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Recipe

S’mores Icebox Cake for a Crowd

Servings: 16 to 20

The campfire classic is transformed into a cool, creamy party dessert with layers of graham-cracker crust, chocolate pudding and toasted seven-minute “marshmallow” topping.

Ingredients

For the pudding

  • 10 oz. (2 scant cups) semisweet chocolate, chopped, or chips
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 6 Tbs. Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1 Tbs. pure vanilla extract
  • 4 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature

For the topping

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tsp. corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

For assembly

  • 1 box graham crackers (about 27 whole crackers)

Preparation

Make the pudding

  • Melt the chocolate in a medium-size, microwave-safe bowl in the microwave on high, in 20 second bursts, stirring after each burst, or place the chocolate in a medium-size bowl over a pot of simmering water, and stir occasionally until melted. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, whisk the milk, cream, and sugar in a large pot. Whisk in the cornstarch, salt, and cocoa powder. Finally, whisk in the lightly beaten eggs and yolks. Place the pot over medium-high heat, and whisking constantly, cook until bubbles begin to sputter on the surface, 10 to 15 minutes. Let the pudding boil, whisking contantly, 1 minute, then remove from the heat.
  • Strain the pudding through a fine-mesh strainer into a large bowl. Stir in the vanilla and butter. Cover the surface of the pudding with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming, and place the bowl in the refrigerator until the pudding cools completely. This will take several hours and is best done overnight. To speed the process, place the pudding in a shallow container, rather than a deep bowl.

Assemble the cake

  • Remove the pudding from the refrigerator, and whisk to loosen. Place about one-third of the pudding on the bottom of a 9×13-inch pan and spread with an offset spatula or butter knife into an even layer. Add a layer of graham crackers, about one sleeve (or 9 crackers), breaking them up to create a solid layer of crackers. Continue layering the pudding and crackers twice more, until you have three layers of each. Place the pan in the refrigerator while you make the topping.

Make the topping

  • Place a large bowl over a pot of simmering water. Do not allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water. Add the egg whites, sugar, water, corn syrup, cream of tartar, and salt. Using a hand-held electric mixer, beat the egg white mixture on high speed until stiff and glossy, about 7 minutes. Remove the bowl from the saucepan of hot water, add the vanilla, and continue beating, 2 minutes. (Alternatively, whisk the egg mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer over the simmering water until it is warm to the touch, and then transfer the bowl to a stand mixer and proceed as above.)
  • Remove the cake from the refrigerator and spread the warm topping over the top. Work quickly, as the topping begins to set as it cools. Toast the marshmallow with a mini kitchen torch, if you have one, or place the cake in the oven under the broiler briefly, watching it closely so that it doesn’t burn. Once cool, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate, for 6 to 8 hours, preferably overnight.
  • To serve, use a spatula or large serving spoon to portion out pieces.

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