You know, I thought these would have been a lot harder than they really were.
In reality, they are pretty much just like making a cupcake with lots of frosting.
I have had meringue on my list of things I really want to make for a while now. Meringue has always kind of scared me a bit because everyone has these disaster stories about how theirs ended up being a total flop.
I hate when I have disasters. They make me feel like a total failure, so I try to avoid them at all cost.
But I really wanted to make meringue.
So I told myself I would start with an easier one and work my way up to the ones you actually have to bake and leave in the oven for like hours or even overnight. I know people says they are easy and I am sure if you are a master baker they are, but I am just entering the world of meringue. It’s new to me, so I am starting out slooow.
Well, that is what I told myself a few days ago, but now I have big ideas.
Hoping you guys are meringue people.
Since my family needs chocolate after like every meal I still found a way to incorporate some.
Basically, I trashed up a classic lady-like dessert with s’more. So typical of me…I know.
Maybe the next meringue dessert I can try to go classic. Or maybe not.
I mean, in my book, chocolate’s always good.
Also, I really love using my blow torch.
And I don’t have one of those wimpy kitchen torches. I stole my dad’s real blow torch and honestly, I should not be left alone with it. SCARY.
So like I said, these are actually pretty easy. You start with some cheaters chocolate mousse that takes seconds to make. I am all for the real eggy mousse and if you want you can totally use this recipe instead of my “cheater version”. I just wanted to try to keep things as simple as possible and not make the recipe too hard with tons of dishes to clean. After the mousse, make the mini chocolate cakes with graham cracker crusts and… well that’s basically it.
You want to let the cakes cool off a little before you add the meringue. If you don’t have a blow torch, the broiler works great too, but don’t forget about them!! Been there, done that. So not fun.
But these cakes are so fun. And good! I mean, what’s not fun about s’mores? That’s something no one can deny.
- Cheaters Chocolate Mousse
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 4 ounces semi-sweet or milk chocolate, chopped
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Graham Cracker Crust
- 9 sheets graham crackers
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- Chocolate Cakes
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg, at room temperature*
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup strong brewed coffee, hot
- 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 cup caster sugar (may sub granulated, but caster is much better)*
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
To make the mousse add the chocolate to a microwave safe bowl and microwave on 30 second intervals, stirring after each, until melted and smooth.
Add the heavy cream to a large bowl and whip with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Whisk in the melted chocolate, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth and thick. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge until ready to use.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 6 (8 ounce) ramekins with cooking spray. May also use 12 cupcake molds, greased or with liners. Set aside.
Crush the graham crackers by hand, until they are fine crumbs, or process in a food processor for several pulses. Add the honey and mix, or pulse, to combine. Add the butter and mix until thoroughly combined. Press the crumbs firmly into the ramekins or cupcake liners being sure to push it up the sides of the ramekins or cups.
In a medium size bowl combine the flour, sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand held mixer) beat together the eggs, buttermilk, canola oil and vanilla until smooth.
Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients with the mixer on low until there are no longer any clumps of flour. Add the hot coffee and mix until combined. Batter should be pourable, but not super thin. Stir in the chocolate chips, if using.
Pour the batter among the ramekins or cupcake tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until tops are just set and no longer wiggly in the center. Remove and let cool five minutes, then run a knife around the edges of the pan. Dump the ramekins out and then carefully flip them back over so they are standing upright. Allow to cool 10 minutes and then Use a small paring knife to cut a cone-shaped piece from the center of each cake. Spoon the mousse into the holes allowing it to over flow out onto the top of the cake. Place in the freezer for 20 minutes or in the fridge for longer or until ready to make the meringue.*
Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk until stiff peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, whisking well, until the mixture is stiff and glossy. Now add the vinegar and whisk until just combined.*
Spread the meringue mixture over the cakes and place on a baking sheet. Either use a kitchen torch to set the meringue all over on top or cook under the broiler for 1-2 minutes or until the meringue is set and golden. These are best served immediately, but can be kept in the fridge if needed, but the meringue with soften and become moist much like a frosting. I recommend trying to add the meringue once you are ready to eat.
*The cupcakes can be eaten frozen or from the fridge. It’s up to you what you prefer. Frozen is more like ice cream and the fridge is very mousse like.
*You’ll know when the meringue is stiff and glossy because the mixture will have tripled in volume and stands up when the beaters are lifted.
*Meringue adapted form Seasons by Donna Hay and cake is adapted from my [chocolate cake | http://www.halfbakedharvest.com/simple-chocolate-birthday-cake-whipped-chocolate-buttercream/].
Just look at that. Can’t get enough.
If you make this recipe, be sure to tag your photo #halfbakedharvest.