Vegan S'Mores

>> Wednesday, April 14, 2010

For the longest time, I didn't know marshmallows aren't vegetarian. I take that back. I may have known, but -- quite frankly -- I didn't care. S'mores are my favorite dessert of summer. Hands-down. And I can't wait to get my hands on some vegan marshmallows (or make a few of my own) again, so I can enjoy them on all our camping trips this summer. To make s'mores vegan, I usually like to use some of that dark chocolate dreams peanut butter I told you about in a previous post. But since I'm not vegan, I typically go old school with some chunks of Hersey's milk chocolate.

But I don't have any marshmallows right now. And when I went to a natural foods store and asked if they have any in stock, the guy looked at me like a crazy person. "What's in marshmallows that isn't vegetarian?" Oh, boy. You have so much to learn, clerk.

So, I improvised. I realize some of you vegans do not eat honey. I used graham crackers with honey in them because when I was vegan, I did eat honey. If you know of any good non-honey grahams, please let us know! We'd love to share them with everyone else. Otherwise, enjoy this recipe . . . it may not be the classic melt-y treat you remember from your childhood, but it sure tastes amazing.

What you'll need . . .

For the crust:
  • 9 to 15 graham crackers, crushed (or processed in a food processor)
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons Earth Balance
For the chocolate:
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips (I used Sunspire semi-sweet)
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon Earth Balance

For the "marshmallow" slurry:
  • 3 tablespoons flax meal
  • 1/4 cup ice cold water, divided
  • 1/3 cup raw sugar
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/8 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 small banana, ripe

  • Another 5 graham crackers, processed

Method . . .
  1. First, make your crust. Depending on how much you want, use however many graham crackers you need. I used more because I love this part of s'mores. There's really no science to it. Just mix together the crumbs and Earth Balance until you reach a crust-like consistency.
  2. Then lightly coat an 8 x 8 inch pan in a bit more Earth Balance, and press your crust into it firmly.
  3. Then make your chocolate layer by placing the chocolate chips, almond butter, and Earth Balance in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat until melted, and mix together until smooth. Spread evenly atop your graham cracker layer. Let sit in your refrigerator until firm while you make the "marshmallow" slurry.
  4. Make the marshmallow layer by combining 2 tablespoons of flax meal with 1/8 cup of the water. Let sit in the bowl of an electric mixer.
  5. Then in a small pot over medium-high heat, combine the other tablespoon of flax meal with the other 1/8 cup water, agave nectar, and sugar. Mix until well incorporated and heat until in a rolling boil.
  6. Take off heat and let cool for 15 minutes. Then slowly add mixture to your water/flax meal in the mixing bowl with a whisk. Add the vanilla, salt, confectioners sugar, the starch, and the banana.
  7. Continue to whisk on high speed for 5 to 10 minutes -- until filled with bubbles. Take out your graham and chocolate layer from the refrigerator and pour a thin layer of the "marshmallows" on top of it. You may not use all of the mixture. You just want a thin layer.
  8. Then set your oven to broil and broil until the "marshmallow" mixture gets slightly browned. This process makes it taste slightly toasted. Take out of the oven and swirl the chocolate and "marshmallow" together just slightly (I used a chopstick). And cover with another light layer of graham crackers.
  9. Eat right away (if you're like me -- see below) or let sit for four hours, until firm.

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