Saturday, January 23, 2010

Caramel Mousse

I stumbled upon this recipe in a book called Small-Batch Baking by Debby Maugans Nakos. I found possibly my favorite vanilla cupcake recipe on one of my favorite blogs called Cookie Madness, run by Anna, and she said that she had gotten the recipe from this same cookbook. I thought it would be worth checking out since I always bake in small batches since really it's only me and one other person in my house eating the sweets! But when I looked it up on Amazon, I found a lot of the reviewers said that there were errors in the book, so I discarded the idea of getting it. Yet a couple days ago when I was in the library, I happened to find it and decided to give it a try anyway. Once I discovered this mousse recipe, I knew I had to try it!!

This recipe didn't quite have the texture I like in a mousse; it was actually pretty much just caramel whipped cream, but it's still very delicious! If any of you guys have never made a homemade caramel sauce, I don't know what you're waiting for! I have to admit that I was a bit intimidated when I first tried to make homemade caramel, but it's actually very simple and SO much better than anything you can get in a store! (And I know that there are packaged caramels in the picture...admittedly, they're just for decoration.) Anyways, do give this recipe a try. You can use it in a multitude of other recipes, or even use it as a topping for cupcakes, pies, cheesecakes, or whatever!

Caramel Mousse (Adapted from Small-Batch Baking by Debby Maugans Nakos. No copyright infringement intended)

For the caramel sauce:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  1. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring with a fork (or whisk), and cook until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and cook, swirling the saucepan frequently, until the sugar syrup is golden amber in color, 7 to 9 minutes.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and gradually add the cream, stirring slowly and carefully- the caramel will sputter when the liquid is added. The sugar will seize and harden. Return the pan to the heat and continue cooking until the sugar melts again, about 2 minutes. Pour into a small bowl and cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Makes about 1/2 cup.
For the mousse:
  • 1/2 cup cold heavy cream
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons caramel sauce (I ended up adding more to taste. I recommend starting out putting in the 3 1/2 tablespoons and tasting the mousse and then adding more caramel sauce if you wish.)
  1. Place the cream in a chilled mixing bowl with a chilled whisk attachment/beaters (she recommends using a hand-mixer since the recipe is small, but I used my KitchenAid and it worked just fine). Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes.
  2. Beat in 3 1/2 tablespoons caramel sauce and mix until well blended, 20 to 30 seconds. (Taste the mousse and add more caramel sauce to taste if you wish). Serve immediately or place in small bowls and wrap with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. Makes 2 small servings.

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