The secret to making great s'mores

June 8, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Learn the secret to making a delicious chocolate treat from Chuck Siegel of Charles Chocolates in Emeryville. Plus, a preview of this year's Great American Food & Music Festival.

Recipe: Smores

Ingredients for the Graham Crackers:

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup graham flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • For the Marshmallows:
  • 3 envelopes of Knox gelatin
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cups corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Chocolate: These are best with a very high quality bittersweet chocolate such as Scharffen Berger, E. Guittard or Valrhona.

Make the Graham Crackers

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Cream the butter, sugars, and honey in a mixer on medium speed until soft and fluffy. Sift together the flours, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon, and put into the mixing bowl. Mix on slow speed until just combined. Using your fingers, press the dough together until it forms a ball.

Flour a clean/dry surface with graham flour and roll out the dough to 12" x 12-inch square and then cut into nine 4-inch squares. Prick the squares with a fork and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake the dough until the top is golden brown, slightly blistered, and dry-looking, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let cool on a rack.

Make the Marshmallows

In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water. Soak for 10 minutes. Combine sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil hard for 1 minute. Pour boiling syrup into gelatin and mix at high speed. Add the salt and beat for 12 minutes. Add vanilla and incorporate into mixture. Scrape into a 9 x 9-inch pan lined with oiled plastic wrap and spread evenly. (Note: Lightly oil hands and spatula or bowl scraper). After pouring marshmallow mixture into the pan, take another piece of plastic wrap and press mixture into the pan.

Let mixture sit for a few hours. Remove from pan, dredge the marshmallow slab with confectioners' sugar and cut into nine 3" square pieces with kitchen scissors or a very sharp knife. Dredge each piece of marshmallow in confectioners' sugar.

Assemble

Top each graham cracker with a 3-inch square of bittersweet chocolate and a 3-inch square of marshmallow (melted chocolate makes a great "glue" for this. Place assembled S'mores on a baking sheet and place under a broiler (in the middle of the oven, not at the top where they will burn quickly). Watch them very closely and remove once the marshmallow is well browned. Serve.

Makes 9 servings.

Charles Chocolates
6529 Hollis Street (between 65th & 66th Streets)
Emeryville, CA, 94608
510.652.4412
888.652.4412
charleschocolates.com

Catch Chuck Siegel and View from the Bay contributing chef Bruce Aidells at the Great American Food & Musical Festival! (ABC7 is a sponsor of the event)
June 13 at the Shoreline Amphitheatre

A one-day event, hosted by chef and Food Network personality Bobby Flay, celebrating the rich traditions of classic American fare and music. Legendary purveyors of classic American food, celebrity chefs and extraordinary musicians will come together for the first time ever, at an affordable price. (www.greatamericanfoodandmusicfest.com ). Plus: Local Bay Area restaurants will vie for the burger crown.

There will also be a line-up of Food Network stars including: Guy Fieri (Diners, Drive-ins and Dives), Anne Burrell (Secrets of a Restaurant Chef), and Aida Mollenkamp (Ask Aida), as well as Bay Area favorites: Nate Appleman (A16), June Taylor (June Taylor Jams), Bruce Aidells, Chris Cosentino (Incanto), Boulevard's Nancy Oakes, and Chuck Siegel (Charles Chocolates), all on hand to demonstrate their culinary skills. The food-filled festivities will be highlighted by performances by Little Feat, Marshall Crenshaw, and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, among many others.

Some of the most acclaimed culinary establishments in the country will be also serve their specialties, including: Katz's Deli (NY), Pink's Hot Dogs (LA), Barney Greengrass (NYC), Graeter's Ice Cream (Cincinnati), Southside Market & Barbecue (Texas), Anchor Bar (Buffalo, NY; inventor of Buffalo wings), Junior's (cheesecake; Brooklyn), Zingerman's Deli (Michigan) and Tony Luke's Cheesesteaks (Philadelphia). Burgermeister, Charles Chocolates, Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery, and more. For serious wine lovers there will also be a wine tasting section, featuring West coast wines, curated by experts Josh Wesson, co-owner of the unique Best Cellars, and Gary Vaynerchuck, host of Wine Library TV.

The Bay Area's favorite burger joints will compete in a burger smackdown, presented by SF Weekly. Chefs from Burgermeister, Pearl's, MO's, and the Bistro Burger will duke it out for the title of San Francisco's Best Burger. The cook-off will be judged by host Bobby Flay, Guy Fieri and a panel of culinary experts.

Saturday, June 13th, 2009
(Event runs from Noon - 10pm)
Shoreline Amphitheatre
Mountain View, California

Burger challenge starts at 4:45pm (Judging at 5:30pm)


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