| s'more brownie tart with pecan-graham crust |
Hold onto your boxer shorts, I’m doing a giveaway. I’ve always thought about doing one and some really fab companies have offered me product but, honestly, it sounded like a lot of extra work. And you know how I feel about extra work… So when Teri from NoCrumbsLeft approached me and asked if I wanted to do a joint giveaway of a Lagostina copper saucepan (see it up there in the picture?) I said hell to the YEAH. If you want to get straight to how to sign up, scroll down to the On My Mind section and I’ll have all the details. Otherwise, I’d like to strut my stuff about this tart…
So, I think about s’mores. A lot. Year round. Any time of the day or night. But I try to moderately move to the beat of the rest of the world and really focus on them during the summer. I have my Holy Shit S’more Cookie which is heaven. And now we can add this to our arsenal.
I used the pecan-graham crust from this pumpkin cheesecake recipe. Tried and true, this crust never lets me down. Then, instead of making a traditional chocolate tart filling, I went with my fudgy brownies. Done. Easy. The last missing piece was the marshmallow top. Did I want more of a meringue? Did I want to use store-bought marshmallows? I opted for making homemade marshmallows and smearing them on top. I tried the classic marshmallow recipe from Ina Garten but it was so oozy and sticky and didn’t meld and marry with the actual tart. It just sort of sat on top like a helmet. But then I found some other recipes…with a French-style of making marshmallows…they’re light, airy, manageable and best of all, they aren’t sticky or oozy. Perfect.
Before We Get Started:
- Nut Free. Some people like a lot of nuts…some people don’t. I have a nut-free option below. Sometimes you’re just not into nuts…I get it.
- Make Ahead. This tart screams make-ahead. You can totally make the entire thing the day prior to serving. In fact, your marshmallow top will perform much better if you let it sit at least four hours.
- Easy Substitutes. I am a huge fan of making stuff from scratch. Obviously, otherwise why would we all be here? But before I say more, I have to add, this is all pretty easy to make. Graham cracker-crusts are baking 101…as are brownies. BUT, I do think that this begs to be taken to a party and sometimes we’re low on time or, what I like to call, give-a-fuck. If you’re plagued with either, you could totally sub in box brownies or store-bought marshmallows. The end result won’t be as gorgeous (I mean…)…but sometimes, just showing up is enough. Amirite?
- Tart Pan. I get it, not everyone has a 9-inch tart pan lying around. Legitimate first world problems. In such an event, I highly recommend a pie pan, 8X8 glass dish or a springform pan…then I’m pretty sure we can’t get away with calling it a tart anymore. You’ll have to come up with a new name. Shouldn’t be a problem. Grab a scotch and come up with something that dazzles.
- Egg Whites. We use egg whites for making the marshmallow top. They do a brief stint under the broiler and they are mixed with a pretty hot sugar mixture…but, they’re basically uncooked egg whites. Unless you’re serving this the day that you make it, I would wrap it tightly (being careful not to hurt the marshmallow) and store in the fridge. It’s getting awfully warm out to have it languishing on the counter.
- Photos. You’ll note that all of the photos look similar save for the one at the very bottom of the post. Most of the photos were taken using Ina Garten’s Marshmallow recipe as the top. There were several problems with this topping. First, it was soo messy and hard to deal with. Second, it didn’t adhere to the brownie tart…it was like a bad toupee ready to flip up in the wind. When it came time for my final test, the one that was a winner, I did not use the pecan-graham cracker crust because I knew that element was working perfect, I just was looking for taste, texture and adhesion with the marshmallow. That last photo at the bottom is of the marshmallow recipe included below. Unless you use Ina’s marshmallow recipe, the appearance of your tart will be more meringue and less leopard. Make sense? And frankly, I couldn’t take any more photos…my photo juju is a little off…it happens whenever the seasons and lighting change…I’ll get my chi back. Soon.
- Patience. Umm, when I say don’t touch the tart for hours after putting the marshmallow topping on, I mean don’t touch it for hours. That marshmallow party needs time to relax and set.
- Serving. When it comes time to shove your face in this, get a very sharp knife and stand next to the facet with the water streaming hot. In between cuts, rinse your knife and you’ll get a nice, clean cut every time.
Let’s bake betches.
| s'more brownie tart with pecan-graham crust |
Makes One 9-Inch Tart
For the Pecan-Graham Cracker Tart Crust
- 8 whole graham crackers (use 10 if you omit the pecans)
- 1/2 cup pecans (totally optional)
- 2 tablespoon packed brown sugar
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the Chocolate Brownie Filling
- 1 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
- ¼ cup sunflower seed oil (or other neutral veggie oil)
- 1/2 cup of light brown sugar, packed
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon real vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup bread flour or all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
For the Marshmallow Topping*
- 3 large egg whites
- 1 package unflavored gelatin + 1/3 cup cold water
- 1 cup of granulated sugar + 1/3 cup water
- 2 tablespoons corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
*Marshmallow topping barely adapted from this recipe.
