# 210 Back to the Future with Puff Pastry

S’More Burgers

S’Mores may not have been part of my childhood, but they certainly were for many of my American friends. And so it made sense to create a S’More burger. My pastry chef at Fleur de Lys Las Vegas, Sarah Kosikowski, helped create this very easy recipe. Her marshmallow recipe—which we use several ways at the restaurant including as a sauce for our banana split—started as a home recipe. All the elements for this dessert can be completed ahead of time and then warmed for assembly. Several steps in the recipe are easiest and most quickly done if you have a small propane torch. Propane pastry torches can now be found in kitchenware shops, but I think, the least expensive and best option is to buy one from the hardware store. It delivers more power and control. And you will find all sorts of culinary uses for it once you get used to it.

Serves 8

One 1/2-pound frozen puff pastry sheet
1/2 cup sugar

Chocolate Sauce

1/2 cup (112 g/3.95 ounces) sugar
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup heavy cream
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60% cocao), broken into pieces

Marshmallow Burgers

1/4 cup (50 g/1.76 ounces) water
1 cup (307 g/10.83 ounces) light corn syrup
3/4 cup (158 g/5.57 ounces) sugar
3 large (90 g/3.1 ounces) egg whites
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Open the pastry sheet on a work counter and let it defrost just until it can be worked, about 10 minutes. Lightly dust the counter and pastry with flour and roll the sheet out into a 13- by 18-inch rectangle. Prick it well all over and sprinkle the sugar evenly over the pastry. Cut the pastry lengthwise into 4 evenly wide strips, about 3 inches wide. Cut each of these crosswise into 5 pieces of about 3 inches each.

Line a baking sheet with a nonstick mat or baking parchment. Very carefully transfer the pastry squares to the prepared mat and bake until the pastry is golden, shiny, and very crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. Rotate the pans halfway through baking.

The sugar may be unevenly melted. If you have a torch, carefully caramelize the sugar on the pastry to give the squares a dark brown, very shiny coating. These are good to eat on their own. Set aside until needed. The pastry can be completed up to this point several hours ahead of time.

To make the chocolate sauce, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the sugar, water, and cream to a full boil, stirring just until the sugar dissolves. Put the chocolate in a medium bowl and pour the hot cream mixture over it. Cover and let sit 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Set aside, and keep warm until needed. This makes about 2 cups of a beautifully glossy, pourable sauce. It can be made ahead of time and reheated on low in a microwave oven.

To make the marshmallow, in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the water, corn syrup, and sugar to a boil, stirring just until the sugar dissolves. Cook until the sugar syrup reaches the hard ball stage, 250ºF on a candy thermometer.

When the sugar syrup reaches about 225ºF, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high until they form soft, glossy peaks. When the sugar reaches 250ºF, with the machine beating on high, very slowly add the sugar syrup to the whites.

Continue to beat until the mixture is very stiff and just barely warm, about 10 minutes. As the mixture stiffens, you may have to slow the machine a bit so it does not overheat. Beat in the vanilla. Do not let the mixture get too cool or it will be difficult to pipe. Scrape the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a fat, round tip.

To assemble the burgers, pipe a round marshmallow patty on 16 of the pastry squares. Brown the marshmallow with a torch. Stack the pastry-and-burgers 2 high. Set the layers at a 45º angle to each other so the points stick out in different directions. The burgers can be prepared to this point several hours ahead of time, if desired.

When ready to serve, arrange the burgers on dessert plates and drizzle the warm chocolate sauce over and around them. Serve immediately.

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Copyright © 2009 Hubert Keller. All rights reserved.