Articles & Recipes

S’mores Cups (nut-free, soy-free, vegan)

July 24, 2017

Remember when you went camping as a kid? One of the highlights for Rebecca Coleman, author of Aquafabulous!, was the gooey warmth of a marshmallow toasted on a stick. It was even better if you sandwiched it between two graham crackers with some chocolate. This is a slightly more grown-up version of s’mores, perfect for summer! No campfire required . . . though you can use a torch.

Ingredients Makes 6 cups

1 cup vegan graham cracker crumbs 250 mL
1⁄4 cup vegan butter alternative, melted 60 mL
1⁄2 cup chopped 70% bittersweet (dark) vegan chocolate 125 mL
3 tbsp unsweetened non-dairy milk (approx.) 45 mL

1⁄4 cup aquafaba 60 mL
2 tbsp granulated sugar 30 mL
1⁄8 tsp cream of tartar 0.5 mL
1⁄8 tsp vanilla bean seeds (see Tips) 0.5 mL

Instructions

Prep
  • Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C)
  • Stand mixer fitted with wire whisk attachment (or hand mixer)
  • 6-cup muffin pan, lined with paper liners
  • Propane or butane torch (optional)
  1. In a small bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs and melted butter to combine.
  2. Place 2 tbsp (30 mL) graham cracker mixture in bottom of each muffin cup, then pack down with a glass.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in pan on a wire rack.
  4. Fill a small saucepan with 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) water and bring to a gentle simmer over medium-high heat. In a heatproof metal bowl, combine chocolate and non-dairy milk. Set metal bowl on saucepan so that it fits tightly and doesn’t touch the water below. Stir chocolate until melted and smooth. You want the ganache to be smooth, glossy and fairly runny, not thick and lumpy. If it is too thick, add a little more milk.
  5. Spoon about 2 tbsp (30 mL) melted chocolate over each graham cracker base, then shake pan to spread it around so that it forms an even layer. Transfer to freezer for at least 30 minutes.
  6. In mixer bowl, combine aquafaba, sugar, cream of tartar and vanilla seeds. Set mixer speed to low and beat for 2 minutes. Turn up speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes. Set to highest speed and beat mixture until fluffy and peaks form, about 4 to 6 minutes. It will have a similar texture to marshmallow fluff.
  7. Spoon as much fluff as possible into each muffin cup, then return to fridge for at least 30 more minutes or overnight. You may have leftover fluff (see Tips).
  8. Just before serving, pop cups out of muffin tins, peeling back paper liners. Use a torch to toast the tops, if desired, and serve (see Tips).
To make this recipe gluten-free, use gluten-free graham crackers. Make sure to use sugar that has not been filtered through bone char, because it’s not vegan. You can use any leftover marshmallow fluff to top hot chocolate, waffles, berries or cakes. To toast tops of s’mores: Hold the torch 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 cm) from surface of s’mores. Wave it over the marshmallow fluff until it is golden and the tops are caramel-colored. You can make this recipe ahead of time. Complete the recipe up to the end of Step 5. Before serving, pull from the fridge, top with marshmallow fluff, torch and serve. Vanilla beans not only add a vanilla flavor (oddly enough) to dishes, but the flecks of bean throughout the finished dish are also very aesthetically pleasing. You can buy them in a few different forms: whole beans, paste and powder. You can purchase whole vanilla beans in many gourmet food shops and in the baking section of well-stocked grocery stores. Using a paring knife, carefully run the blade down the length of the vanilla bean, opening it up. You can then use the tip of the knife to scrape out the seeds inside. The scraped-out pods can be used to flavor milks, make vanilla simple syrup or infuse sugar. Another option is to buy vanilla bean paste. In this case the seeds have been preserved (usually in bourbon). I like to use ground vanilla bean powder, which comes in small glass jars. It introduces no extra moisture (as is the case with vanilla bean paste) and there’s no fuss or mess. You just have to measure, then add it to your recipe.

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