For the Pecan-Graham Cracker Tart Crust
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F, with a rack in the middle of the oven. Butter a 9-inch tart pan. Set the tart pan on a baking sheet so that it’s easier to get in and out of the oven.
- Put the graham crackers, pecans (if using) and brown sugar in a food processor and pulse until the mixture becomes a fine crumb. Drizzle the butter on top and pulse until just mixed. Press the mixture into the bottom of the tart pan, being sure to press up the sides as well.
- Place the crust in the oven for 10 minutes or until it starts to turn a little golden. Don’t walk away and do something else here. It can happen fast and you don’t want it to burn.
- When done, set the crust aside for a bit to cool.
For the Chocolate Brownie Filling
- Keep the oven at 350 degrees F.
- In a large, microwave-safe bowl add your chopped semi-sweet chocolate, butter and sunflower seed oil. Microwave on high for 1 minute. You could also use a double boiler for this step…I find that the microwave is quicker with less clean up. Do not overheat your chocolate. Stir the chocolate-butter mixture until smooth and free of lumps.
- Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar and vanilla to the chocolate and stir until completely blended.
- Add the three eggs to the chocolate mixture and stir until well blended.
- Now you have two options at this point. You can either whisk your dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder) in a separate bowl or you can sprinkle directly on top of the chocolate mixture. I do the latter which is totally baking sacriledge. But I have seriously tested this so many times and it works just fine. I do like to make sure that I sprinkle the baking powder all over so it’s not just dumped in one spot. Let your conscience be your guide. You have to admit the idea of dirtying just one bowl is pretty exciting?
- Mix the brownie batter until it is JUST combined. Do not overmix.
- Pour the batter into your graham cracker crust. Use the back of your spoon to even the top a bit.
- Put the dish with the brownies in the oven for 20-25 minutes. They will have a bit of jiggle in the middle and if you test with a toothpick some batter will coat it. This is a good thing.
- Let the brownie tart cool…you want it to cool before you put the marshmallow on top. You could put it in the fridge to accelerate the process and some say that fridge time will make the brownie fudgier. …Let’s move onto making our marshmallow party!
For the Marshmallow Topping
- Combine gelatin with 1/3 cup cold water in a small bowl. Stir to combine and let sit for 15 minutes.
- Add the egg whites to an electric-stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium until soft peaks form; should take about 8 minutes. A quick note about whipping egg whites… You must make sure that your mixer bowl and whisk are completely clean and free from any oils. I always make sure my hands are freshly washed and that I don’t get any (not a tiny trace) of yolk in with the whites…otherwise you’ll be whisking for hours and getting nowhere. Stick to these rules and you should be fine.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt and 1/3 cup of water. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the temperature to high and cook until it reaches 260 degrees (use a candy thermometer). This takes about 5-ish minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Stir the dissolved gelatin into the sugar mixture and whisk to incorporate.
- Preheat your broiler to 500 degrees F if you’re going to use your broiler to toast up the marshmallow top; the other option is to use a torch.
- With the mixer on low, pour the syrup slowly into the side of the bowl with the egg whites and whip until very thick. About 5-10 minutes. You want the outside of your mixer to be just slightly warm to the touch. Add the vanilla and mix until fully incorporated.
- Pour the marshmallow mixture onto the chocolate brownie mixture. Mound it on, with a heap in the middle and then create little peaks throughout. You can have it go from edge to edge or you can leave a bit of a gutter around the edge so that you can see the chocolate brownie. If you have any leftover, you could make pretty marshmallow puffs like David Lebovitz does.
- Either throw in the oven or use a torch to brown. If you decide to use the oven, please watch. I had to move mine around a bit to get even bronzing.
- LET THIS COOL COMPLETELY, before serving. I’m talking hours. No joke.
- When it’s time to cut the brownies, use a very sharp knife (a bread knife works great) and stand by the sink with the facet running. Cut straight up and down and run under hot water to clean off the knife and get as clean of a cut as possible.
| on my mind |
- CONTEST INFO!!! Here’s how you enter…you need to follow me (@displacedhousewife), Teri (@nocrumbsleft) and Lagostina (@lagostinausa) on Instagram. Then fill out this brief form on Teri’s website…it’s just email, Instagram name + full name. Umm, one last note… I met Teri over a year ago through being food people…her food is Whole30, Paleo, healthy + delicious. We’re opposites in many ways, minus our love of food. She has always been so kind and supportive and I love all of her creative, beautiful recipes. Be sure to give her a good check out.
- Super excited that two of my recipes were featured in articles this past month. Check out: 15 Beer Desserts for Father’s Day on Brit + Co and 20 Recipes That Make the Most of Dreamy Tahini. My Salted Caramel Brown Butter Blondie Ice Cream, that is seriously EVERYTHING, is also on HuffPost Taste. They’ve changed how they’re doing things over there and that recipe is getting zero love. Stop by and say hi.
- I’m thinking that’s it. I normally like to include news and stuff…but it’s all a little depressing right now.
- I hope you’re thinking about sparklers, Fourth of July desserts and you smell of sunscreen. xo
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