S'mores are the quintessential summer treat aren't they? I was feeling cheeky and transformed this classic favorite into a luscious cake. At first, I wanted to make homemade s'mores to bring to a friend's party. But I needed something I could transport and serve easily so the idea of the S'mores Sheet Cake was born. It didn't take much convincing because there is nothing more satisfying than spreading and torching meringue. And if you are feeling extra cheeky you can make my homemade graham crackers to go into it. I insist you make a batch of these and then you can have a snack while making this cake.
What makes this cake unique is the graham cracker cake layer. To be honest, when I was testing it out the batter I wasn't sure what to expect. I was worried it wouldn't bake up nicely, but I was so happy with the result. It is a cross between a sponge and a brown butter cake and provides the perfect base. The flavor is homey, old fashioned and makes a wonderful snacking cake too. I will have to try is with some walnuts folded in next time and a dusting of powdered sugar on top. Layer cakes are beautiful, but sometimes a sheet cake is what you need. Every slice gets the perfect amount of graham cracker cake, dark chocolate ganache and billowy meringue. I am especially fond of that corner piece. This may be better than the real thing and is perfect for a gathering.
S'MORES SHEET CAKE
(Makes one 13 x 9 cake)
(GRAHAM CAKE LAYER)
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, room temp
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs, about 20 graham cracker squares
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/3 cups buttermilk, room temp
(DARK CHOCOLATE GANACHE)
8 oz. dark chocolate, finely chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream
pinch of salt
4 large egg whites, room temp
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray and line a 13 x 9 x 2 inch cake pan with parchment paper. In a medium mixing bowl, stir the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. In a bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugars together with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes on medium high speed. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and mix until combined. With the mixer on low, add half the dry ingredients, followed by the buttermilk then the remaining dry ingredients. Mix until a smooth batter is formed. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes until a tester inserted in the. middle comes out clean. While the cake cools, prepare the ganache. For the ganache, heat the heavy cream in a saucepan just until it is about to boil. Place the chopped chocolate and salt in a glass mixing bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and salt. Let the mixture sit for 4-5 minutes and whisk until smooth. Pour the ganache over the completely cooled cake. Spread the ganache in an even layer with an offset spatula. Chill in the fridge until set. While the cake is chilling, prepare the meringue. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg whites, sugar, and salt. Fill a saucepan with about 2 inches of water and bring to a simmer. Set the mixer bowl over the simmering water, making sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Gently stir the egg white mixture until the sugar has dissolved. This will take about 3-4 minutes and the whites will be very warm. Test by rubbing the whites between your fingers, there will be no trace of the sugar grains. Using the whisk attachment, whip the whites until soft, shiny peaks form, about 5-6 minutes. Fold in the vanilla. Spread the meringue over the top of the chilled cake. Make a wavy or swirly pattern and burn the meringue with a kitchen torch. Serve immediately.
This cake is best they day it is made, store any leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
If you want a slightly sweeter cake, make the ganache with milk chocolate.
Instead of using a torch, burn the meringue under to broiler until browned, about 3-4 minutes.