sides of the cake, smoothing it out with the offset spatula. Pour some of the fudge sauce on top of the cake, just until it starts to drip over the sides.

With a 1/2-inch round piping tip, pipe rounds of meringue on top of the cake. Use a kitchen torch to lightly toast the meringue.

Serve and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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