In all honesty, I have never tasted a s'more despite my countless (and largely carcinogenic) marshmallow-roasting memories. However, thanks to American television shows pummelling my younger-self, I have always been drawn to the allure of the gooey, thick, cloud-like fluff sandwiched between two crispy crackers and embedded with softened chunks of dark chocolate. I am fairly sure that this monstrosity of a pancake stack, although lacking the characteristic crunch of a traditional s'more, can make up for any lost time.
There is one mystery ingredient, however, that may put some off this gloriously sugary feast, but I assure you that you will be none the wiser in terms of taste and texture. Where egg whites usually stand, loud, proud, and disturbingly gelatinous, aquafaba now takes their place. What is aquafaba? It's chickpea brine! Before you begin using voodoo-magic to curse me for tricking you into thinking that this fluff is edible, let me assure you, it is absolutely heavenly.
It is of utmost importance to use the unsalted variety, ideally that with no additives (if you check the ingredients, you will often find strange - and frustratingly unnecessary - additions to the mix such as emulsifier, thickener, and stabiliser. As with any food, but particularly in this case, the more natural, the better! Try to hold any judgement until the end, when you have a mouthful of sticky, sweet fluff laced with bitter chocolate and warm, spiced flatbreads. I promise you, it will certainly rival even the most luscious of melty traditional campfire s'mores.
GRAHAM CRACKER PANCAKE BATTER
1 cup of oatmeal
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1 ripe banana
1 tablespoon of maple syrup
2/3 cup of plant milk (I used creamy soy)
DARK CHOCOLATE GANACHE
2 tablespoons of plant milk (I used creamy soy)
4 squares of 70% dark chocolate
4 tablespoons of powdered sugar
2 tablespoons of aquafaba (unsalted chickpea brine)
1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar
Dark chocolate shavings
- First make the marshmallow fluff by placing the aquafaba and cream of tartar in a sparkling clean glass bowl. Using a whisk, hand-held beaters, or a mixer, whip these until 'soft peak' stage (around 2-3 minutes). Once this is achieved, add the powdered sugar gradually whilst mixing, or in stages. Continue whipping for 3-4 minutes, until the fluff has a pearlescent sheen and the air bubbles are so small that you cannot visibly see them.
- To make the pancake batter, place the oats in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until they resemble a fine flour. Add the cinnamon and baking powder, followed by the banana, and blend until smooth. Measure in the maple syrup and plant milk, whilst the processor is still running, and continue blending until super smooth.
- Heat a small non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, and once you can feel the heat radiating off it when you hold your hand above the surface, ladle in around 2 tablespoons of batter and spread into a circle around 20cm wide. Let cook for approximately 20 seconds, or until small bubbles form on the surface, then flip and cook for a further 15 seconds or so. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and repeat this method until you have no pancake batter left (this should make five pancakes). Don't worry if the batter sticks to the bottom and causes the pancake to crumple - simply clean the pan and restart. A bad pancake is still delicious!
- While the pancakes are cooling, make the chocolate ganache by heating the plant milk in a double boiler (or, if you prefer, in short bursts in the microwave until you can see the bubbles residing when you open the door). Add the broken-up chunks of dark chocolate and stir vigorously until all is melting and a shiny, silky, buttery appearance is reached.
- To assemble the pancakes, arrange in order of size and place the largest on the bottom. Alternate in the order pancake-ganache-marshmallow, continuing until your last pancake is stacked up. Take care in that the weight of the pancakes above will squish the filling out of the ones near the bottom, so put only around a teaspoon of each filling directly in the middle of the lower ones. Top with lots of marshmallow fluff, a liberal drizzle of ganache, a sprinkling of cacao nibs, and a pile of chocolate shavings.