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Cassis S'mores - A Valentine's Day Dessert

All photos were shot by Dror Einav



Tell me something - is there a more beautiful time of the year? That time around Valentine's day, when it's chilly out, the stores all wear red and pink hearts on their, all kinds of loving sales... No? wait, did I just make it all up?

Well, Valentine's day IS here, so.. what are you gonna do?

Usually one of 2 options: you either make plans to go to a nice restaurant, maybe a movie or a show, or you stay home and cook dinner, right?

Well, if it's the first one, this recipe is not meant for you. You can skip it.

If it's the latter, This one's for you. Go on.

S'mores - WTF?

So, I'm gonna assume if you're not Israeli, you know what a S'more is... But, just to be on the safe side I'll break it down for you.

You're a kid. Summer camp. Bonfire. Someone hands over a marshmallow on a stick, a piece of chocolate and a graham cracker. You do the only thing TO DO and burn that marshmallow. Then, as if your life depends on it, you remove the marshmallow from that stick onto the piece of chocolate, that's resting on the graham cracker. You take a bite.

Heaven.

Me, I'm a s'more lover, as everyone knows. Back in the day I wrote this recipe for a S'mores pie on my column. Just keep in mind - it's in Hebrew.



Let's break it down

Marshmallow - the first and most important ingredient. I chose to flavor it with Cassis paste, you can use any fruit you like. Graham Crackers - an all-time favorite, just like that, with a cup of coffee or a tea.

Chocolate - the ultimate Valentine's day sponsor. Right? Gotta have chocolate. I'm making a rich Chocolate ganache, using Valrhona chocolate, but of course, you can use any brand you like.


Alright, recipe time!

Cassis Marshmallow

55 g gelatin powder

110 ml filtered or mineral water

675 g granulated sugar

210 g inverted sugar, glucose or honey

440 g fruit puree, I chose to use Cassis

300 g inverted sugar, glucose or honey

Procedure

Mix the gelatin powder with the water and allow to absorb.

In a small saucepan, cook the smaller amount of inverted sugar with the granulated sugar, and the fruit puree to 110 degrees celsius.

In a mixer bowl, pour the cooked sugar sirup over the larger amount of inverted sugar.

Melt the bloomed gelatin in the microwave, then pour it over the hot sugars, and beat using the whip attachment on a medium-high speed until the mixture can form a ribbon that stays in form for at least 3 seconds.

Once the mixture is ready, and has reached 35-40 degrees celsius (slightly higher than body temperature), remove from the mixer.

Prepare a silicone matt powdered with corn starch. Remove the marshmallow onto the silicone matt. Powder the top of the marshmallow with corn starch as well, cover with a second silicone matt (you can also use a baking sheet if you don't have silicone matts), and using a rolling pin roll it out gently to about 2" thick.

Leave it to stabilize, about 1 hour. You can leave it overnight as well.

Cutting the marshmallow is done with a sharp knife of scissors, using some corn starch on it to avoid sticking.

Keep it in an airtight container.


Graham Crackers

170 g soft butter, at room temperature

70 g light brown sugar

55 g white sugar

1 t honey

255 g white flour

1/2 t baking soda

1/2 t cinnamon

1/2 t ground cardamon

1/4 t salt

Procedure

In a mixer with a paddle attachment, mix the butter, sugars and honey.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour, soda, cinnamon, cardamon and salt.

Add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl, mixing on a low speed, just until dough forms.

Avoid over mixing here.

Remove the dough from the mixer bowl and divide into 2 pieces, flatten and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

You can keep this dough in the fridge for up to 5 days, and in the freezer up to 3 months.

Once the dough has cooled, heat up the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Using a microplan, you can grade the dough onto a sheet pan lined with baking paper.

Bake for about 15 minutes, until the sides become slightly golden.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Me, personally, I like it when there are chunks on my plate. So, using my fingers I crumble the graham crackers, leaving some of them chunkier, and some of them more crumbly.

Once the crackers have cooled completely, you can store them in an airtight container.


Milk Chocolate Ganache

150 g milk chocolate

100 g heavy cream

1 disposal piping bag, or a zip lock

Procedure

Place the chocolate pieces in a bowl.

In a small saucepan, boil the heavy cream, then pour on the chocolate.

Wait for a few seconds, then, using a spatula, mix the ganache until it is smooth and shiny.

Pour the homogenous ganache into a piping bag or a zip lock, close it and place in the fridge for about an hour.



Assembling the Dessert

This is the best part!!

Once we have all 3 components prepared, all that's left is to plate our dessert!

Save this part to the end of the meal, after drinking at least one bottle of wine, hints of bread on the table, plates in the sink.

On a nice plate, place some marshmallow cuties.

If you have a blow torch, now's the time to roast them. If you don't - go old school - put them on a stick and roast them on your stove, then place on the plate.

Take the ganache out of the fridge, cut the tip of the bag, and pipe a few dots on the plate. Play with it a little, pipe some dots more generous than the others.

Spread some crackers in between, make some more crumbly, for the interesting texture.

Now, serve, grab a spoonfull with everything on it, and go to town.

Bon Apetite.

May you love, and eat well, every day, not just on Valentine's day.

Cheers!

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