This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
The debate around the campfire centered on how to toast a marshmallow for the perfect s'more. Some prefer them to catch fire before being quickly blown out, while others take a longer, more golden-toasted view.
It's a camping discussion that has spanned generations.
Regardless of the marshmallow preparation, the makeup of a s'more has remained largely the same through the years crunchy graham crackers, melted chocolate and a warm marshmallow center.
Today, this flavor combination has moved beyond the campfire as chefs, bakers and even bartenders are putting their individual spin on the original camping dessert, with sweet results.
"S'more desserts are trendy for all the right reasonstextures, temperature contrast, sweet, salty," said Natalie Keller, the executive pastry chef at East Liberty Tap in Salt Lake City, where the signature s'more dessert is a perfectly balanced multilayered treat ($8).
Fanning the flame • Keller focuses on the chocolate and creating a brownie that isn't overly sweet. It's combined with a buttery and salty graham base, a layer of complex ganache and topped with a housemade Maker's Mark and vanilla bean marshmallow.
"We heat this layered treat up and serve it with some Maker's Mark caramel sauce to give you that smoky, whiskey, delicious flavor," said Keller, who once made the mistake of removing the 3-inch-tall treat from the menu.
"I don't foresee that happening again anytime soon," she said with a laugh.
Café Trio locations in Salt Lake City and Cottonwood are cooling things off with their incarnation of a s'more a Valrhona chocolate brownie, housemade marshmallow and a graham crumb gelato.
Main Street Park City is getting in on the s'more action, too. Tupelo pastry chef Shirley Butler was looking for a different texture to put on the restaurant's chocolate tasting plate ($12) and noticed a lot of s'more pictures on social media. She recalled a Tunnock's teacake she ate growing up in the United Kingdom and set about baking.
Her version features a buttery Breton shortbread base and fluffy marshmallow center covered in Amano chocolate. Bite-sized, this inside-out s'moreor "mini moon pie," as Tupelo owner and chef Matthew Harris describes themis just sweet enough to satisfy.
Even cocktails are joining the campfire phenomenon. At Under Current, customers will find the Boy Scout ($10)a High West Campfire whiskey-based drink with chocolate mole bitters. (See recipe below.)
"It's inspired by the smokiness of a campfire paired with the spicy chocolate bitters," says general manager Amy Eldredge. "This cocktail invokes that classic s'mores essence."
It was the campfire in Mill Creek Canyon that inspired Log Haven executive chef Dave Jones to create a petite tart on the summer dessert menu. "I thought it would be a natural for us up here," he said. A graham crumb tart shell is filled with milk chocolate ganache, house-made marshmallows and whiskey ice cream using High West Double Rye whiskey.
"I'm happy with it," Jones said, "but there really isn't a substitute for a campfire s'more experience!"
At the new location of Bubble & Brown Morning Shop in downtown Salt Lake City, owner and pastry chef Andrew Young offers the hazelnut s'more tart ($5) as a tribute to summer. It features a housemade graham cracker tart shell filled with dark chocolate cake (made with toasted hazelnuts for an earthy, crunchy note), chocolate ganache and airy meringue.
Young uses Utah-made Solstice chocolate in the cake and ganache as it "works so well with the hazelnuts."
Roast your own • If you're looking for a more traditional experience, several Utah resorts offer s'more roasting activities.
Visit Montage at Deer Valley at 8 each evening to take part in the summer tradition. Find the mobile s'mores cart to secure marshmallows and roasting sticks, then head to the fire pits around the property. The activity is free.
In Park City at the bottom on Main Street, Marriott Summit Watch provides resort guests with a heavy-duty metal roasting stick and a baggie filled with all the ingredients needed for one gooey s'more. It's available for a $2 donation to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.
Further north, at Bear Lake's Conestoga Ranch in Garden City, guests not only get a bag filled with enough s'mores supplies for a family of four, the experience also includes your own fire valet who makes himself available to light your campfire and deliver more wood if needed to your campsite. Sit under the stars with the moon rising over the "Caribbean of the Rockies," listen to the sound of popping embers, smell the campfire smoke, then load up a stick with a marshmallow as you watch the lights come on in the covered wagons below.
Finally, if you want to expand your gastronomic repertoire past Hershey bars and Honey Maid graham crackers, visit Salt Lake City's Tulie Bakery for custom-made s'mores kits.
"Almost everyone likes s'mores, and I thought it would be nice to make them with all the usual elementsbut of a higher quality than people are probably accustomed to," explained owner and baker Leslie Seggar. She bakes housemade graham crackers with wheat flour, butter and honey alongside small batches of vanilla marshmallows. The chocolate selection is Solstice Wasatch Blend, which Seggar loves because "it's locally made, and this particular blend is unique and perfect for our s'moresmild and creamy with notes of subtle sweet spice."
Tulie Bakery's s'mores kits are $8.50 each and contain four each of the graham crackers, marshmallows and squares of chocolate. They are available throughout the summer.
Now get roasting!
Heather L. King also writes for http://www.slclunches.com and can be found on social media @slclunches
Boy Scout cocktail
3 drops Bittermens Chocolate Mole Bitters
1/3 ounce Demerara Syrup
2 ounces High West Campfire Whiskey
Orange twist, for garnish
Place all the ingredients in a rocks glass and stir. Garnish with an orange twist.
Servings • 1
Source: Under Current bar, Salt Lake City