Chefs' Picks: S'mores Transformed into Elevated Desserts
Chefs’ Picks tracks down what the pros are eating and cooking from coast to coast.
Summer isn’t complete without the ultimate campground dessert: s’mores. But no ordinary combination of store-bought graham crackers, chocolate bars and marshmallows will do for the pros. Pastry chefs across the country are taking the snack staple up a notch with innovative riffs that still pull in those nostalgic flavors. These elevated desserts will leave you craving s’mores, whether or not you’re cozied up by a campfire.
Prime Fish in Miami is not solely known for its seafood; the decadent desserts served here also lure in the crowds. So it’s no wonder that the restaurant’s take on s’mores is ultra-indulgent, featuring peanut butter, which creates a rich pudding pie of sorts. This treat comes sweetly stacked in a jar, starting with a graham cracker “cake” crust that’s layered with a homemade Reese’s filling, then a bittersweet chocolate ganache. Next comes vanilla ice cream and a fluffy blanket of toasted marshmallow creme. A side of old-fashioned peanut brittle rounds out the plate.
S’mores meet banana split at Lark in Seattle. A layer of smoked marshmallow and scoops of Theo chocolate ice cream conjure up the classic flavors of the fireside treat, with caramelized banana taking the place of the graham cracker. To maintain some crunch, peanut brittle and chocolate cake crumbles are sprinkled on top of the sundae. “The second we put this on the menu, everyone went crazy for it,” says Chef John Sundstrom. “And I don’t blame them!”
A Savory Spin
At José Andrés’ Bazaar Meat in Las Vegas, s’mores get a savory tweak with the addition of foie gras terrine. This untraditional ingredient works well to balance the sweetness of the classic components (chocolate and marshmallow) that also come nestled in this sandwiched treat. “The richness of the foie gras goes perfectly with the toasty marshmallow and crisp, housemade graham crackers,” says Chef David Thomas. “And the sweetness of the dish lends itself to be enjoyed after your meat course as you transition into dessert.”
Keeping It Zen
The deconstructed s’mores served at hip Japanese restaurant Roku, in West Hollywood, Calif., channel a zen garden. Small mounds of marshmallows and truffles (both green tea and chocolate) are perched atop a layer of crushed graham crackers that resembles sand on the beach. Nestled alongside is a pool of marshmallow cream dip. “We are all kids at heart, and this dessert is full of fun, familiar flavors. It’s interactive and brings everyone together,” says Christian Corben, operations director for the restaurant group.
A Boozy Delight
At the German-inspired beer garden Frankford Hall in Philadelphia, the classic campfire snack is reinterpreted as a boozy milkshake, aptly named Jack and S’mores. The drink — a blend of chocolate ice cream and Jack Daniels — is garnished with toasted marshmallows, graham crackers and a square of Hershey’s chocolate.
Photos courtesy of Prime Fish, Lark, Bazaar Meat, Roku and Frankford Hall
Interested in making your own treats?