Recipe Review: S’mores Bark

17 July, 2014
Rat Fink

J’ever notice how some things — no matter how fantastic they look at the get-go — just aren’t that fantastic? Hmm.

Last night I made a turkey pot pie and biscuits to take to my stepdaughter and her husband (he is recovering from surgery, so a bunch of us wanted to cook for Simone so she could focus on being Florence Nightingale). I know they are chocolate lovers, so I looked for something really fun. On Pinterest, I ran across S’mores Bark. I thought, perfect! 

Well…notsamuch. And this from a lifelong chocolate addict, trust me when I tell you. Anyway, more on the final verdict after you click through the picture show.

S’mores Bark

3.5 cups milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup marshmallow creme
3 rectangular sheets Graham crackers

Instructions

  1. Melt 1.5 cups chocolate chips, and spread over a wax paper-lined pan. Be careful not to make the layer too thin. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  2. Melt the white chocolate chips, then add in the marshmallow creme. Microwave until heated — about 30 seconds. Stir together, then quickly spread the mixture over the hardened chocolate layer.
  3. Crumble the Graham crackers and press them into the marshmallow layer. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Melt 2 cups of chocolate chips, and gently spread it over the Graham cracker layer. Freeze for about 2 hours. Take it out and break apart into bark.

(Click on first photo to advance through slide show.)

The really good part? Only four ingredients, and no baking.

The really good part? Only four ingredients, and no baking.

The recipe says to melt in the microwave, but I do enjoy the slower double-boiler method.

The recipe says to melt in the microwave, but I do enjoy the slower double-boiler method.

The instructions warned against spreading the melted chocolate too thin. I used the better part of a 9 x 13 jelly roll pan.

The instructions warned against spreading the melted chocolate too thin. I used the better part of a 9 x 13 jelly roll pan for the recipe, and it seemed the right size.

Melt the marshmallow creme and "white chocolate" together, and pour over the hardened initial layer.

Melt the marshmallow creme and “white chocolate” together, and pour over the hardened initial layer.

Instead of breaking up the graham crackers by hand, I ran them through my trusty coffee grinder because I thought it would look nicer. Turned out to be an unwise move.

Add the graham crackers and press into the marshmallow. (Instead of breaking up the crackers by hand, I ran them through my coffee grinder because I thought it would look nicer. Turned out to be an unwise move.)

Put it in the fridge; wait 30 minutes.

Put it in the fridge; wait 30 minutes.

Melt remaining chocolate, pour over the lot, and pop into the freezer for two hours.

Melt remaining chocolate, pour over the lot, and pop into the freezer for two hours.

Finis.

Finis.

While I absolutely do not rule out chef error, I noticed a few niggling things about this recipe:

  • If the words “marshmallow” and “bark” seem contradictory to you, it’s because they are. Frozen marshmallow is an undesirable texture. The creator of the recipe said, “Keep refrigerated for a more solid bark; leave it out for slightly more delicious, but slightly more squishy bark.” Squishy bark? I initially couldn’t penetrate the layers with my sharpest chef’s knife. After waiting a while so the knife could sink through the marshmallow, the texture of it was somewhat like taffy, but more, well, squishy. Chewy. Bad marks for mouth feel.
  • The top layer wouldn’t adhere to the cracker layer. This could, of course, be due to my using crumbs instead of individual pieces of cracker pressed into the marshmallow mixture. If I made this again, I’d still want to experiment with reversing the cracker/marshmallow order. The cracker pieces (or crumbs) would definitely stick to the bottom chocolate layer, and I think the melted marshmallow would have a much better chance of adhering to the top layer of melty chocolate.
  • It is cloyingly, overpoweringly, altogether utterly over-sweet. Not that I was expecting savory, mind. But with this dish, there’s no balance. You’re all in, and where S’mores are concerned, that’s pretty much what you’re stuck with, which is fine on occasion. But this dessert differs from traditional, over-the-campfire S’mores because the ratio of cracker to marshmallow and chocolate is completely off. Think of a traditional S’more; what’s the overriding ingredient? Graham crackers. Generally, it’s a sandwich of Grahams, with a thin slice of chocolate and one marshmallow. This ain’t that.
  • The chocolate. Milk chocolate chips by Hershey are not Hershey bars chopped into little morsels. The chemistry is totally different, and the taste bears that out. While it’s plenty chocolaty (overly so), there’s just a hint of artifice — especially in that heavy a concentration. It may not bother some people, but I noticed it right away.

Bottom line: This recipe is more work than necessary, and the extra time didn’t justify the resulting taste and texture. If you want to have a bark-like S’more experience, just pour some melted chocolate on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with Graham cracker pieces and miniature marshmallows, and let set. *Bing* S’mores on the fly.

On the Rat-O-Meter scale of five cheeses, I give S’mores Bark:

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Suzanne
17 July, 2014 1:50 pm

Haha lookie those little feets. :) Hey nice review. Now I want a s’more!!

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David
David
18 July, 2014 12:21 am

I might be the only person that does not like s’mores…at all…ever! Just way too sweet for me…now the individual ingredients, those I can get into…graham crackers and coffee, oh yea!

Great review…love the moccasins! Peace!

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