Sunday, 12 August 2007
Please Sir ... Can I have S'More ...
I must have only been around ten or eleven when I first saw the musical "Oliver." I know that technically he did not actually ask for a S'more .... he actually asked for some more .... but I can't help hearing the word s'more when he asks this question, in his cute little English accent, which also happens to be remarkably very posh for a poor lad of his stature in that day and age here in Britain!
S'mores .... those lovely sweet concoctions that conjure up camping memories and thoughts of Girl Guide hikes, midnight feasts and forbidden forays into the bulging larder. S'mores are kind of hard to come by over here in the UK. You can't really get Graham Crackers so to speak. I know, you can get them from one of those online sites that dish out American goods at a very hefty price, and I do confess that I have splurged on at least one occasion ... or maybe two or three. But yesterday I had neither the money, not the time or inclination. I wanted a S'more NOW! I had been up late the night before reading MaryJane's Ideabook, Cookbook, Lifebook: For the Farmgirl in All of Us by Maryjane Butters, one of my favourite books, and drooling over all her country pursuits that are so well laid out inside and came across a particularly appealing picture of a homemade S'more, the crackers homemade of course and cut out with pretty little flower cutters, the gooey marshmallow and chocolate oozing out in a most delicious way. From that moment on I knew that yesterday I would have to have a S'more.
I woke up yesterday morning with S'mores on my mind and set out early on to make my S'more dreams come true. I found a recipe that seemed pretty straightforward and easy to follow. I did have a few problems with it however. The dough seemed very sticky and the ones I had cut out like flowers (after a lengthy chill time of course) were very difficult to manueuver and get onto the baking sheet all in one piece, but I did manage eventually. I only cut out two as flowers, and the rest I cut into squares, leaving them on the parchment paper I had rolled them out on. They baked quite nicely and were delicious to boot!!! I ended up having to eat the flower ones in bits. There was a good reason for the parchement paper. It kept the crackers from sticking to the baking sheet, which my flower ones did, as they had no parchment paper under them.
Never mind, it was a most delicious mistake to make as I got to enjoy the crumbs of my labours. The rest turned out perfectly and I was able to make some yummy s'mores with a few of them, for Todd and I to enjoy. Well, I say that loosely, because Todd think's us North Americans have really wierd tastes and he did not like them at all, but as for me, well, I did, of course!!! But then again you could slap some marshmallow and Green and Black's Milk chocolate between two shingles and I'd probably enjoy them too!
* Indoor S'Mores with Homemade Graham Crackers *
It may have been only a pot of gruel that Oliver Twist was asking for when he made his fateful mistake in daring to ask, but I'm quite sure that if S'mores had been discovered then, he'd not have settled ... he'd definitely have asked for S'more ...
12 marshmallows, recipe follows or store bought
8 graham cracker squares, recipe follows
2 milk chocolate bars, I used Green and Black's Organic Milk Chocolate
4 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons light corn syrup
12 tablespoons sugar
2 egg whites
1 tablespoon gelatin
2 tablespoons cold water
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Marshmallows: Combine the water, the corn syrup, and the sugar in a saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer. Bring to a boil and boil to "soft-ball" stage, or about 235 degrees F.
Whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. Sprinkle the gelatin over the 2 tablespoons cold water and let dissolve. When the syrup reaches 235 degrees F, remove it from the heat, add the gelatin, and mix. Pour the syrup into the whipped egg whites. Add the vanilla and continue whipping until stiff and mostly cooled. Transfer to a pastry bag with a large plain tip.
If you're not making the s'mores right away, just pipe the marshmallow directly onto icing sugar covered cookie sheets and let set until ready to use, at least 1 hour or overnight.
If you're serving them right away, lay half of the graham crackers on a cookie sheet. Top with chocolate pieces to cover, then pipe "kisses" of marshmallow to cover the chocolate. (If using store-bought marshmallows, place 3 marshmallows on top of the chocolate layer. Leftover homemade marshmallows should be stored in airtight containers.) Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake until the marshmallow is puffed and golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with the remaining graham crackers, pressing down slightly to make a sandwich. Serve immediately, while still warm.
*Homemade Graham Crackers*
1/2 cup plain flour
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 TBS runny honey
2 TBS mild molasses
1/4 cup cold water
1 tsp pure vanilla essence
Measure the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon into the bowl of a food processor. Blitz for a few seconds to combine. Drop in the butter and blitz again once or twice to combine until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Measure the water, honey, molasses and vanilla into a cup and mix well. Drizzle into the food processor through the feeder tube whilst the motor is running again, mixing until the dough starts to come together into a ball, probably only about 30 seconds or so.
Place the ball between two sheets of parchement paper and roll out to 1/8 inch thick. Chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour, longer if possible. Several hours is ideal.
Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Remove the dough from the fridge and remove the top sheet of parchment paper. Cut into 2 inch squares with a pizza cutter. Prick the top of each with a fork. Lift the whole thing on the parchment paper onto a baking sheet and bake for about fifteen minutes, until brown at the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool on the pan before breaking apart into squares.
Note: this post has been an entry in the Food In Film blogging event sponsored by Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook . Hop on over and take a peek!