May Peace Be Upon You.
We all know that food doesn’t always look perfect.
Tell me about it. This was the first time I made s’mores. Wait, you’ve never heard of one? Boy, are you in for a treat. A s’more is this gloriously yummy dessert of roasted marshmallows that is topped with melted chocolate, all of which is smacked between the goodness of two graham crackers. Basically, it’s a graham cracker sandwich with ooey gooey marshmallows and the most addictive ingredient in the world (of course). Don’t tell me you’re not craving a s’more right now.
Where does the name come from? It comes from the contraction “some more”. If you say it really fast, it sounds like “s’more”. The word “s’more” probably came into existence after people used the term so much. So there’s today’s history lesson out of the way. Now, a s’more is the epitome of nighttime camping out in the wilderness. You would have your tent, your flashlight, your warm fire, your ghost stories, your fireflies, and of course, your ooey gooey s’mores. But since I didn’t have that nostalgic camping experience to go by, I decided to make my own s’mores for once. Here’s how it went down:
One night, as I was hungry for dessert and needed a quick fix, I realized that we had all the ingredients needed to make s’mores. So I gave it a go. For the graham crackers, we had some Digestive Biscuits lying around so I used those. They’re not really graham crackers, but I didn’t mind half as much. My s’more craving had gotten that bad. I also had a pack of Halal Bebeto-brand marshmallows which were matcha green tea-flavoured. Please don’t ask me why I used that flavour for s’mores, but as the marshmallows were halal since they were made with Islamically-slaughtered beef gelatin, I used ‘em too. And for the chocolate, Hershey’s Chipits i.e chocolate chips came to the rescue. They also doubled as emergency chocolate rations when someone needed a pick-me-up (ahem). As you can see, improvisation was the order of the day.
To assemble a s’more, I worked my way from the bottom of the sandwich to the top. First, I put one digestive biscuit down on my toaster oven tray [I'll talk about the toaster oven in a bit]. This digestive biscuit would be the bottom of the s’more. Then, on top of the biscuit, I put two marshmallows next to each other. Fluffy little pillows, they were. Now traditionally, you would roast your marshmallows on a stick to get that roasted puffed-up beauty. Since I didn’t have a crackling fire at my disposal, I used my toaster oven instead to roast the marshmallows. The idea was that if the toaster oven was on the ‘toast’ setting for about 2 minutes, the marshmallows would puff up to nearly double their size, toast evenly and not burn to a crisp. And Alhamdulillah, that is exactly what happened. But I should warn you, if you try this at home, be careful to watch the marshmallows closely so they don’t toast too much and burn to smithereens. I mean, you wouldn’t want to burn your campfire dessert dream down at a time like this, would you?
So the s’more bottoms got toasted for 2 minutes in the toaster oven. Now, this is when I had to work real quick and careful. When I carefully took the s’more bottoms out of the toaster oven, the digestive biscuits that I used went crumbly and broke easily. Look at the picture at the top of the post for reference. As you can see, the biscuit started snapping in pieces. But still, they managed to hold their stuff together, so I surged forward with Operation Quick Fix. Working quickly, I strategically put a few chocolate chips on and around the warm puffed-up marshmallows, in spaces where they would stay put and not fall down. This is so that the chocolate would melt a bit from the marshmallows’ warmth and become ooey gooey just like the marshmallows. Finally, I put another digestive biscuit on top to complete the sandwich and pressed the tops down a bit, so that the sandwich would stick together and wouldn’t fall apart.
Phew, it sounds like a bit of work for just one delicious bite of summer flashbacks.
But it was pretty much worth it, don’t you think?
Here’s the third time that I attempted s’mores, when I had enough time for a picture. I’d say that it was a great improvement compared to the first time I made s’mores. The biscuits didn’t crumble as much and the s’mores as looked as cute as a button. Plus, they tasted awesome. Just goes to show, marshmallows and chocolate can fix just about everything.
Here’s a visual that I made to help you assemble a homemade s’more. It’s pretty self-explanatory, so take a look.
