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Ingredients

Adjust Servings:
For the cake
1 3/4 cups + 2 Tbsp cake flour
1 cup + 2 Tbsp graham cracker crumbs
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cup salted butter
4 eggs
2 egg whites
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
For the buttercream
1 cup salted butter
1 lb powdered sugar
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips melted
1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
For the fluff
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
4 egg whites
For chocolate ganache
3/4 cups dark chocolate chips
For the glass candy
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup water
2-3 drops each food coloring red and yellow
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup light corn syrup
To garnish
1 bag marshmallows
4 pirouette cookies
1 brulee torch

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S’mores Campfire Cake

Ingredients

  • For the cake

  • For the buttercream

  • For the fluff

  • For chocolate ganache

  • For the glass candy

  • To garnish

Directions

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I’ve been wanting to make a campfire cake for some time now, but hadn’t yet found the right occasion. I figured I’d bring it to work Bakeolution one of these months, but so far this year I’ve been pretty focused on international recipes. When I decided to have Courtney’s birthday party some place where we could bring in our own cake, inspiration struck – I knew this was sure to be a crowd pleaser, and what better to celebrate an end of summer birthday than a campfire cake?

Also, it was an insanely busy week with something on my calendar every single night… so obviously I had to make the most difficult recipe I could think of. That tends to be my style.

The original inspiration for this cake came from a photo with no recipe, so I had to do a little bit of searching to find a cake I wanted to make. All the other campfire cakes I found were pretty standard boring chocolate cakes, which isn’t my style. I got to thinking about the theme and a flavor struck me –  s’mores!  I found a couple options, but was really drawn to the graham cracker cake and the homemade marshmallow fluff (see note above about choosing the most difficult option when busy).

I swear, writing down how to make this cake took almost as long as making it.  But here’s how I went about it:

Tuesday night: make glass candy. Cut hand breaking candy. (Doh! It is glass after all!)

Wednesday night: after happy hour and while drafting for my fantasy league, make the cake layers, the butter cream frosting, and the homemade marshmallow fluff.  Burn self horribly while making the fluff. Frosting, flour, and fluff is everywhere.

Thursday: get up and run a sugar-fueled 10 miles and assemble the cake before work.  Around 11 pm, after a stand-up comedy show, frost the cake.  Send panicked e-mail to co-workers begging them to bring you a brûlée torch for the marshmallows because Amazon failed you again. 

Friday morning: attempt to roast marshmallows in the broiler.  Fail miserably.

This was intended to be 5 individual lightly roasted marshmallows. You can kinda see it, right?

Friday afternoon: discover that your co-worker who said she was bringing a brûlée torch didn’t actually bring the brûlée torch because she thought your text of the photo above meant you had things under control.  Panic.  Sneak out of work early to stop by Hill’s Kitchen to buy a brûlée torch.  Decorate cake.  Original brûlée torch arrives while you’re decorating the cake, but you don’t even care because you’re so relieved you managed to get the cake to come out with 10 minutes to spare to change your clothes and get over to the park for the party.

Trust me, your’e going to want a brûlée torch for this.

WHEW!  That was exhausting. You can see why I needed a little break before writing this post. But the cake was a hit – or at least the birthday boys’ liked it, which is all that really matters.

Cake recipe adapted from Preppy Kitchen

Steps

1
Done

For the Cake

Set oven to 350F. Grease three 9" cake pans.

Whisk all the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.

In a separate bowl, mix the milk, vanilla and sour cream.

Cream the butter in a stand mixer and add sugars. Mix until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs and white in one at a time mixing until incorporated.

Add the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture in alternating batches. Starting and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until just combined, give the bowl a final scrape with a spatula to get any unmixed parts on the sides and bottom.

Pour batter into your pans and bake for about 30 minutes or until a knife comes out clean from the center.

2
Done

For the Buttercream

Beat the butter until light and fluffy.

Add in confectioner's sugar and cocoa powder in several batches and beat until incorporated.

Drizzle in melted chocolate and mix until well combined.

3
Done

For the Fluff

Add 2/3 cup sugar and corn syrup to a small sauce pot and heat on medium high. Track the temperature with a candy thermometer you will want to pour into the egg whites when it is 240F.

While the sugar is heating, start beating the egg whites in a stand mixer starting on low but gradually gradually increasing to medium-high speed. Add in 1/3 cup of sugar while the egg whites are stiffening. Once you are at the soft peak stage slowly drizzle in the 240F sugar syrup into the mixer.

Allow the mixer to run for about 10 minutes to allow the fluff to cool.

4
Done

For the Chocolate Ganache

Melt the dark chocolate.

5
Done

For the Glass Candy

Add the water, sugar and corn syrup to a large sauce pan and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring continuously until the mixture has reached 300°F.

Remove the pot from the heat and working quickly mix in the food coloring and vanilla, stirring until you have your desired color.

Pour the sugar mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet and refrigerate.

Once the candy has fully cooled, break up the candy into pieces using a meat mallet.

6
Done

To Assemble

Level each cake layer. Place in the center of your plate.

Spread 1/2 the fluff over the bottom layer of cake. Drizzle with 1/2 the chocolate ganache.

Top with next layer of cake, followed by the rest of the fluff and remaining ganache.

Apply a thin crumb coat of the butter cream and allow to set in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.

Coat with chocolate buttercream, smooth edges with an offset spatula. Refrigerate.

7
Done

To Decorate

Using a brûlée torch, toast the marshmallows. You'll want to toast some laying down and some standing up, as you'll rotate them when placing around the cake. I torched them 5-6 at a time, and placed them around the cake as I went, as they attach well when still warm.

Sift through your glass candy for the pieces that look the most like flames. Starting with the large pieces, settle gently into the frosting. Continue with smaller pieces until you've built the flame.

Cut the cookies in half and place on top of the cake on each side of the flame so they look like logs.

Allow to come to room temperature before serving.

Johanna

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