Salt Slab Chocolate Brownie S’mores
Yield: Serves 6 and can be multiplied as desired
Method: Salt slab grilling/indirect grilling
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Grilling Time: 6 to 10 minutes
Grill/Gear: Can be grilled over charcoal or gas. You also need a salt slab for grilling (see page 29) and 1 cup unsoaked wood chips.
Shop: A dessert this simple lives or dies by the quality of its ingredients. Sure, you could buy supermarket marshmallows (a brand you remember from your youth), but why ingest tetrasodium pyrophosphate if you don’t have to? Instead, splurge on gourmet marshmallows made with natural ingredients, like Plush Puffs (an artisanal company founded by chefs) or bourbon-infused Wondermade marshmallows. Both are available from Amazon.
Insider Tip: Warning: Do not make this recipe in cold weather. Hot salt slabs have been known to crack or explode when exposed to cold air.
You didn’t think I was going to finish this chapter without the original grilled dessert—the s’more? I won’t disappoint you. I give you the richest, awesomest, most decadently chocolaty s’more of all.
You start not with graham crackers, but with your favorite chocolate brownie. (Extra points if it’s homemade.) You sandwich it with a bar of 70- or 80-percent pure cocoa chocolate—Lindt Excellence, Scharffen Berger, or Valrhona, for example.
In the best of all possible worlds, you use fine artisanal marshmallows, preferably that come in rectangles large enough to cover the brownies and in flavors like bourbon or orange (see Shop). If you’re feeling really ambitious, make your own marshmallows.
For extra flavor, you’ll add thinly slivered mint leaves or crème de menthe (chocolate has a great affinity for mint).
Finally, you smoke-roast the s’mores on a fire-heated salt slab, salt being the secret ingredient used by so many pastry chefs these days to bring out a dessert’s sweetness, while paradoxically, not making it taste sugary. Tip o’ the hat to the Full of Life pizzeria in Los Alamos, California, where a similar s’more comes sizzling and smoky from a humongous wood-burning oven.
- 6 excellent chocolate brownies (each about 3 inches by 4 inches)
- 6 fresh mint leaves, rolled and thinly slivered, or 2 tablespoons crème de menthe liqueur (optional)
- 6 squares (each about 2 inches by 3 inches) super premium chocolate bar
- 6 rectangular marshmallows (each about 2 inches by 3 inches) or conventional marshmallows, cut in half lengthwise
- Flaky salt, preferably Maldon, for serving (optional)
1. Brush or scrape the grill grate clean; there’s no need to oil it. Set up your grill for indirect grilling and heat slowly to medium-high. Gradually heat the salt slab at the same time.
2. Lay the slivered mint leaves atop the brownies or sprinkle the brownies with crème de menthe, if using. Lay a square of chocolate on top, and top with a marshmallow.
3. Arrange the marshmallow-topped brownies on the hot salt slab. Add the wood chips to the coals or to your grill’s smoker box and lower the lid. Smoke-roast the s’more brownies until the marshmallows are sizzling and browned, 6 to 10 minutes. Transfer to plates or bowls or serve them right off the salt slab, sprinkled with flaky salt, if using.
All recipes reprinted with permission from “Project Fire: Cutting-Edge Techniques and Sizzling Recipes from the Caveman Porterhouse to Salt Slab Brownie S’Mores” by Steven Raichlen. Copyright 2018. Photographs by Matthew Benson. Published by Workman Publishing.