Every year, I do a s'mores dessert of some sort. Last years S'mores Custard Cake was a massive hit. I think it's my most popular post on this blog and by far the most popular instagram post I've ever had. It was featured by thefeedfeed, an instagram account with over 1 million followers (!!!), it was their most liked photo of 2015! I don't know if I can ever top that, but this year I think I've given the custard cakes a run for their money.
I bought these popsicle molds just for these ice cream pops. I've had the idea for s'mores ice cream pops for months now and I kept meaning to buy proper molds for them, but I've been so busy that I didn't get around to it. Actually, no, I did order some off amazon, those nice rounded edge ice cream bar molds... Too bad they were like 3 inches tall and I didn't notice that when I ordered them... Anyways, when I saw these popsicle molds, I knew I had to buy them, even though they were $45. But seeing as how awesome these turned out, I think it was worth it.
There's just something about s'mores that everyone loves. It's more than just the awesome combo of chocolate + graham crackers + marshmallows. For most people, it brings back happy memories of sitting around a fire as a kid, roasting (and sometimes burning) marshmallows and squashing them between two graham crackers with a hunk of chocolate on a late summer night surrounded by friends and family. Those kinds of food memories are the basis for some of the best dishes, whether it's from a home cook or one of the best chefs in the world. I think I bring up food memories every time I make a s'mores dessert, but it's such a fascinating concept to me. The food that immediately brings us back to a specific moment in our childhood and all the feelings associated with that come rushing back with just one bite. Everyone has them and most of them are wildly different depending on what you grew up on, but s'mores is one that a lot of people share and it's incredible to be able to recreate the nostalgic feeling for so many people with just one simple dessert.
S'mores Ice Cream Pops
Graham Cracker Streusel
50 g almond meal
50 g graham cracker crumbs
50 g light brown sugar
25 g all-purpose flour
60 g unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2 inch dice
Chocolate Ice Cream
250 g whole milk
500 g heavy cream
150 g sugar
25 g glucose/ light corn syrup
25 g alkalized cocoa (Dutch processed)
1 g salt
100 g egg yolks
125 g 73% dark chocolate, finely chopped
100 g egg whites
150 g granulated sugar
For the streusel, combine the almond meal, graham crumbs, sugar, and flour in a small bowl and stir to combine. Add the butter and work with your fingers until the mixture starts to come together in small clumps. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Spread the streusel in an even layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
For the ice cream, whisk together the cocoa powder with half the sugar in a saucepan. Pour in a tiny bit of milk to make a smooth paste before slowly adding the rest of the milk and cream. Add the glucose or corn syrup and the salt.
Whisk the egg yolks and remaining half of the sugar until slightly paler in colour.
Heat over medium heat and bring to a gentle boil. Slowly whisk in the hot milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Return to the pot and cook over low heat, using a rubber spatula to continuously stir the custard. Cook until it is thick and coats the back of a spoon (or until it is 80 C).
Remove from heat and pour over the chopped chocolate, whisking to melt it. Use an immersion blender to fully emulsify the mixture.
Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and cool over an ice bath until it is room temperature, giving it a stir every so often to prevent a skin from forming.
Once it is cool, place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate overnight.
Before you churn the ice cream, fill your popsicle molds 1/4 full with graham streusel, pressing it in so it is compact and place the molds in the freezer. Prepare a piping bag fitted with a small circular tip.
Churn according to the manufacturers instruction. Transfer the ice cream to the piping bag. Take one popsicle mold and tilt it to the side so the streusel is on the side as well. Pipe in the ice cream, making sure to get into the ends and leave no air pockets. Place back into the holder and repeat with the remaining molds, then place the sticks in. You will have lots of extra ice cream (not a bad thing, in my opinion) so transfer that to a container and place in the freezer. Place the popsicle molds in the freezer and let harden for at least 2 hours.
To unmold the popsicles, run the mold under warm water for just a second and then gently pull out by the stick. Place on a baking sheet and let them freeze again until you are ready to finish them. Once they have the meringue on them, you cannot freeze them again and they must be served.
For the meringue, combine the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer set over a bain-marie. Heat the mixture, whisking constantly, until it reaches 60 C or the mixture is no longer gritty when rubbed between your fingers. Transfer to the mixer and whip on medium high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 5 minutes.
Using a spoon or a small offset spatula, cover the pops with meringue and gently torch with a handheld butane torch.