Of course, I kept the above visual really simple. But this visual sponsored by REI (a camping gear company) – my oh my, it has everything you’ve ever wanted to know about s’mores. From its history, technique, ember science, variety, the eternal question, and a survivor checklist – this inforgraphic has you covered on all things s’mores. Click on the infographic to take a closer look.
Here’s another cool s’mores infographic made by belancio, who is part of web’s largest information design community, Visually . The one includes 9 variations on s’mores (which weren’t included in the above visual), the 10 common techniques used for roasting marshmallows, and a brief history on those fluffy pillows.
Click on the infographic to take a closer look.
Check out AllRecipes’ (Homemade) S’mores Recipe: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Smores/Detail.aspx?event8=1&prop24=SR_Thumb&e11=smore&e8=Quick%20Search&event10=1
Anyways, here are the various ways you can roast the marshmallows:
By Campfire: There are two contributing factors to how your marshmallow will melt and get roasted. Firstly, according to REI‘s inforgraphic, you can use 2 kinds of campfire heat sources: 1) Glowing embers, which “will heat the marshmallow throughout for a hot creamy texture, sealed with a light brown crust”, or 2) A young dancing flame, which will “quickly sear the marshmallow coating, keeping the interior cool and firm”. Keeping the flame types in mind, there’s also a marshmallow roasting scale that you can follow, which is similar to a steak searing scale, in that it depends on the amount of time the marshmallow is roasted and on campfire temperature. For a rare interior, roast the marshmallow for 1 minute. Medium-rare will take approximately 2.5 minutes, medium will be achieved at 3 minutes, well-done at 4 minutes, ’blackened’ at 4.2 minutes, and ‘aflame’ at 4.3 minutes. Take a look at REI‘s inforgraphic (the grey one) for a visual graph.
By Oven: Set the oven temperature at 400 F. Prep the s’mores by putting graham crackers (one per person) onto an parchment-covered oven tray. Put 4 square pieces of a chocolate bar (or 4-5 chocolate chips) on top of the graham crackers. Then, put one round marshmallow (or 2 square marshmallows) on top of the chocolate. Put the prepped oven tray into the oven, and keep a close watch on the marshmallows and chocolate for about 2 minutes. You want the marshmallow to double in size and get nice brown toast spots, and you want the chocolate to be melted but not burnt. When this has been accomplished, quickly take the oven tray out and top with the remaining graham crackers (1 per person) and press down slightly. ome of the s’more interior may ooze out, but that’s okay. Let cool for 3-4 minutes, or until cool enough to bite into without getting burnt.
By Gas Stove Flame: Prep the s’mores by putting graham crackers (one per person) onto an parchment-covered tray. Put 4 square pieces of a chocolate bar (or 4-5 chocolate chips) on top of the graham crackers. To roast a marshmallow, stick the tine ends of a fork into marshmallow for support. Turn on your gas flame to low, and hold marshmallow about 1 inch over the gas burner flames. Follow the ‘by campfire’ marshmallow roasting technique from the beginning, as detailed above.
By Toaster Oven: Prep the s’mores by putting graham crackers (one per person) onto an parchment-covered toaster oven tray. Then put one round marshmallow (or 2 square marshmallows) on top of the graham cracker. Put the prepped toaster oven tray into the toaster oven, and set the toaster oven to ‘toast’ for 2 minutes. Keep a close watch on the marshmallows: you want the marshmallow to double in size and get nice brown toast spots. When this has been accomplished, quickly take the toaster oven tray out and strategically put 4 square pieces of chocolate, roughly chopped (or 4-5 chocolate chips) around the roasted marshmallows. Quickly top with the remaining graham crackers (1 per person) and press down slightly. Some of the s’more interior may ooze out, but that’s okay. Let cool for 3-4 minutes, or until cool enough to bite into without getting burnt.
By Microwave: Follow this great wikihow article: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Smores-in-a-Microwave
By Candle: Candle wax may transfer a waxy flavour to the marshmallows, so this method is not recommended.
By Barbecue: Coming soon.
By Lighter: Coming soon.