The ‘regular' way of making s'mores—graham cracker-chocolate-marshmallow-graham cracker—is just unsatisfying to me. Even when the chocolate and marshmallows are properly melty, it's just a mess.
But since I am not one to shrink from the challenge of fixing a First World Non-Problem such as this, I give you gluten free s'mores parfaits. And even if you're some sort of fearless daredevil who doesn't mind the whole messy-smores thing, you'll love these parfaits.
You really could use any sort of cookie on top, but I used the round graham cracker cookies I made for the Gluten Free Mallomars on page 65 of Gluten Free Classic Snacks. You could make my Gluten Free Chocolate Graham Crackers, though.
To make sure these aren't so sweet that they give you a toothache, I cut back on the sugar in the chocolate pudding. The marshmallow fluff is plenty sweet, and you need the proper amount of sugar for it to set up. Such is the nature of homemade marshmallow fluff.
And guess what? These are even better when you make them a day or so ahead of time. Place the parfaits, uncovered, in the refrigerator (hold back on the cookie until right before serving), and both the pudding and the fluff will set up so it will only look like it's about to overflow the serving jar. See? Mess-less s'mores for everyone. Happy unofficial start to summer!
Gluten Free S’mores Parfaits
CHOCOLATE PUDDING LAYER
1/4 cup (35 g) xanthan gum-free gluten free flour blend (23 grams superfine white rice flour + 8 grams potato starch + 4 grams tapioca starch/flour)
1/3 cup (67 g) sugar
4 tablespoons (20 g) Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Rodelle brand, and I buy it on amazon)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups (24 fl. oz.) milk (any kind), at room temperature
3 egg yolks (90 g total), at room temperature
3 ounces dark chocolate, chopped (or your favorite chocolate)
2 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter, chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
MARSHMALLOW FLUFF LAYER
1 1/4 cups (250 g) sugar
1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) water
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2 egg whites (60 g), at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
First, make the chocolate pudding. In a medium-size heat-safe bowl, place the flour blend, sugar, cocoa powder and salt, and whisk to combine well. Add 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz.) of the milk, and then the egg yolks, whisking to combine after each addition. Set the mixture aside. In a medium-size heavy-bottom saucepan, place the remaining 2 1/2 cups (20 fl. oz.) milk and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Once the milk reaches a simmer, remove the saucepan from the heat and slowly trickle the hot milk into the bowl with the egg and chocolate mixture, whisking constantly to combine. Pour the whole mixture back into the saucepan and return to the heat. Cook, whisking constantly, over medium-high heat until the whisk leaves a visible trail in the pudding as you whisk it (2 to 3 minutes). Remove the pan from the heat, add the chopped chocolate, chopped butter, and the vanilla, and stir until the pudding is smooth. Pour into a large bowl and place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding to prevent it from forming a skin. Set aside to cool.
Make the marshmallow fluff. In a medium saucepan, place the sugar, water, cream of tartar and salt, and whisk together. Cook the mixture over medium-high heat until it reaches the softball stage (240°F on an instant read candy thermometer). Remove the cooked sugar from the heat, and set it aside to cool briefly. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or a large bowl with a handheld mixer), whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. With the mixer on low speed, pour the cooked sugar carefully down the side of the stand mixer bowl. Add the vanilla extract, and increase the mixer to high speed, and beat until stiff peaks form (5 to 7 minutes).
Assemble the parfaits. In 6 small containers, each about 8 ounces in capacity, pour a thick layer of the chocolate pudding, then a thinner layer of the fluff, followed by another layer of chocolate pudding and a large dollop of fluff. The parfaits can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 days ahead of time. Top with a graham cracker immediately before serving.
Inspired by a S’mores Parfait on my Must Make Gluten Free Pinterest Board that I just can’t seem to track down to its source!