August 23, 2010

Time Crunch S'mores Tart

I'd been craving s'mores for weeks but was thwarted in my first attempt by a box of stale graham crackers and some rock hard marshmallows from the depths of my parents pantry.  After said disappointment, I imagined making my own graham crackers and my own marshmallows and using some fancy chocolate to make a kind of gourmet s'more.

Unfortunately(?), my cravings and a fast approaching occasion got the best of me.  One of my good friend's birthdays was a few hours away and I couldn't imagine buying a cake from the store (the horror!).  I knew she'd appreciate a s'mores tart, but I also knew I didn't have nearly enough time to make all the components by myself.  So I took a shortcut, which though I don't do often, I also don't regret.  
This took about an hour to make, baking and setting time included, and if you're curious about how it tasted, come on, when are s'mores ever not good?  In the end, I think using all the old school (read: processed) ingredients (Nabisco graham crackers, Campfire marshmallows) wasn't such a bad thing.  I'm not sure you could achieve the same kind of nostalgia with the homemade varieties.

Time Crunch S'mores Tart
There are a million variations you could do on this, such as picking and choosing which components to make or not make from scratch or doing a meringue topper as Big City, Little Kitchen does.  Have fun with it!
Adapted from Big City, Little Kitchen

1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons melted butter [I think an extra tablespoon would be helpful here]

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup whole milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Mini marshmallows (as many as you want!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, stir together crumbs, sugar, and melted butter with a fork, until all ingredients are well-incorporated and mixture resembles wet sand. Using the back of a spoon (or your fingers), press evenly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch tart pan (it will be delicate). Place pan on baking sheet, and bake for 8 minutes, then cool completely. [note: because I was in a rush I did not "cool completely and it was fine... I just stuck the whole thing in the freezer after pouring in the chocolate mixture]

Heap the chopped chocolate into a medium heat safe bowl. In a saucepan over a medium heat, heat the milk until steaming, stirring often; pour into bowl over chocolate. Whisk until all chocolate is melted into milk, then whisk in vanilla; let cool completely. [as stated in my note above, I ignored the "cool completely" instruction]

Pour chocolate into shell. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes (or freeze for 15-20 if you're in a time crunch), or until firm. Preheat the oven’s broiler. Top the tart with as many marshmallows as you'd like.  Put tart on baking sheet and ease under broiler; cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the tops of the marshmallows are nicely browned*. Carefully remove tart pan from baking sheet and put back in refrigerator for another 30 minutes or so, allowing the chocolate filling to reset. To serve, carefully remove tart pan, and slice with a very sharp knife.

 * If you're wondering why my marshmallows don't exactly look toasty, I brought the tart to an apartment my friend was house-sitting at and we couldn't figure out the broiler on her 1960's oven.  It was unfortunate but we made do with a lighter and some patience (and it was still pretty darn good).

No comments: