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Friday, 19 April 2013

Salted caramel mousse and chocolate glaze with chocolate truffles

Salted caramel mousse
Image courtesy of Jacquie Davenport
Is there anything better in this world than salted caramel? I love it so much that when I bought a salted caramel macaron today that tasted more of chocolate than caramel, I had a bit of a sookie-la-la. Damn you Lindt! As delicious as the macaron was, it wasn't the salty hit I was after.

People get a bit freaked out by making caramel. Yep, it can be easy to burn, it can go grainy and on more than one occasion I have gone waaaay overboard with the salt. Like, salt and vinegar chips salty. Eeek. Would have been better smeared over roasted beef than in a layer cake. But after a couple of goes at this recipe, I can make it recipeless (totally a word, despite what the red squiggly line thinks).

This caramel has been served with a plethora of desserts: apple cake, chocolate tart with banana icecream, popcorn. But this might be my new masterpiece. With most of the caramel mixed through a silky mousse and then rest left to moisten the ginger fluff sponge, the caramel flavour is pronounced and the texture just right for the light layers.

Salted caramel mousse cake ginger fluff sponge chocolate glaze chocolate truffles

So what goes well with salted caramel? Besides everything? Including roasted beef? Chocolate. Like crazy. But it was important this didn't become a chocolate cake (like my chocolate macaron masquerading as a "salted caramel macaron"). Chocolate has a tendency to take over in most desserts, though it may be my liberal application. I wanted a thin layer of chocolate on top, but couldn't resist popping on some truffles as a round contrast to the stripes of the trim.

Truffles are a crazy easy treat to whip up. Two ingredients as a bare basic. Seriously. Two ingredients? You can't be serious Emma? Surely this is one of your wild, whimsical tales of simple desserts and easy hors d'oeuvres. Nope. My only caveat is, if you want to introduce a new flavour (orange? coffee? mint? Oh mint....) you might need one more ingredient. And you can roll them in cocoa for a decorative effect. But that's not a third ingredient. No way.

Oh my god. Revelation mid post. Chocolate truffle with salted caramel. Gotta get on that. Sorry guys. You're on your own. I'm off to whip up a crazy new truffle. Toodles!


Salted caramel

600ml cream
250g liquid glucose
1 tsp vanilla paste
300g caster sugar
75g butter
6g gelatine
2 tsp sea salt, or to taste

Salted caramel

Add the gelatine to 2 tbsp cold water to soften.

Heat the cream, vanilla and glucose over a low heat until simmering.

Heat a heavy bottom saucepan over high heat. Add the sugar and melt, stirring regularly until all grains are dissolved and is coloured golden.

Add the cream to the sugar, whisking continuously until incorporated. You might get some lumps, but they will mostly cook out. Add the butter a little at a time, whisking to combine. Add the gelatine and turn off the heat. Mix through the salt.

Salted caramel mousse

2/3 quantity salted caramel
16g gelatine
700ml cream
250g white chocolate
1200ml cream

Add the gelatine to 3 tbsp cold water to soften.

Heat the first quantity of cream over a low heat to a simmer. Break up the chocolate in a bowl and pour over the cream. Stir occasionally to melt the chocolate. Leave to cool.

Whip the second quantity of cream until soft peaks are formed. Add to the white chocolate mixture and fold through. It's essential the chocolate mix is cooled completely - no one likes a split mix.

Once the cream is mixed through add the caramel and fold through again.

Spread 1/2 cup of caramel to the ginger fluff in the cake tin. Add a 2cm layer of the caramel mousse on top. Add another layer of ginger fluff, salted caramel and repeat with the caramel mousse, layering until all three ginger fluff layers are covered with caramel and the mousse. Pop in the refrigerator to set for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

Chocolate glaze

300g dark chocolate
150ml cream
2 tbsp caster sugar
45g liquid glucose
100ml water
6g gelatine

Add the gelatine to 2 tbsp cold water to soften.

Heat the cream and sugar in a saucepan over low heat until at a simmer. Break up chocolate in a bowl and pour over the cream. Stir occasionally to melt.

Mix the glucose and water in a saucepan and heat until the glucose has melted and combined with the water. Turn up the heat and boil for around 2 minutes. Add the softened gelatine, followed by the chocolate mixture, stirring to combine. Leave to rest and cool until the gelatine thickens the mixture.

Chocolate glaze

Once the cake has set and the chocolate glaze has cooled. Pour the glaze over the cake, spreading to ensure the entire top of the cake is covered. Leave in the refrigerator until set completely.

Chocolate truffles

150g chocolate
150g cream

Heat the cream over a low heat until just simmering. Pour over broken up chocolate in a bowl and stir occasionally until the chocolate has melted. Leave to cool until the chocolate is thickened.

Using two spoons, take around 2 tablespoons of the ganache on one spoon, shaping with the other. Push gently off the spoon into some cocoa powder. Roll by hand to shape. Repeat with remaining ganache.

Place around the edge of the cake to decorate.

Chocolate truffles

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