Camping and s’mores are two things that are entirely new to me. When the OH brought up the subject of camping, I quickly tried to change the subject. I just never envisioned myself as the type of person that would like camping. In Ireland camping is divided into two … emm … camps. Camping at music festivals, which is generally miserable and cold or camping in the great outdoors of Ireland which is also miserable and cold. So, I really wasn’t feeling too excited about camping at all. How and ever, a tent was purchased, along with a few other camping essentials such as bear spray and parachute cord, and a camping trip was planned. We started out with one night … and I have to say I really enjoyed it. For one, it was dry and warm. The scenery was wonderful, as was the smell and warmth from our little camp fire. I had a good night’s sleep in our tent under the stars and it felt great to be away from phones and general noise. The food we cooked was delicious – I think all food cooked outside has some extra umami flavor to it. And of course the s’mores, which is the sweetest part of any American camping trip. For the uninitiated, a s’more is basically two graham cracker halves sandwiched together with a toasted marshmallow and a square of chocolate which has melted with the hot marshmallow. It’s an ingenious and delicious treat. This dessert here is based on the idea of a s’more, but is more of a dinner party dessert than one for the camp fire. I made some giant home-made graham crackers which I covered then in ice-cream, toasted marshmallows, melted chocolate and caramel shards. It’s a pretty delicious dessert, and a sweet reminder of that toasty camp fire.
Based on a recipe by Smitten Kitchen
- 185g (1 and half cups) of white all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon of baking soda
- 85g (1/2 cup) of dark brown sugar
- 50g (3 and half tablespoons)of butter, cut into small cubes and frozen
- 50g (3 and half tablespoons)of honey
- 2 and 1/2 tablespoons of milk
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Sieve the flour and baking soda into a food processor. Add the brown sugar and pulse to combine. Next, add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse breadcrumbs. Put the honey, milk, and vanilla extract in a small bowl, and whisk together with a fork. Add this to the flour mixture and pulse together to combine. Gather the dough to form a large ball, wrap it in Clingfilm and put it in the fridge for at least an hour. Once the cookie dough has chilled, take it from the fridge and remove the clingfilm. Flour a large clean surface area and roll the dough out until it is an eighth of an inch thick. I made giant round cookies, but you can use any cookie cutter you like. Graham crackers are traditionally rectangular with a jagged line in the centre so you can break then in two. Place the cookies on two large baking trays, lined with parchment paper. Put the trays in the fridge to cool and harden for about 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 F / 180 C. Once the cookies have hardened slightly, put them in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes. Rotate midway through cooking, to ensure even browning. They should be golden brown and set when cooked. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire tray.
- Mini Marshmallows
- Vanilla ice-cream
- Caramel shards
I don’t give amounts, as you can make these s’mores one at a time … or as you need them 😉 To make the s’mores, freeze a disk of ice-cream that will fit neatly onto your giant graham cracker. Put the mini marshmallows on a large baking tray and place under a hot grill for about 3 minutes. They burn really quickly, so watch them carefully! Then, melt the chocolate over a saucepan of boiling water. The caramel shards, I had from another project I was working on. These are entirely optional. If you want to make some caramel pieces, melt 45 g/ 3 tablespoons of sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Heat the sugar until it melts. Then turn up the heat and wait for the syrup to caramelize. Take off the heat and allow the caramel to cool for a minute or two, and then pour it onto a sheet of parchment paper. I like to pour the caramel in swirly patterns and zig zags. Leave the caramel pieces to harden and cool.
To assemble, place the ice-cream disc on the cookie, then scatter the grilled marshmallows on top, pour the melted chocolate over the ice-cream and stick a few caramel pieces on top. Eh, voila! the ultimate s’more dessert.