Thursday, September 17, 2015

Graham Cracker Bundt with Chocolate Ganache and Toasted Marshmallow Frosting #BundtBakers

A s’more in Bundt form: This tender crumb cake is made with crushed graham crackers and chopped pecans, then covered in dark chocolate ganache. And, of course, the final ingredient has got to be marshmallows, so I added marshmallow frosting and toasted it with my handy kitchen torch.

Years ago, when I was a Girl Scout, I liked nothing better than to camp out with my fellow scouts – we were primarily a camping/hiking troop as we grew up and headed into high school – and the highlight of our trips was always the evening campfire, singing camp songs and roasting marshmallows for s’mores. Girl Scouts transformed me from the foreign girl to a friend, gave me my first real job out of college and helped me pass down skills and values to my daughters. But they also gave me a lifelong love and appreciation of campfires and making s’mores as a way of bonding in a group. Take this Bundt cake along to a potluck and see if folks don’t love you too!

The graham cracker cake is slightly adapted from this recipe from The Country Cook.
The marshmallow frosting is adapted from the boiled frosting recipe in Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook.

Ingredients
For the cake batter:
2 3/4 cups or 270g graham cracker crumbs (32 squares or two sleeves of the  three that come in a box) Good substitute: McVitie’s Digestive Biscuits
2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup or 200g sugar
1/2 cup or 113g butter, softened
5 egg yolks (Save two of the whites in a clean bowl for making the marshmallow frosting. Make meringues with the other three.)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup or 240ml milk
1 cup or 120g chopped pecans

For the dark chocolate ganache:
200g dark chocolate
7 oz whipping cream

For the marshmallow frosting:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons water
2 egg whites, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method
Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your Bundt pan by greasing and flouring it or spraying it with non-stick spray for baking. I used my classic 12-cup Bundt because I knew any pan details would be lost under the ganache and frosting but this would fit in a 10-cup Bundt pan without any problems.

If you are starting with actual graham crackers, pulverize them in a food processor or crush them into crumbs inside a plastic bag using a rolling pin.

Measure your flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon into the cracker crumbs and mix well.

Cream the butter and sugar until pale yellow and fluffy.

Add in 1/3 of the graham cracker mix and mix briefly.



Add in 1/3 of the milk and mix again. Continue adding 1/3 of the crumbs and 1/3 of the milk until it’s all mixed in.



Fold in the chopped pecans.



Spoon your thick batter into your prepare Bundt pan and baked for about 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. If you are using a small pan, it may take longer since the resulting cake will be deeper.



Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before turning the Bundt out onto a wire rack to cool completely.



To make the ganache: Break or cut your chocolate into small pieces. Heat your milk till just at the point of boiling and then remove it from the stove. Tip in the chocolate pieces and give it a stir.

Let the chocolate melt for a few minutes and then stir vigorously to combine. Keep stirring occasionally as the ganache cools and starts to thicken. If you'd like it to cool more quickly, pour it out of the hot pot into a clean bowl.



To make the marshmallow frosting:
Heat your sugar, cream of tartar, salt and water and in a small pot until it begins to boil. Insert a candy thermometer and continue boiling the mixture, without stirring, until it reaches a temperature of 260°F or 127°C.

Remove the pot from the heat. Whisk your egg whites on high in your stand mixer or with electric beaters until soft peaks form.

Still whisking at high speed, pour the hot sugar mixture into the egg whites in a thin but steady stream until all of the mixture is incorporated into the egg whites. Continue whisking until the bowl is no longer warm to the touch.



Finishing up
Once your Bundt is cool and the ganache is a good consistency for pouring – that is to say, still thick enough to spread out a little but not thin enough to drip right off the cake – spoon it over the Bundt cake. You can test this by lifting up a spoonful and dropping back in the bowl. The ganache should not settle right back in but sit in a mound of the top briefly before, once again, becoming one with the greater bowl.


Let the ganache harden up further until it’s fairly well set before piping on the frosting. Use a piping bag and a large hole tip to pipe the frosting onto the top of the Bundt.



Use a kitchen torch to gently toast the marshmallow frosting. This was the best part! It smelled just like marshmallows on a fire!


I honestly had no idea what this layering of toppings would do over time so I am delighted to report that the cake, ganache and frosting and all lasted several days – until it was eaten – just as pretty as day one. Only one word of warning: You cannot cover it with cling film so a cake cover is your best bet for keeping it fresh. I tested a small corner to see and even though the toasted marshmallow frosting feels a bit dry to the touch, cling film will stick to it.



Enjoy!



Many thanks to our host for this Creative S’more Bundt cake challenge from this month’s BundtBakers host, Lauren at From Gate to Plate.

Check out all the creative s’more Bundts we have for you this month!

BundtBakers

#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

Updated links for all of our past events and more information about BundtBakers, can be found on our home page.


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