In the past, I have professed my love for s’mores. So I was delighted, to the point of squealing schoolgirl, when we had dinner at Bonefish the other week and they had s’mores flatbread for dessert. Both girls, particularly Zoë, were going a bit nuts by the end of dinner. So I ordered dessert to go.
Getting the girls to bed was a bit trying, so I was really looking forward to rewarding myself with dessert. I skipped into the kitchen and found this waiting for me.
Henceforth known as Bird Poo Surprise
Doesn’t it look like a bird took a giant crap on the plate? Who thought it was a good idea to serve this to anyone? The flatbread was flavorless and chewy and the
Nutella chocolate hazelnut spread was lost in a puddle of overly sweet, melted marshmallow fluff. And I really don’t get the tiny little bit of brown. Were they trying to reinforce the bird poo effect by only caramelizing that one spot? Irritated, I sat there nomming on the flatbread, because it was there, and wondered what I would do to make this better. I needed to avenge my mouth and pocket of fat that was headed straight for my ass. I needed gastronomical justice!
It’s a thing, okay?
From the bottom up
The first thing that needed to be addressed was the flatbread. It was too thick, which caused me to have to use a knife to eat the dessert. The only time a dessert should ever require the use of a knife is to cut a piece of cake, pie, etc. The bread was also in desperate need of some flavor. Once the chocolate and marshmallow melted away in your mouth, all that was left was the taste of oil and flour.
Next, I needed the chocolate to not be a pussy and stand up for itself. If you can barely taste chocolate in anything s’mores related, you’ve done something wrong. I also wanted a way to fix the problem of the cloying sweetness.
Finally, the marshmallow. S’mores, in my opinion, are all about a perfectly toasted marshmallow. Get it wrong, and you may as well have an angry German slap it out of your hand into the fire and shout, Wieder!* For me, the marshmallow needs to be complete melty gooeyness encapsulated in brown, crisp, tenuous burnt sugar. Melted marshmallow bursts as you press it between the graham crackers. Shards of the caramelized sugar crunch as you bite into the s’more, adding smokey and buttery notes to your messy dessert.
Did I just write marshmallow porn? I think I just wrote marshmallow porn.
…..aaaaaaaand, after doing a quick Google search, that is apparently an actual thing. ……………. Ahem!
For the flatbread, I used this recipe. Since the flatbread from Bonefish was so bland, I wanted to make sure that this bread was flavorful, but would also play nicely with the other flavors. I used a roasted cinnamon, which had a robust flavor and an almost spicy quality to it. The thinner the rolled out dough is, the more likely the bread is to crisp up. If the finished product isn’t the desired level of crispness, or even after the bread has been sitting for a few days and needs to be revived, just pop slices into the toaster oven and toast like regular bread. Make sure the dough has come up to room temperature before trying to roll it out. If it’s really difficult to roll it out and the dough draws back in after each roll, it’s not ready. Let it warm up some more and try again.
Cherry Chocolate Sauce
I decided to make the chocolate component a cherry chocolate sauce. The tart, almost sour, flavor of the cherries help to balance all the sweetness. Bites of cherry also add some texture.
1 lb fresh cherries
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
Stem and rinse cherries. Place cherries in a pot with a wide bottom. Add water to the pot, just enough to cover the cherries. Over medium-high heat, bring cherries to a simmer, and simmer for 2 minutes. Turn off heat, cover the pot, and allow cherries to sit for an additional 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove cherries to a separate bowl and allow them to cool.
Remove lid from the pot and bring liquid from simmering the cherries to a boil. Reduce heat slightly and allow the liquid to simmer, reducing down to approximately 2 Tbsp of liquid.
Once cherries are cool enough to handle, remove pits. I used a paring knife and cut the cherries lengthwise down the middle, separating the sides. Gently remove the pit by prying it loose with your index finger and thumb.
To make the sauce, combine chocolate chips, cherry liquid, and heavy cream in a small pot. Over medium heat, melt the chocolate, stirring constantly. Remove from heat once the chocolate is just melted and allow to cool until slightly thickened. You may mix the cherry halves into the chocolate or serve separately.
I used this recipe for the marshmallows. If you’ve never made marshmallows before, do not be intimidated; it’s easier than you think. A couple things for these particular marshmallows: When the instructions say to mix until you have thick ribbons, this is what you’re looking for.
Secondly, I would suggest letting them sit for 8 hours or overnight. While the recipe says four hours is the earliest time you can remove the marshmallows, I still found the mixture to be gooey and not entirely set on the inside after 5-6 hours.
These marshmallows are delicious, especially once I set the brûlée torch on them. They are full of sweet, vanilla flavor and finished off with just a hint of spicy bourbon. If anything, my complaint would be that I wished for more bourbon flavor. I do like bourbon flavor, or a well-mixed Manhattan. I tried to taste the bourbon I used straight so I could describe the flavor. Unfortunately, this was basically my reaction.
Someday I’ll figure out how to embed GIFs.
The result? It was scrumptious! I still don’t know that flatbread beats the trusty graham cracker in terms of a delivery method, but it does make it prettier. I practically had to stab Mike to get him away from it once he had tasted it. And really, isn’t needing to stab someone the best indicator of having done something right?
Chocolate sauce recipe adapted from Food 52.