Cake Two: S'mores Cake

All over the Internets this week, people have been getting amped about fall. I’m totally with those people – fall is awesome, if not only for the fact that it’s in the lower-90s now and not breaking 100° every single day. And while foliage, football, and freshly sharpened pencils are great, they just can’t compare to my favorite thing about the autumnal season: fall TV premieres.

I’ll say it, I love TV. Not only is it mindlessly entertaining and perfect for my limited attention span, but having new shows to watch again is how I finally remember what day it is. Seriously, in the summer I just sort of wander through the work week knowing only that it’s a day that I have to be at work, but not what that day actually is. Suddenly, fall TV is back, and I know that because New Girl is on tonight, it must be Tuesday. Did I watch Community last night? Then sweet deal! It’s Friday! And tonight, it’s the Emmys, so it’s only appropriate that I celebrate the start of an epic TV week with a TV-inspired cake.

I say TV-inspired because I first heard of this cake on an early episode of Gilmore Girls. Lorelai was engaged to Rory’s teacher, and Sookie was tasked with making the wedding cake. It came to her in a dream: the dark chocolate s’mores wedding cake. Of course, that wedding never happened (gosh, Lorelai! What man will ever be enough for you!), but the cake looked magnificent. This wee little cake is my attempt at recreating such decadence in a much more manageable size. A slice of this, a bottle of red wine, and an evening honoring everything that is great about television? Welcome back, fall, I’ve missed you so.

S’mores Cake
Adapted from multiple sources

Graham Cake:
¾ cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup graham flour
1 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
¾ tsp cinnamon
10 tbsp butter, room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 tbsp honey
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Marshmallow Filling:
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
1 7oz jar of marshmallow crème
1 stick of butter, room temperature
1 tbsp vanilla

Dark Chocolate Ganache Frosting:
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp light corn syrup
2 cups dark chocolate chips
½ stick of butter

1. Turn on E! There’s 3 hours of red carpet coverage before the show even starts, plenty of time to make some cake. (Or put on some tunes, mayhaps The Killers? They need some new stuff, but Hot Fuss is always a winner.)

2. Preheat the oven to 350° and grease 2 6-inch pans with cake release (or butter, line with parchment, and butter again).

3. Whisk together the flours, powder, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl and set aside.

4. Beat together the butter, brown sugar, and honey with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, 3 or 4 minutes (it will literally change colors). Reduce speed slightly and beat in eggs and vanilla until just blended, then add the flour mixture and beat until just blended.

5. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans, then bake for 30-35 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans on wire racks for 10-15 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely on racks.

6. While cakes are cooling, make the ganache frosting. Combine cream, sugar, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Over low heat, bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Once boiling, remove from heat and add the chocolate chips, stir until smooth. Add butter, stir until smooth. Transfer ganache to a large bowl and let cool until it reaches a spreadable consistency, stirring occasionally.

7. To make the marshmallow filling, combine all ingredients and beat with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth, 3 or 4 minutes.

To assemble cake, cut cake layers in half so that there are four stackable layers. Place first layer on cake plate, and top with marshmallow filling (don’t be stingy, there’s a lot). Spread filling to about a ½ inch from the edge of the cake. Repeat steps with remaining layers, but do not put marshmallow on the top of the cake. Frost the sides of the cake with ganache, then frost the top with remaining ganache (there will be some leftover – again, don’t be stingy!).

Pour some wine, cut out a slice, and then, you scarf.

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