I know everyone is supposed to go crazy for s'mores, but somewhere along the way, I lost enthusiasm for them. I think the magic of a campfire is really important to get the whole effect, and I haven't actually been in the presence of one of those for many years.
Though my excitement over s'mores has diminished, I still love the taste of toasted marshmallows--it's absolutely one of my top five Jelly Belly jelly bean flavors. I was really hopeful that Martha's marshmallow frosting would taste exactly like marshmallows, and while I didn't find that to be true, I still greatly enjoyed these cupcakes. They're full of exciting textures and wonderful flavors and very much worth the effort.
As with all chocolate cakes, you definitely want to sift the dry ingredients in this recipe--nothing stands out as much as a ball of white flour amidst dark chocolate cake. When you're putting the graham cracker crumb mixture into the bottom of the liners (a tedious process, I know), you can use the bottom of a small glass to press them firmly into place.
You might be thinking that my dollop of frosting looks pretty weak, and you're right. For one thing, I waited too long to take my pictures--initially, there was a pleasant-looking dome that sagged more and more as time went by. Also, I made the mistake of using a star tip to apply the frosting, and that's why the broiling caused the design to look a little bit like a blood-shot eyeball. Stick with a plain open tip for the most attractive results.
These are surprisingly delicious and revived my love of s'mores, and hey--no campfire required (though it'd still be nice)!
Based on Martha's recipe
Makes 2 dozen
- 2-1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided use
- 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 20 squares)
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 9 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 batch of marshmallow frosting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 standard muffin tins with cupcake liners; set aside.
Sift 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix ingredients together on low speed.
In a large bowl, mix together eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Add to flour mixture and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl and continue mixing on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add boiling water and stir to combine; set cake batter aside.
Place graham cracker crumbs, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and melted butter in a large bowl; stir until well combined.
Place 1 tablespoon graham cracker mixture into the bottom of each prepared muffin cup. Reserve remaining graham cracker mixture for topping.
Place 2 teaspoons chocolate in each muffin cup. Transfer muffin tins to oven and bake until the edges of the graham cracker mixture is golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and fill each muffin cup three-quarters full with cake batter. Sprinkle each with remaining chocolate and graham cracker mixture. Return to oven and bake, rotating pans halfway through baking, until tops are firm and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer muffin tins to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and let cool completely.
Transfer frosting to a large pastry bag fitted with a large tip. Pipe frosting in a spiral motion on each cupcake. Transfer cupcakes to a baking sheet. Using a kitchen torch or broiler element, cautiously and lightly brown the frosting, taking care not to burn the cupcake liners.
Serve and eat ASAP!