It's dead of winter here. We're stuck beneath an ever grey sky, part of the inglorious SLC "inversion"--where cold air gets trapped in our valley, bringing it with a constant blanket of smog. The windows of the car are almost always frozen, requiring an extra 10 minutes of scraping and shoveling before I can tote kids to school or errand run. The days are still short, but 5:21 pm, it's dark. 3-4 hours of still-sunshine-in-the-summer gone. We hit the gym whenever possible, but it's not the same as spending hours and hours outside. Biking across red dirt trails. Soaking atop inflatable rafts on glassy lakes. Sitting around a campfire with the fam, somewhere in the middle of Sand Flats, still wet from a dip in the local swimmin' hole.
So maybe that's why I was suddenly overwhelmed with a need for S'mores last night.
Because summer is still so far away. But S'mores don't have to be.
Of course, with it being winter and all, I figured that campfire classic needed a seasonal twist. So turned them into tiny cups of pot de creme, layered atop buttery graham crumble. Topped with browned marshmallows.
And here's an admission: these little cups aren't really pot de creme. More like the lazy girl shortcut for people like me who look at the list of traditional pot-de-creme-making instructions and have their eyes glaze over af. Because: saucepan, stirring, egg yolks, carefulness.
Yesterday, in the mid of winter, it was far too much to bear--that list of instructions. So I decided to make pot de creme my way. Which means it's really more of a whipped, truffley mousse. Half microwave, half mixer stand, half broiling rack. But let's not be overly crunchy with the numbers, shall we?
If you're a pot de creme purist, this recipe is not for you.
If, however, pot de creme to you has always meant spooning into a soft and glorious mousse-like, pudding-like, pot of chocolate: This recipe is for you.
And while you can make it any time of the year. I fully recommend it in the winter.
It's like an elegant taste of summer. But you get to stay inside, warm and toasty in the kitchen, licking graham cracker crumbs off your spoon.
Espresso S'mores Pot de Creme
8 servings | 20 minutes prep | 30 minutes total
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 8 crackers)
- 4 Tbsp butter, melted
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 (11.5 oz) bag good quality dark chocolate chips
- 1 Tbsp espresso powder (or 1 packet Instant Coffee)
- 1 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 Tbsp vanilla or coffee liqueur
- 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
- 2 Tbsp chopped dark chocolate (optional)
In a small bowl, mix together graham crackers crumbs, butter and brown sugar. Spoon into the bottom of 8 small quarter-pint mason jars. Reserve a small amount for
Place chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl, microwave in 30 seconds bursts, stirring between, until melted. Stir in espresso powder.
Pour cream into a stand mixer bowl. Whip with the whisk attachment until soft peaks form. Slowly whip the melted chocolate into the cream. Add vanilla. Whip until stiff peaks form. Spoon atop graham cracker crumbs. Refrigerate or freeze until firm, about 15-30 minutes.
Just before serving, heat oven broiler, raise oven rack to top most spot. Place pot de creme cups on a broiler sheet. Mound mini marshmallows atop. Broil just until golden, about 20-40 seconds. Sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs and chopped chocolate, if desired.