Give Me Some More

Chocolate, peanut, marshmallow. Who ate all the pies? Me, probably.

A month or so back, Chris aka All Things Meaty posted up an off-menu S'more cake he had in New York ... and it was the stuff of dreams.

I've been tweaking my double-butter peanut mousse recipe recently for an Opera cake, but thought I'd divert attention over to recreating the S'more cake this weekend. This recipe is the result. Since we don't have things like Graham Crackers or pudding cups over here, it's digestives and sabayon mousse instead.

Don't give too much of this to your kids, as this thing has sugar for days.

Ingredients (makes one pie)

For the crust

  • 200g Digestive biscuits (1 small pack)
  • 130g unsalted butter
  • 100g caster sugar

For the chocolate sabayon

  • 70g egg yolks
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 20g water
  • 150g bittersweet chocolate (63%)
  • 190g whipping cream

For the double-butter peanut sabayon

  • 40g egg yolks (around 2 large egg yolks)
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 65g smooth peanut butter

For the marshmallow topping

  • 110g egg whites
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 75g water
  • 4 leaves of gelatine

Equipment required

  • 20 cm fluted flan case
  • Stand mixer
  • Thermometer
  • Plastic piping bag and large piping head
  • A serious sugar craving

Make the case

Melt your butter in a pan until liquid, then set aside. Take your flan tin and spray it with baking spray or 1cal oil spray.

Weigh out your 200g of Digestive biscuits, then put them in a blender and whizz until powder-like. Pour the digestive crumbs into a bowl with the caster sugar, then pour over the melted butter. Use a spatula to blend the ingredients until fully combined and like wet sand.

Drop around half of the mix into your flan tin, then shake to level out. Now pour the rest around or near the edges so they can be built up. Press down on the base with the bottom of a mug or, if you have one, a small copper pot. Keep pushing the crust into the base and up the fluted sides of the tin to form a 1/2 cm thick layer by pressing down and rolling the mug or pot around the edges. If the mix starts to come over the top, put your finger level with the top of the tin as you press in order to keep it compact.

When you're happy things are looking solid, place on a tray and into your freezer while you carry on.

Make the chocolate sabayon layer

Attach a whisk to your stand mixer, and add the egg yolks to the bowl. Weigh out the caster sugar into a heavy bottomed pot, and place the water in there too.

Heat the sugar over a high heat, and turn the mixer up to its highest setting. Regularly measure the sugar's temperature with your thermometer; as soon as it hits 121 degrees C, remove from the heat and carefully pour the hot liquid over the yolks that are being whipped in the mixer. Leave this running until it gets to room temperature.

While it's cooling, take another pan and fill it with hot water. Put this over a low heat, and place a bowl over the top to create a bain marie. Add the chocolate into the bowl and gently melt it, then set aside.

Finally, when your sabayon is almost cool, whip up the whipping cream to a ribbon stage - not stiff enough to hold a peak, but firm enough to show a trail when you lift the beaters up.

Fold the cooled sabayon into the whipped cream, then mix in a third of the chocolate until well combined. Fold in the last 2/3 of melted chocolate more gently.

Take the case out of the freezer, and pour the mousse in - you want it to come up about half way so you leave room for the peanut layer. If you have too much, just pour it into a bowl to scoff later.

Shake the case (don't tap it or you might break the base) to level out the mix, then put it back in the freezer.

Make the peanut sabayon layer

Re-run the fun.

Attach a whisk to your stand mixer, and add the egg yolks to the bowl. Weigh out the caster sugar into a heavy bottomed pot, and place the water in there too.

Heat the sugar over a high heat, and turn the mixer up to its highest setting. Regularly measure the sugar's temperature with your thermometer; as soon as it hits 121 degrees C, remove from the heat and carefully pour the hot liquid over the yolks that are being whipped in the mixer. Leave this running until it gets to room temperature.

This is where it branches off from the chocolate layer. Pour out and reserve the sabayon. Clean the stand mixer bowl, attach a beater instead of a whisk, and whip up the unsalted butter on a high speed.

When the butter looks soft, reduce the speed and slowly (and over several additions), spoon the sabayon into the butter while still mixing.

Once combined, spoon in the peanut butter and whisk on high again until you have a really soft, thick mixture.

Remove the case from the freezer again - your chocolate layer should be set by now (around 30 minutes). Spoon over the peanut mousse and level out with a spatula. Put the case back in the freezer again.

Marshmallow topping and putting it all together

Soak the gelatine in some cold water and set aside.

Place the 100g of egg whites into your stand mixer with the whisk attachment fitted. Pour 75g of water into a heavy bottomed pot, add the 300g of sugar, and place over a high heat.

Use a thermometer to measure the temperature of the sugar - when it hits 115C, start to whip your egg whites. When it hits 118C, remove from the heat, squeeze the excess water out of the gelatine then (carefully, as it will bubble up) drop it into the syrup and mix with a wooden spoon or chopstick. Quickly trickle the hot syrup over the beaten egg whites. Leave this to whisk until completely cool.

While this is happening, prepare the piping bag - place the nozzle inside, then put it over a jug so it's easier to drop the marshmallow into - it'll be a sticky job!

Once the meringue has cooled, stop whisking and fill the piping bag. Try and remove any air bubbles from the bag by pressing the meringue down from the outside, then tie off or clip the bag.

Remove the pie from the freezer and snip the top off the piping bag to reveal the nozzle.

