Is Dominique Ansel’s S’mores Pop a Worthy Cronut Wingman?


“Okay, pay attention. First you take the graham, you stick the chocolate on the graham. Then you roast the ‘mallow. When the ‘mallow’s flaming … you stick it on the chocolate. Then cover with the other end. Then you scarf. Kind of messy, but good!” –Hamilton “Ham” Porter, The Sandlot

There’s nothing more symbolic of childhood than the creation of a s’more; the act of slowly roasting a marshmallow over the campfire is a rite of passage for any man–especially a budding pastry chef. It takes work to get it right, too, at least when it comes to the ‘mallow: find the perfect stick, secure the marshmallow, and toast it golden so that a crisp, crunchy exterior gives way to a warm center oozing creamy sugar. So it’s no surprise that Dominique Ansel, the culinary force behind Dominique Ansel Bakery, had another hit on his hands when he unveiled the follow-up to the cronut: the frozen s’mores pop.

This is a delicacy The Sandlot‘s Mr. Porter would undoubtedly enjoy, though the ingredients and recipe stray slightly from his instructions. Vanilla custard ice cream is encased in a chocolate wafer, which is then coated in a homemade marshmallow mix. The square creation is secured on a smooth cylindrical branch–which has been roasted over applewood chips to impart a campfire flavor–and given a brief torching to add crunch and heat to the otherwise cool treat. The savory pastry-ice cream hybrid balances hot and cold, chewy and crunchy, and vanilla and chocolate, and manages to do a good job of re-creating a favorite childhood experience.

But while the combination of ingredients and presentation deserve praise, perhaps the most appealing aspect of Ansel’s latest menu entrant is that you don’t have to wake up at a quarter past 5 a.m. to secure a bite. I arrived at a reasonable 10:30 a.m. this past Monday and spent no more than 10 minutes waiting in line and watching the compilation of my snack before heading to the quiet backyard to enjoy the pop. By way of contrast, the cronut had sold out by 9:30 a.m. to the usual hordes.