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s’mores cheesecake with toasted marshmallow topping

ah, s’mores. the glorious dessert synonymous with summertime, cookouts + camping. while i adore s’mores as much as the next marshmallow+chocolate lover, the tennessee summers don’t always make me want to light a campfire to roast ’em. the best alternative? this super delicious s’mores cheesecake with a graham cracker crust + toasted marshmallow topping.

the flavors of this cheesecake are simply perfection. it is so full of flavor + rich without actually being too heavy, as some cheesecakes can be. don’t be intimidated by the lengthiness of the recipe – it is slightly time-consuming due to cooling + chilling times, but the actual steps themselves are all very manageable. so, next time you’re looking for the perfect dessert to complete your family cookout, picnic or fireside hot dog roast, look no further – you will absolutely love this recipe!

s’mores cheesecake with toasted marshmallow topping

makes 8-10 servings, adapted from bon appetit

ingredients

for the crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (made from 9 whole crackers finely ground in processor)
3 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

for the filling:
9 ounces high-quality milk chocolate, chopped
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
3 large eggs

for the topping:
1 cup sugar
2 large egg whites
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
12 large marshmallows, cut into quarters with wet kitchen scissors
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1-pint container fresh raspberries
1 1-pint container fresh blueberries
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directions

for the crust:
position rack in center of oven + preheat to 350°F. mix crumbs + sugar in medium bowl. add melted butter; stir until mixture is evenly moistened. press onto bottom of 9” springform pan with 2 3/4” high sides. bake until set, about 12 minutes. remove from oven; cool. reduce oven temperature to 325°F.

for the filling:
stir chocolate in top of double boiler set over barely simmering water until smooth. remove from over water and cool to lukewarm, stirring occasionally.

combine cream cheese, sugar, + salt in processor + blend until smooth. with motor running, add whipping cream through feed tube + process just until blended. with motor running, add melted chocolate, then add eggs 1 at a time, blending + scraping down sides after each addition until mixture is smooth. pour batter over crust in pan.

bake cake until outer edge is slightly puffed + cake is barely set in center (center will look shiny + move slightly when pan is gently shaken), about 55 minutes. transfer cake to rack. run small sharp knife around cake to loosen. chill uncovered until cold, 8 hours or overnight. can be made 2 days ahead. cover + keep refrigerated.

for the topping:
whisk sugar, egg whites, 3 tablespoons water, cream of tartar, + 1/8 teaspoon salt to blend in large metal bowl. set bowl over saucepan of simmering water; whisk constantly until sugar dissolves + mixture thickens + is hot to touch, about 3 minutes. remove bowl from over water + stir in marshmallows (keep water simmering in saucepan). let stand until marshmallows soften, about 3 minutes. set bowl with mixture over simmering water; using hand held electric mixer, beat until stiff shiny peaks form, about 4 minutes. beat in vanilla.

scrape topping onto cheesecake. using offset metal spatula, spread topping to edges of cake, swirling decoratively. let stand until set, about 15 minutes.

using kitchen torch, lightly brown topping in spots. (or preheat broiler; place cake at least 4 inches from heat source + broil just until topping is lightly browned in spots, watching closely to avoid burning, about 2 minutes.) chill cake until cold. can be made 1 day ahead. cover with cake dome + keep chilled. remove pan sides + place cake on platter.