On the cover of our March 2010 Recipe for Success issue, Chelsea Jackson sits at the kitchen island while her husband, Arthur, plates their dinner. What steals the shot from the Chef's Table article, however, is Chelsea's s'mores tart, looking divinely delicious at the end of the island. Chelsea, a certified pastry chef, happily sent us the recipe for the tart--which is her own combination of three recipes, two adaptations of existing recipes and one of her own--after a reader wrote in asking for the instructions. Roll up your sleeves and dive in.
Yield: one 9-inch tart
Baked and cooled 9-inch graham cracker shell
Graham Cracker Crust
(Adapted from Nancy Silverton’s Pastries from the La Brea Bakery)
Yield: Makes enough for two 9-inch shells
2-1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (375 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup (176 grams) dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon (6 grams) baking soda
3/4 teaspoon (4 grams) kosher or coarse sea salt
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch (my addition, makes for a crisper crust)
7 tablespoons (3-1/2 ounces or 100 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen
1/3 cup (114 grams) mild-flavored honey, such as clover (I prefer Tupelo)
5 tablespoons (77 grams) whole milk
2 tablespoons (27 grams) pure vanilla extract
To make the dough, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, and cornstarch in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse or mix on low, just until incorporated. Add the butter and pulse on and off, on and off (or mix on low) until the mixture is the consistency of coarse, wet sand.
9 oz milk chocolate, cut into small pieces
3 oz dark chocolate, cut into small pieces
1-1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter, cut into thin slivers and softened
Combine the chocolates in a stainless steel bowl. In a heavy, small saucepan, heat the cream and salt just to boiling. Pour over the chocolate and begin whisking immediately, until smooth. Allow the chocolate mixture to cool for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Quickly whisk in the pieces of butter, making sure the ganache mixture remains smooth and consistent and does not break (this step is easier when done with an immersion blender). Pour into cooled graham cracker tart shell and cool in refrigerator thoroughly, until ganache is set.
(Adapted from Martha Stewart's recipe for "marshmallows for piping")
1 packet unflavored gelatin (2-1/2 teaspoons)
1/3 cup cold water plus 1/4 cup for syrup
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon corn syrup (my addition)
1/4 vanilla extract (my addition)
In a small bowl, bloom gelatin in 1/3 cup water for a few minutes. In a small but heavy saucepan, combine 1/4 cup water, sugar, corn syrup, and vanilla, and cook over medium heat (avoid the urge to stir the mixture) to 238°F. Place bloomed gelatin and hot syrup into the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk on high speed until marshmallow mixture holds stiff peaks and is shiny (this will take several minutes). If you have a Polyform Smoking Gun, smoke the marshmallow mixture for 2-3 minutes during the whisking process.
Scoop the marshmallow mixture into a piping bag, and pipe your preferred shape of marshmallows in concentric circles on top of the ganache, covering ganache completely. (I use a 1/2-inch tip.) Brulee the marshmallow topping with a brulee torch. Serve immediately. Store in the refrigerator (bring to room temperature before serving).
Courtesy Chelsea Jackson