The most rich chocolate cake baked over its aromatic browned butter graham cracker crust and coated with a glossy semisweet chocolate ganache and soft pillows of marshmallow frosting that will simply melt in your mouth. S’mores turned cake that will leave you amazed!
Hope you had a fabulous Labor Day weekend! Mine was very chill. On Friday I had dinner with friends, both Saturday and Sunday I worked and visited my dogs and yesterday I laid out and tanned at Long Beach, LI. This time no sun poisoning- thank goodness! But as promised, I brought you… S’mores Cake, YAY! And if the pictures don’t give this cake justice to its deliciousness, believe me, this is one of my best cakes made in a long time.
I’m fully aware I am very late in showing you Summer’s most favorited treat but honestly, do you really care? Because all I see, is something gorgeously distracting and I could just faceplant straight in. Feel me? I find s’mores to be an enjoyable treat any time of the year and gosh darnit, I clearly have not made enough of it here on URBAN BAKES therefore, before Summer’s officially over, I’m taking a moment to cross this one off my list. Now I can get on with my pumpkin-everything posts because we all know how excited you are for pumpkin! ;-)
I have a bit of a funny but chaotic story behind this cake and I’d like to share with you some of the drama that goes on in my kitchen. Though I’ve come to realize most of it is in my head and I’m hoping in some twisted way you can relate so I don’t feel like the I’m the only one this happens to.
A few weeks ago I attempted to make this same recipe and the assembly failed terribly. Here’s a thumbnail to show you my sorry looking disaster. Keeping this picture small to prevent pinning if that’s even possible and for anyone who does, I have my eyes on YOU! Just kidding. In all seriousness, failures from testing such as this is a part of the job. My original intent was to make a 2 – 3 layered cake but clearly that didn’t work so I took a different approach. I instead, decided to start with two a single-layered cakes using my newest favorite chocolate cake recipe, Devils Food!
The making of two cakes from the same recipe was done for two reasons. First and foremost, with a limited amount of time, I didn’t want to make the same mistake twice. Secondly, I had it in mind to keep one for myself (because I LOVE s’mores) while the other was brought to a home dinner on Friday. Let me tell you… THANK GOODNESS this recipe calls for not one but TWO single layered cakes because I almost had another catastrophe!
Get this, the first of the two cakes made not only briefly caught on fire… YES, you read that right, caught on fire but as I frantically pulled it out from the oven, it was THISCLOSE to having the wired rack holding the cake above the sheet pan slip out from my hands and onto the floor. Luckily, I caught the balance of the tray in time to save the cake. I continued my work while now under much stress, sweating bullets and saying the most profane words in my mind, “if this cake doesn’t make it…[fill the blank- you get the point].” I took my kitchen scissors snipped the burned tips of the marshmallow frosting which made it look worse but continued anyway with dusting the cake in graham cracker crumbs. Now it was ready to be placed on the table so I can repeat the process for cake number 2.
Lo and behold, as I grabbed the sheet pan, the cake went flying off the wire rack and plopped lopsidedly onto the kitchen counter. Marshmallow peaks splattered and now there was a mess I had to stop and clean. “I guess this one is the one I’ll keep.”
As if the pressure and a race against time wasn’t bad enough, I was under more stress to make the third and final cake perfect. Absolutely no room for error; this one had to go to through photos and be served for the dinner gathering. So after almost burning down my apartment and destroying 2 cakes, I somehow managed to make this last remaining cake come out a success and everyone who tried it, loved it! Which in the end, that’s all I care about.
The cakes by no means are difficult to make. The process to some may be a bit tedious if you’re not accustomed to having detailed cakes but trust me, it’s so worth it. I’d take this cake over any bakery’s s’mores cake any day. I hope you enjoy this one too! Later this year I just may attempt this again making a 2-layered cake because deep inside, that’s what I really wanted to make but for now, this will do.
PS: As a fair warning, watch the height of the marshmallow peaks as you place it under the broiler. Don’t want you making the same mistake.
- 10 tablespoons butter
- 1 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups boiling water
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso or instant coffee powder
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 6 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Using a baking spray with flour, generously grease bottom and sides of 2 8 or 9-inch round baking pans; set aside.
- In 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter until it becomes a dark golden brown and has a nutty aroma, 5 to 7 minutes. Note: if using softened butter, browning will be much faster, within 2 to 3 minutes.
- Quickly and carefully transfer browned butter to a medium bowl. Mix in graham cracker crumbs and sugar.
- Press half the crust mixture into the bottom of each of the two prepared baking pans. Use the back of a measuring cup to press the crust together to seal any gaps; set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.
- In another medium bowl, whisk boiling water, cocoa, chocolate chips and instant espresso or instant coffee until smooth.
- In a large bowl using an electric mixer cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add sour cream and vanilla and continue beating until well combined.
- On low speed, beat in flour mixture in 3 parts alternating with the chocolate mixture. Note: do not over beat. Mix until just combined. Divide and pour batter evenly over the prepared graham cracker crust.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of each cake comes out clean. Be careful to not insert toothpick into the crust as this may cause a false reading of doneness.
- Allow cakes to cool in pans for 10 to 15 minutes. Place a plate over the cake pan and invert to release cake onto the plate. Using an oven-safe wired rack, gently place it over the graham cracker crust and invert to keep the cake right-side-up. Allow cakes to continue cooling to room temperature before pouring on the ganache.
- Meanwhile, place heavy cream in a 2-quart saucepan set over medium heat. Continue to heat heavy cream until hot, not simmer or boil. Remove and pour cream over chocolate chips. Gently stir until all chocolate has melted.
- Set aside to cool to room temperature or until ganache can be dropped by the spoonful.
- Once ganache is set and cakes are cooled, pour and even spread ganache over the cakes. Allow ganache to set in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours or overnight.
- Fill half a 2-quart saucepan with water and set over medium-high heat. Once water begins to simmer, place a heat-proof bowl over saucepan. Add egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar; whisk until combined and sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes. Transfer egg white mixture into a large bowl.
- Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat mixture until it becomes white and soft peaks form. Add vanilla. Continue mixing until stiff peaks form.
- To create marshmallow clouds, place frosting into a piping bag; cut tip of bag. Twist the top of the bag and either hold dominant hand in place there or using a twist tie to prevent backflow of frosting. Using your dominant hand, rest bag at a 0 degree angle (vertically) about ½ to 1-inch over the top of the cake. Squeeze frosting and lift back to create the peak. Continue until the top of cake is covered in frosting.
- With the oven rack set in its highest position, turn on broiler. Place wire racks that is holding the cakes over a baking sheet and broil to create “toasted marshmallows,” about 1 minute. Note: Ensure no part of the cake and its frosting touches the broiler or the fire. Lower the position of the oven rack if the peaks are too high.
- Dust cake with extra graham cracker crumbs and drizzle with any remaining ganache. ENJOY!
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