I am of the belief that desserts should be fun and playful. As such, I like to weave a certain amount of whimsy into each creation. While the classics are, well, classic, there is also a time and place to raise eyebrows with something more provocative. The current trend in restaurants is to elevate and reinterpet nostalgic items. And what’s more nostalgic than a toasted marshmallow? Everyone remembers the smoky fragrance of gently burning sugar from early childhood camping trips and bonfires, making S’mores a popular novelty dessert. We’ve all seen toasted marshmallow milkshakes and ice cream, but I wanted to add element of heats and flame to create the full effect.
- 475 grams heavy cream
- 100 grams egg yolks
- 1/2 cup marshmallow fluff - use my Quick Marshmallow recipe, or store bought is fine
- Salt, to taste
- Heat the cream over medium heat. Pour the marshmallow fluff into a heat resistant bowl and toast the top to desired darkness with a torch. Fold the fluff on itself to expose untoasted fluff and repeat until you have as much char as you want. I burn mine until the whole thing looks like mushroom bisque. Mix the fluff with the yolks and ensure they are smooth. Once the cream is scalding, temper into the yolks mixture and mix to ensure everything dissolves completely. At this point you can strain out the charred marshmallow if desired; I like to leave it in. Pour into a prepared baking dish and torch the top to create a smooth surface free of the bubbles. Bake in a waterbath at 310F until set. There should be a slight jiggle when you shake the dish, as it will probably never completely set in the oven. Allow to cool completely in the water bath and then refrigerate until it is a full custard. You can either use granulated sugar to torch this as you would a regular creme brûlée, or you can torch the brûlée itself (as I did in these photos).
- Intensify the flavor with a quenelle of toasted marshmallow ice cream, a chocolate and graham cracker tuile, or a fluffernutter component. Or, for a holiday spin, serve in a tart shell with a scoop of sweet potato ice cream.