May 9, 2022
Try this elevated S’more recipe from Nightjar Diner in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, featured in the new cookbook: Only in Saskatchewan.
Nightjar’s S’more is an elevated take on the campfire classic, with a cold, creamy base of chocolate semifreddo—a half-frozen Italian dessert somewhere between mousse and ice cream—topped with gooey marshmallow and a crunchy, sweet white chocolate graham crumb. This dessert is an all-time customer favorite at Nightjar, and when Derek and Shaun tried taking it off the menu, they were met with everything from disappointment to a poem on a postcard lamenting its removal (they still have the postcard!). The semifreddo and graham crumb can both be prepared ahead of time or even made as a dessert in their own right.
Yield: 8-10 Servings
White Chocolate Graham Crumb
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix together the graham crumbs, 1/3 cup of the dry skim milk powder, the cornstarch, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl until well combined.
- Place the melted butter and cream in a small bowl and stir together to combine. Pour it overtop of the dry mixture and stir together, ensuring all the graham crumbs are evenly coated. The mixture should clump into small clusters and hold its shape if you squeeze it with your hands.
- Spread the crumb mixture evenly onto the prepared baking sheet and then bake, 10–12 minutes. Mix every 3–4 minutes to brown the mixture evenly.
- Remove the graham clusters from the oven and let them cool completely at room temperature. Break up any large clumps into chickpea-sized pieces.
- Place the graham clusters in a medium bowl and mix them with the remaining 1/3 cup of dry skim milk powder.
- Melt the white chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave at 20-second intervals, stirring between each interval, until completely melted.
- Pour the melted white chocolate overtop of the graham clusters in the bowl. Toss to coat and then allow them to dry fully at room temperature.
- Once dry, store them in the freezer in an airtight container until you’re ready to use them. The white chocolate graham crumb can be made in advance and frozen for up to 1 month. They can be eaten frozen or thawed at room temperature prior to using.
Grand Marnier Chocolate Semifreddo
- Place the cream, Grand Marnier, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or use a large bowl and a handheld electric mixer). Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, 5–7 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure all the cream is incorporated and then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate. If you used a stand mixer bowl, transfer the whipped cream to a different bowl or to an airtight container to refrigerate, as the stand mixer bowl is needed in the next step. Rinse and dry the bowl and the whisk attachment or electric mixer beaters prior to starting the next step.
- Place the egg yolks and the 1 Tbsp of sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or use a medium bowl and a handheld electric mixer). Beat the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed until light, fluffy, and pale yellow, 5–7 minutes.
- Place the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and the water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Swirl the water into the sugar using a spoon to dissolve it into a syrup. Heat the syrup, uncovered, until an instant-read thermometer shows the syrup reaching 245°F (118°C), stirring regularly so that it does not burn. Given that there is not much liquid, you may need to tilt the pot to be able to measure the temperature correctly.
- Remove the syrup from the heat and slowly drizzle it into the egg yolk mixture. Beat on medium-low speed until the mixture is very fluffy and roughly at room temperature.
- Melt the dark chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave at 20-second intervals, stirring between each interval, until completely melted and fluid. Immediately pour it slowly into the egg yolk mixture. (Do not let the chocolate sit at all prior to mixing or it will begin to harden and not mix well.) Use a handheld whisk to mix it together until the melted chocolate is fully incorporated.
- Remove the Grand Marnier whipped cream from the fridge and add it to the egg yolk/chocolate mixture in three equal additions. For the first addition, whisk the two mixtures together until fully incorporated. The second and third additions can be done more gently, folding the cream in with a spatula until fully combined.
- Portion the semifreddo into 8–10 individual serving jars (Mason jars work nicely), or freeze the entire mixture in a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan lined with plastic wrap or wax paper. Cover the jars or loaf pan with plastic wrap or lids and freeze for at least 3 hours. If you leave it in the freezer for more than 3 hours, it will have a firmer texture, more similar to ice cream or gelato.
- Remove the semifreddo from the freezer. If you froze it in a loaf pan, gently lift the plastic wrap or wax paper from the pan to remove it, and then cut it into 8 or 10 slices.
- Place 1 slice of semifreddo on a plate, or take an individual jar portion, and top with a heaping spoonful of the white chocolate graham crumb and a generous dollop of Marshmallow Fluff to taste. Nightjar uses a blowtorch on the marshmallow for a perfect toasted flavour, but the dessert is equally great with or without that option. Once assembled, serve immediately.
- The semifreddo can be kept in an airtight container or covered tightly and stored in the freezer for up to 1 month. When you are ready to use it, assemble the dessert and serve immediately.
Only in Saskatchewan by Naomi Hansen. Recipe copyright © 2022 by Nightjar Diner Co. Text copyright © 2022 by Naomi Hansen. Photo copyright 2022 © by Garrett Kendal.