Hello Hi Happy Tuesday I brought you the thing that everybody loves on instagram during the summer: S’mores. But because I’m just as extra as I am basic I went and put together a whole trifle situation that involves cake, pudding, and marshmallow fluff. Wonderteam extra powers activate.
I’ve actually wanted to make a honey graham cake for a while now so I could have some sort of alternative to the classic cracker in desserts or to use with fruits during the summer and then it just happened that Bob’s Red Mill wanted to collaborate on something and praise be, the Brown Butter Honey Graham Cake was born.
There were actually several no-go’s before the final cake had happened. It’s tricky baking with whole wheat flour and not getting a super crumbly end result but luckily the honey helps out with that a little, but there’s still a lesser amount of the graham flour that could be used than all-purpose to give us a nice crumb. After a few failed loaves I landed on the idea of melting the butter to give it more of a pound cake consistency and less of a cakey consistency then went one step further by browning the butter. Usually with brown butter you need to use more so you don’t lose the moisture but that honey came in and swept me off my feet yet again which was great because that nutty flavor you get from browned butter works magic and gives you even more of that classic graham cracker flavor profile.
I think the cake by itself is fantastic, I really do (I’d eat it with half a jar of peanut butter if it wasn’t socially unacceptable) and it’s perfect for all the summer produce that might need a hearty pairing but there’s something magical about combining it with a rich pudding and meringue faux fluff that makes me happy I have another vehicle for s’mores flavor consumption.
Special shout out to Bob’s Red Mill for sponsoring this post and helping keep this site/me moving/shaking/grooving.
Brown Butter Honey Graham Cake
Makes 1 8×4″ Loaf Cake
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill Graham Flour
3/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill Unbleached White All Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cups lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 large eggs
Preheat your oven to 350ºF and grease and line an 8×4″ loaf pan with parchment paper.
In a medium sized saucepan over low melt down the butter and let it start to foam up and sizzle. Once the sizzling starts to subside watch the butter until it get’s fragrant and it turns a nice amber color. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool for a couple minutes.
While the butter cools off whisk together the flours, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl and set aside.
Move back to the butter and whisk in the sugar and honey until it’s evenly mixed then add the sour cream and vanilla and mix in. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, making sure each one is mixed in before adding the next. Once all the eggs are in there pour the wet mix into the dry and whisk just until it’s all combined.
Add the batter to the prepared loaf pan and bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean, making sure not to over bake. Let the cake cool for about 30 minutes before using the parchment sling to lift the cake out and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Classic Chocolate Pudding
Serves 6-8 if you’re just doing the pudding
2/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
pinch of salt
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
4 cups whole milk
4 yolks, in a medium bowl (save the whites for the marshmallow layer)
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a medium sized saucepan add the brown sugar and salt then sift in the cornstarch and cocoa powder. Add 1 cup of the milk and whisk until it’s combined then add the rest of the milk and turn the heat on to medium. Heat it up to just under a simmer then slowly pour about a cup of it into the yolks while whisking to temper them then add that back into the saucepan with the rest of the milk.
Heat until the mixture starts to simmer and bubble then cook for 2 minutes and remove from the heat. Strain the pudding into a bowl to catch any bits of overcooked eggs or pudding then add the chips and vanilla and let it sit for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes whisk it all together until the chocolate’s melted and evenly combined then press plastic wrap directly onto the surface and place the pudding in the refrigerator to cool completely.
This is basically the classic seven minute frosting but it works perfectly as a marshmallow layer for desserts when you don’t want to worry about boiling sugar burning off your arm hair. There is a lifespan for it so just make sure you put it together right before serving.
4 egg whites (saved from the pudding yolks)
1 cup white sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Bring an inch of water to a simmer in a medium sized saucepan then add the egg whites, sugar, and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk it together and set that over the pot of simmering water. Cook for a couple minutes, whisking occasionally, until the sugar’s dissolved and the mixture reaches 160ºF.
Once the mixture hits the temperature carefully remove it and place it into the stand mixer. Add the vanilla and beat it on medium high speed with the whisk attachment for at least 5 minutes, letting it go until the mixture’s thick and fluffy and the outside of the bottom of the bowl is barely warm or cooled. Quickly transfer the fluff to a piping bag and set aside.
To Assemble the S’mores Trifles:
Slice up the cake into 1/2″ slices and place 3-4 slices in a stack. Carefully trim off the crust then slice the stack into 1/2″ slices again then rotate the stack 90º and slice into 1/2″ slices again so now we’re working with beautiful cubes. If you want to be extra you can toast the cubes in a little bit of butter in a sauté pan then let it cool before assembling.
Pipe the marshmallow fluff into the bottom of 6 serving glasses (we are toasting the tops with a torch so make sure you don’t use plastic and to be extra safe with the heat make sure the glasses are dishwasher safe)
Add a layer of the pudding.
Pack in the cubes of cake.
Then repeat the pudding and pipe on a layer of the marshmallow and toast away with a culinary kitchen torch. Try and assemble it all right before serving, but if you can’t then do everything minus the toast and toast at the table to impress your guests or maybe just yourself if it’s all for you.