Monday, November 18, 2013

S’mores Cheesecake Tart with a Rich Milk Chocolate Truffle Topping

This tasty recipe came about because I had a little extra cream cheese and graham cracker crumbs on hand one day in July. So I decided to make a rich dessert that was reminiscent of summer camp-out bonfires. But, of course, I used high quality organic milk chocolate and created something a little richer than the usual campfire experience. 

This little S'mores Cheesecake Tart was so tasty that I can still remember the flavour every time I see a picture of it.  I hope you will try it and love it as much as I do.
S’mores Cheesecake Tart Recipe:
You need:
For the crust (this one takes time but produces a reliably solid tart shell.  If you are pressed for time, see below for an alternate crust that is quick, but can be a little crumbly):
  • 1 box Graham Cracker Crumbs (about 300 grams)
  • 1/2 lb butter (2 sticks or 1 cup)
  • 1/3 cup sugar (to be healthier, you can use organic, unbleached sugar or coconut sugar)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup unbleached flour, plus flour for dusting your work surface
For the filling:
  • 1 package (250 g) cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup sugar (organic, unbleached preferably or coconut sugar)
  • 1 tsp real vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whipping cream (reserve 1/4 cup, whip 3/4 cup)
  • 6 ounces of milk chocolate (you need about 2 100 gram chocolate bars)
For the topping:
  • 7 ounces of milk chocolate (two 100g chocolate bars)
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 12 large marshmallows
  • reserved chopped chocolate 

To make the crust:
  1. Place the graham cracker crumbs, flour and sugar in a stand mixer bowl and using a paddle attachment, mix for about 10-20 seconds to disperse the ingredients. Or simply whisk together, if you do not have a stand mixer.
  2. Chop the butter.  Add the chopped butter to the flour/crumb mixture. Beat on low until the butter is emulsified and mixture appears to have small and coarse crumbs. Again, if no stand mixer, paddle attachment, use two knives or two clean hands to work in the butter until crumbs form).
  3. Stop the mixer and add the egg yolks and egg. Beat on high for 10 seconds or more until dough is completely mixed.
  4. Flour your hands and the counter.  Then roll dough on the floured surface into a long log.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
  5. Once chilled, flour your work surface, your rolling pin and the dough to prevent sticking.  Roll out the dough in a long strip (about 5 inches wide and 1/8 to 1/4 inches thick).
  6. Using a small bowl (about 4 inches across), cut circles of dough. Take leftover pieces and re-roll and cut. You should get about 12 circles.
  7. Flour one side of each circle and then press each flour-side down into each non-stick muffin cup on a muffin pan.
  8. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 for 15 minutes.  Check them at 12 minutes to ensure your crust edges are not burning.
  9. Let cool slightly and carefully turn out onto a cooling rack. Set aside to cool completely while you make the filling.
To make the filling:
  1. Reserve 1/4 cup of the liquid whipping cream and set aside. Then whip 3/4 cups of the whipping cream in a stand mixing bowl until stiff (do not over-whip - it is lumpy when over-whipped - stop the mixer when soft peaks form). Transfer the whipped cream to a mixing bowl and refrigerate while you prepare the cream cheese.
  2. Unwrap the cream cheese and place on a plate or paper towel.  Soften in the microwave for 20-30 seconds.  Place cream cheese in a stand mixer bowl and beat the cream cheese until softened and smooth. Stir with a spatula to ensure it is all softened.  Add 1/2 of the sugar and beat.  Stop mixer, stir and beat again. Then add the other 1/2 of the sugar.  Stir by scraping the bottom of the bowl and beat again.  Beat for another 30 seconds or so until fully mixed and slightly fluffy.
  3. Add the vanilla and whip again for a few seconds.
  4. Take the whipped cream out of the refrigerator and fold into the cream cheese mixture until well mixed.
  5. Spoon or using a pastry bag, fill each cooked tart shell with cream cheese filling until about 1/4-inch from the top - this will leave room for the chocolate truffle topping. Place tarts in fridge to set while you prepare the truffle topping.
To make the chocolate truffle topping:
  1. Break up all the chocolate.  Reserve about a 1/4 cup to decorate your tarts. Place the remaining chocolate in a glass or microwave safe bowl.  
  2. On the stove top in a small sauce pan, heat the cream just to the boiling point, then pour over the milk chocolate.  Stir until smooth using a wooden spoon (alternately you can just place the cream and chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and melt together for 1 minute and 20 seconds on HALF power.  Take out and stir until smooth). Optional: Add one tbsp. of corn syrup or agave syrup to add a shiny appearance to the truffle, but this is not necessary.
  3. Take the tarts out of the fridge and pour a little topping over each one.  It should naturally spread to the side, but if it doesn't, then use a spoon to spread it around to the edges of the tart crust to completely cover the cream cheese filling.
  4. Place the tarts in the fridge and let set for 1 hour.
Roasting the Marshmallows:
  1. Heavily butter a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  2. Cut each marshmallow in half crosswise and place sticky side down on the pan.
  3. Place the pan of marshmallow halves in the oven on top rack and broil for about 2 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. Immediately chop the reserve chocolate in large chunks or shards and place one on each marshmallow. Let cool slightly then delicately lift each off with a knife or offset spatula and place one marshmallow on each tart.
Enjoy with 11 of your closest friends!
Alternate crust recipe to save time:
  • 1 box Graham Cracker Crumbs (about 300 grams)
  • 1/2 lb butter (2 sticks or 1 cup)
  • 1/3 cup sugar (to be healthier, you can use organic, unbleached sugar or coconut sugar)

    1. Melt the butter in the microwave for 40 seconds.
    2. Using a pastry brush, prepare two muffin pans (or a cupcake pan if you do not have muffin ones, muffin molds are slightly larger) by brushing the sides and bottom of each cupcake or muffin mold with butter to prevent sticking.  Reserve the remaining melted butter for the crust.
    3. To make the crust, pour the graham cracker crumbs into a medium mixing bowl.  Add the sugar and stir to disperse the sugar. Pour the remaining melted butter over top and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until the crumbs are moistened. 
    4. Press about a 1/3 cup into each muffin cup on the prepared muffin pans.
    5. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 12 minutes.  Remove and let cool completely before turning them out onto a pan or cooling rack.
    6. Fill with the cream cheese filling recipe that is outlined above.


    1. These look like a tasty fun treat any time of year! Everybody loves a s'more and this one isn't nearly as messy!

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