This recipe says “party,” so no surprise it comes from Rebecca Rather’s “Pastry Queen Parties.” The author says she makes the cupcakes ahead of time, then swirls on the marshmallow topping and browns it just before serving. All the flavors of the famous campfire treat are there, too, from the graham crackers to broiled marshmallow topping — and plenty of chocolate in between.
Graham Cracker Base:
2 cups graham crackers (about 16 whole crackers)
1 cup (2 sticks unsalted butter), melted
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (two sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 cup high-quality unsweetened cocoa (such as Green & Black’s or Scharffen Berger)
3/4 cup brewed coffee, or 1 tablespoon espresso powder, fully dissolved in 3/4 cup hot water
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 (12-ounce) bag large milk chocolate chips, (such as Ghirardelli)
8 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
To make the Graham Cracker Base: In a bowl, stir together the crumbs, the 1 cup melted butter and the 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
To make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line Texas or standard-size cupcake tins with paper cupcake liners. For the crust, press the graham cracker base into the bottom of each well; about 3 tablespoons for a Texas-size cupcake; about 2 tablespoons for a standard-size.
Melt the 1 cup butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the cocoa and whisk until smooth. Add the coffee and whisk until smooth. Add the 2 cups sugar, eggs, buttermilk and vanilla to the warm cocoa mixture. Whisk until smooth. Add the flour, baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon salt and whisk until incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Evenly divide the batter to fill each cup almost to the top of the muffin papers. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and when the cupcake feels firm when lightly pressed in their center, 20-25 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes and invert onto wire cooling racks. Cool for at least 30 minutes before decorating.
To make the marshmallow topping: Set a large, perfectly clean metal bowl over a pot filled with 2 inches of lightly simmering water. Add the egg whites and the 1 1/2 cups sugar and heat, whisking constantly, until the sugar melts and there are no visible sugar grains in the meringue. (Rub a little bit of meringue between your fingers to make sure all the sugar has melted.) Remove the meringue from the heat and beat it with an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on high speed until the meringue is stiff and shiny, about 5 minutes.
To assemble cupcakes: Spoon the marshmallow topping into a pastry bag fitted with an open star tip. Pipe the topping onto each cupcake in a circular motion, starting at the outside edge of the cupcake and working toward the center. I like to pipe it on generously so that it comes to a peak in the center that is 2 to 2 1/2 inches high. Or, pile the topping on top of the cupcakes. Style it with your fingers by plucking at it to tease it into jagged spikes or shape with a spoon. Using a kitchen torch, brown the marshmallow by moving the flame slowly around the topping, avoiding the cupcake papers until it is evenly golden brown.
Alternatively, you can brown the topping under a broiler. Set the cupcakes on a baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven and broil until the meringue topping turns golden brown, about 1 minute. Watch the cupcakes closely, as they can go from browned to burnt in seconds. Serve the same day you make them.
You can make these cupcakes in advance, but not frosted, and freeze them for up to 2 weeks. Defrost them completely before finishing with the marshmallow topping. With topping, they will keep for about 2 days uncovered in the refrigerator.
Makes 12 Texas-sized or 18 regular sized cupcakes.
From Rebecca Rather’s “Pastry Queen Parties”