180ml thickened cream
3 medium egg yolks
50g caster sugar
250g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
3 tbs powdered gelatine
125ml cold water
330g caster sugar
300ml corn syrup
180ml cold water, extra
210g icing sugar mixture, sifted
2 tsp vanilla paste
WHIPPED CREAM CHEESE
125g cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla paste
2 tbs lemon juice
60ml thickened cream, whipped to soft peaks
CHOCOLATE COOKIES(makes about 25)
60g butter, at room temperature
40g brown sugar
40g dark brown sugar
25g cocoa powder, sifted
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp instant coffee powder
180g plain flour
150g roasted salted peanuts, chopped
220g caster sugar
1. To make chocolate cremeux, bring cream and milk to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat.
2. Whisk sugar and egg yolks until pale and creamy. Gradually whisk in cream and milk mixture. Return mixture to pan and stir over medium-low heat until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate until smooth and melted.
3. Strain into a shallow bowl or container and refrigerate for several hours or overnight until cold and set.
4. To make marshmallow, place the 125ml water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk. Sprinkle over gelatine and set aside for 5 minutes to become spongy.
5. Meanwhile, stir sugar, corn syrup and extra water in a saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil, without stirring, using a wet pastry brush to brush back any stray sugar grains on side of pan into syrup. Bring to 130C on a candy thermometer.
6. Turn mixer onto low speed and carefully drizzle hot sugar syrup into mixer, between the whisk and the side of the bowl. Whisk for 5 minutes.
7. Increase heat to high and mix for about a further 5 minutes or until mixture is thick and glossy. Whisk in vanilla.
8. Spread marshmallow into a 20cm x 30cm dish or cake pan. Set aside at room temperature for 4 hours or up to overnight to set.
9. Sift combined icing sugar and cornflour into a bowl.
10. Sift a little of this mixture onto a clean dry work surface. Invert marshmallow onto mixture. Cut into desired size pieces and add to bowl one at a time to toss in mixture.
11. To make whipped cream cheese, beat cream cheese, vanilla and lemon juice with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Fold in whipped cream. Refrigerate until ready to use.
12. Preheat oven to 180C. Line two large oven trays with baking paper.
13. To make cookies, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars until pale and creamy. Whisk in egg. Whisk in buttermilk.
14. Stir in combined sifted flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and coffee powder to form a stiff cookie batter.
15. Spoon heaped tablespoons of batter onto prepared trays, 5cm apart.
16. Bake for about 10 minutes or until firm to touch. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
17. To make peanut brittle, sprinkle nuts evenly onto an oven tray lined with baking paper. Melt sugar in a frying pan over medium heat, swirling pan to keep caramel cooking evenly, until dark golden brown. Pour over nuts. Set aside to set. Break into pieces or shards.
18. To serve, place a scoop or quenelle of chocolate cremeux on serving plates. Add marshmallow pieces a cookie and some shards of peanut brittle. Spoon or pipe on dots of whipped cream cheese. If desired, you can blowtorch the marshmallow for a full S’mores effect.
Depending on how much marshmallow you like in your dessert, you may only need ½ of the quantity here (it is easier to make the full amount however or it can be tricky to whisk). Store remaining marshmallow in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Store remaining cookies in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
It is important to take the caramel for the peanut brittle to a dark golden stage, otherwise it will lack the depth of flavor and hint of bitterness.
All elements of this dessert can be made a day in advance.
This recipe has been tested.