I love the flavor of caramel, and when I made this mousse, I found myself cleaning the bowl and licking the spatula. It has just what I want in caramel mousse—a rich, deep caramel flavor and a velvety, creamy texture.–Carole Bloom
LC Anything More? Note
Is there anything more you could want from a mousse than being rich, velvety, and creamy? Well, if you thrill to a contrast in textures, you could want the juxtaposition of all that loveliness with the crunch of something delicate yet bold. If that just made your heart skip a beat, take a look at the variation beneath the recipe.
Creamy Caramel Mousse
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 2 H, 30 M
- Serves 6
Special Equipment: Pastry brush; six 2-ounce mini martini glasses or bowls
IngredientsEmail Grocery List
- Creamy Caramel Mousse In A Tuile
- For a fancier plating, pipe the mousse into tuile cookie cups just before serving.
Recipe Testers Reviews
Thankfully I have a lot of experience making caramel, so I wasn’t tempted to stir while the mixture was boiling. The recipe instructs you to brush the inside of the pan with a damp pastry brush twice to prevent crystallization, and that’s key.
The recipe also said to cook it about 6 minutes, until it turned an amber color, but I boiled it for just 5 minutes. I could tell it was perfect and didn’t want to let it go any longer. After the caramel is a lovely amber color, you’re instructed to add the hot cream (slowly, of course) followed by the butter. (Did I mention this mousse is not exactly fat-free?) Then you pour the mixture into a bowl and allow it to come to room temperature. The adds that it should be refrigerated for 1 to 2 hours, but I checked it after only half an hour (could not resist!) and it was already firm enough. Any longer and it would not have been stirrable.
As an aside, the recipe calls for vanilla bean paste, but it’s easy to make your own from vanilla beans. What flavor! Beautiful. All that’s left to do is fold in the whipped cream and voila! Mousse! I kept sneaking licks while it was firming up in the fridge. It’s light, silky, and airy, yet the flavor is rich and buttery. The only slight imperfection? It was ever so slightly grainy, due to the cream and butter, but other than that it was sublime. Seriously. Vanilla beans. Caramel. Convinced yet?
I had always thought “bowl-licking-good” to be an exaggeration, but then I found myself licking the bowl—and the spatula—as I cleaned up after making this mousse.
Make sure you check the size of the pot you use to cook the sugars, as anything smaller than a 2-quart pot runs the risk of the caramel bubbling over when you add the cream and anything larger than a 2-quart pot may evaporate the water too quickly, allowing the sugars to burn. I found six minutes to be the perfect timing for cooking the sugar. At four minutes I had a caramel that was too light, runny, and too sweet (in other words, not sufficiently caramelized). But at six minutes, I could tell the sugars were well caramelized. I think any longer might have burned them. Adding the hot cream will make the mixture sputter, so stand back and use that long-handled spatula to stir!
Cool the caramel to room temperature, then place it in the fridge and check it after 30 minutes. You want the caramel to be cool but still stirrable. Warm caramel will “melt” the whipped cream later, but if it’s too cold and hard, it won’t fold in properly. An hour in the fridge was enough for my caramel – it took a bit of extra folding to get the first 1/3 of the whipped cream incorporated, but the rest went smoothly.
This may serve six at a dinner party, but it really serves two when eating it out of the bowl while standing in the middle of your kitchen.