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18 October 2017Last updated
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Food | Recipes

Chocolate and peanut butter s’mores

Tahini makes a wonderful substition for peanut butter in these marshmallow-stuffed childhood delights

Yotam Ottolenghi/ Helen Goh
6 Oct 2017 | 09:30 am
  • Source:Supplied

Makes 22 (if using a 6.5cm cutter)

Cookies

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 1/2 tbsp/150g unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 2cm cubes
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tsp/75g granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk (save the egg white for the marshmallow)
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup/50g roasted (unsalted) peanuts, finely ground in the small bowl of a food processor
  • 2 cups plus 1 tbsp/260g all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup/140g crunchy peanut butter, for spreading

Marshmallow

  • 1½ tsp powdered gelatin, or 1½ leaves (about 4 x 2 inch/10 x 5 cm) platinum gelatin
  • 1/3 cup/80ml cold water
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp/90g granulated sugar
  • 1½ tsp light corn syrup
  • Scraped seeds of ¼ vanilla pod
  • 30g egg white (from 1 large egg)

To finish

  • 1 1/2 tbsp/15 g roasted (unsalted) peanuts, roughly chopped into 0.5cm pieces
  • ¼ tsp flaky sea salt
  • 125g dark chocolate (70 per cent cocoa solids), roughly chopped into 0.5cm pieces

You will need a piping bag with a 1cm plain tip here. You can either invest in a piping bag that comes with a range of tips, or you can buy a disposable piping bag and just cut a 1cm hole in the end. You will also need a candy thermometer to make the marshmallow.

The dough for the cookies can be made a day ahead and kept in the fridge. Once baked and filled, these will keep for 3 days in an airtight container.

1. To make the cookies, place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment in place. Beat on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and, when combined, add the maple syrup and ground peanuts. Once combined, sift in the flour and salt and mix together until a dough forms. Tip onto a clean work surface and knead gently for a few seconds to bring it together. Cover the dough loosely in plastic wrap, press to form a disk, and keep in the fridge for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.

2. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

3. Remove the dough from the fridge about 5 minutes before rolling, so that it has some malleability. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough so that it is just under 1/4 inch/0.5 cm thick; you can divide it in half before rolling, if that’s easier. Using a 6.5cm round cutter, cut out 44 circles and place them on the parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake for about 15 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through, until the cookies are firm and turn a light golden colour around the edges. Remove from the oven and set aside, still on the baking sheet, to cool.

4. Once cool, turn the cookies over so that the underside sits up. Spread half of the cookies with the peanut butter and set aside.

5. To make the marshmallow, place the gelatin sheets or powder in a small bowl. Cover with 3 tbsp/45ml of the water and set aside.

6. Place the sugar, corn syrup, vanilla seeds and remaining water in a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir until the sugar has melted, then increase the heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil and simmer for 8–10 minutes, until the mixture turns a very light amber colour and starts to thicken (you are looking for it to eventually reach 128°C on a thermometer).

7. Keep a close eye on the sugar as it’s simmering, and when the temperature reaches about 120°C, place the egg white in the bowl of an electric mixer. Starting off with a handheld whisk (there is not enough egg in the bowl for the machine whisk to be effective at this stage), beat the egg white until stiff peaks form, then continue beating with the machine.

8. When the sugar reaches 128°C, remove it from the heat, add the softened gelatin and soaking water to the sugar mixture and stir to combine. With the electric mixer running, slowly and carefully pour the sugar syrup over the egg white and continue to beat until the mixture is glossy and thick and the bowl of the mixer is completely cool; about 15 minutes.

9. To finish, immediately spoon the marshmallow into a piping bag and pipe the mixture into a circular pattern over the remaining uncovered cookies, covering the whole of the base with a generous amount of the marshmallow. Sandwich a peanut butter-covered cookie on top of a marshmallow-covered cookie and press gently together. Continue with the remaining cookies in the same way, then leave for about a half hour to set.

10. Combine the chopped peanuts and sea salt in a small metal bowl, rubbing the salt between your fingers to break it up. Set aside.

11. Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until melted. Do not let the base of the bowl touch the water.

12. Gently hold the peanut side of the cookie sandwich and dip the marshmallow half lightly into the melted chocolate, so that the cookie is covered. Sprinkle a pinch of the peanut-salt mix into the centre of the chocolate side of the cookie and allow to set before serving.

Recipes reprinted from SWEET: Desserts from London’s Ottolenghi. Copyright © 2017 by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh. Photos © 2017 by Peden + Munk. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

Yotam Ottolenghi/ Helen Goh

Yotam Ottolenghi/ Helen Goh