Start piping the mallows around the edge of the pie. Pull upwards to make them tall as you pipe each one. Once you've finished the complete circle, carry on with the next inner layer, and so on until the entire pie is covered. If you have any left, start piping a second layer over any gaps.

When you're happy, fire up your blow torch and burn the lot.

Let it defrost before eating - an hour or two at room temperature. The crust is quite delicate, and the mousse layers really light and soft - so you might want to cut slices before it comes up near room temperature. Torch the sliced sides before serving and enjoy responsibly.

It will keep for a number of days in the fridge. Unless you eat it.

Espresso & Peanut Butter S'more

Toasted coffee flavoured marshmallow in a soft peanut butter cookie sandwich

When I was 5 years old, I went to a friends birthday party. We had cake, played pass the parcel and then a game called "fluffy bunny". Each person had to stuff as many marshmallows as they could into their mouths, then try and say "I'm a fluffy bunny". I won (always the pig), but projectiled marshmallow pieces everywhere, and didn't eat another for about 15 years.

My marshmallow trauma is much milder these days, so thought I'd post up this twist on a classic American treat.

The mallow is made with a combination of freshly brewed espresso and ground espresso beans, while I'm using the very mild Koeze Cream-nut peanut butter (which you can now get at M&S in the UK) for the soft cookies.

Makes 4


For the marshmallow

  • 220g Caster sugar
  • 100ml Water
  • 30g Liquid glucose
  • 70ml freshly brewed espresso, cooled
  • 5 leaves of gelatine
  • 1tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1tsp Coffee liquor (Illy Cafe is a good choice)
  • 30g egg whites
  • 5g Dark roasted espresso beans, finely ground (fresh if you can)
  • Icing sugar to dust

For the cookies

  • 25g dark brown sugar
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 100g crunchy, unsalted peanut butter (Cream-nut works well)
  • 20g Dark molasses
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tbsp water (adjustable according to how dry your peanut butter is)
  • 50g Type 45 flour
  • 2g Bicarbonate of Soda

For the topping

  • Cocoa powder

Equipment required

  • Stand mixer
  • Thermometer
  • Tall sided baking tray, approx. 20cm x 20cm
  • Silicone mat
  • 7cm circular pastry cutter
  • Blow torch

For the mallow

Cut the gelatine leaves in half and place them in a bowl with the cooled espresso so that they are completely covered.

Place the caster sugar, liquid glucose and water in a heavy bottomed pot over a high heat. Put your thermometer in the liquid and let it rise to 127 degrees C. This process takes around 10 minutes.

While you're waiting for the sugar to heat, place your 30g of egg white in the stand mixer with the whisk attached. You have to be a little careful with over whipping the egg before time, so wait until the thermometer is around 124 or 125 degrees, then start whipping on a high heat.

At the 127 degree point - and do this carefully - slide the gelatine and cooled espresso into the hot sugar syrup. It will bubble away vigorously, and you'll need to give it a quick stir. At this point, your egg whites should be stiff but not over beaten. Keep the mixer on high, and slowly pour the syrup mixture down the side of the stand mixer bowl. Add the vanilla extract.

After 5 minutes, add the coffee liquor. Let this beat for another 5 minutes until relatively cool and extremely thick - you'll know when it's done because your stand mixer will start to sound like it has just run a marathon. Right at the last moment, tip in the ground espresso beans and let it mix for another 30 seconds.

Take a square, tall sided baking tray - approx 20 cm x 20 cm - and oil the base. Place a sheet of cling film on that and press it into the sides. Now gently oil the cling film, and scatter over some icing sugar so that all the oil is covered. When the mallow mix is ready, use a spatula to pour it out into the tray. Use a wet palette knife to smoothen the top. Place this in the fridge for about 2 hours to set.

For the cookies

Take a bowl and place the two sugars, butter, peanut butter, egg yolk, molasses and vanilla extract inside. Blend all of these together with a wooden spoon (or electric mixer) until you get a reasonably smooth paste. Sift in the flour and bicarb, then blend again until the mixture starts to resemble wet sand.

At this point, tip it out onto your work surface and press the dough together so that the heat of your hands starts to make it solid. Take 1 tbsp of water and add it to the mix to help the process; you may need 2 tbsp to make the dough come together. You're looking for something that resembles a cookie dough - hopefully the image here will help. Roll into a ball and press down. Cover this in cling film, then put into the freezer for 10 minutes to rest. Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees C.

As we're going to cut these cookies out, we'll initially bake the lot in one sheet. Take the dough from the freezer and place it on a silicone mat on top of a heavy tray. Dust your rolling pin with a little flour, then roll out the dough to a thickness of around 5mm. Place in the oven for 10 minutes.

When time is up, you should see that the cookies are golden but soft. Take them out, and cut 8 rounds with the cutter. Move away any cut-off biscuit (it's for the chef) and return the 8 rounds to the oven for a further 2 minutes to brown off the edges.


Take the marshmallow out of the fridge, and invert it onto an icing sugar dusted chopping board. Peel of the cling film, and use the same 7cm cutter from the cookie section to cut 4 rounds of mallow.

Place one round of mallow on your palette knife, then toast the edges and the top with a blow torch. It will probably catch fire, and that's what you want - just be careful not to burn your kitchen or any nearby loved ones.

When it looks suitably browned, slide the mallow from the knife onto one of the biscuit rounds, then top with a second round.

Repeat with the other 3 S'mores, then dust with the cocoa powder and serve while the mallow is hot and soft.