If you’re a fan of my blog, you may just recognise this recipe. It was one of the very first dessert recipes I published on here. The cake is simply amazing: light, intensely flavoured salted caramel mousse; crunchy, gooey peanuts; and fine layer of sponge cake coated in an even finer layer of dark chocolate. Despite this cake’s deliciousness, every time I look back at the published recipe I’m disappointed. The recipe wasn’t well written, the photography is terrible and the caramel glaze was far from perfect. It’s safe to say that my blog post didn’t do it justice. For this reason, I’ve decided to revisit this recipe, remake the cake, make some changes to the recipe and finally take some photos I’m happy with. I believe it’s just as important to go back to alter old recipes as it is to create new ones. Unfortunately, I’ve had to break my promise of taking step by step photos as it was a crazy busy week and I didn’t have the time. However, If you are confused about any of the steps in the recipe just leave a comment and I promise I’ll help you out!
Tips for managing your time:
Its a great idea to start this recipe a day or two ahead of time. There are a lot of steps and trying to do it all in one day will be near impossible. Here’s a little guide for managing your time so it will a stress-free experience.
- Whenever you have time: Prepare the neutral glaze, this can be stored in the fridge for a week of two.
- Whenever you have time: Make the caramel peanut layer, this can be kept in the freezer for a few days.
- The day before: Make the almond sponge base and the salted caramel mousse. Assemble the cake and place in the freezer overnight.
- D-day: Prepare the caramel glaze. Unmould the cake, glaze it, decorate it and eat it!
You will need:
- A candy thermometer.
- A patisserie ring 20cm – 24cm in diameter.
- Some acetate strips to line the patisserie circle with ( you can use baking paper, but it might be slightly less smooth).
- Glucose syrup & Pectine NH – available at most baking stores.
The Neutral Glaze (you need this to make the caramel glaze later)
- 250g of water
- 10g of pectine NH
- 62g of sugar (1)
- 200g of sugar
- 16g of glucose syrup
Heat the water to 50°. In a small bowl, mix together the pectine and sugar (1). Add to the warm water while whisking continuously. Add the glucose and sugar and bring the mixture to a boil. Pour into a clean jam jar or container and cover with plastic film so that the film is touching the surface of the glaze. Place in the fridge for later.
The Peanut Caramel layer
- 100g of sugar
- 50g of glucose syrup
- 130g of cream
- 70g of butter, cubed & at room temperature
- 130g of roasted, salted peanuts
Roughly chop the peanuts and set aside. In a medium saucepan, heat the sugar and glucose, stirring from time to time. While the sugar is melting, pour the cream into either a cup or saucepan and heat in the microwave or stove until almost boiling. Don’t forget about the sugar, it can brown and burn very quickly. You want the sugar to melt and become a beautiful dark amber color (approximately 165°C). As soon as this color is obtained, remove from the heat and slowly add the hot cream. Be careful as the mixture will bubble and splatter. Stir continuously until smooth then add the butter and peanuts.
Line a baking tray and place your patisserie ring on it. Pour in the peanut caramel and place in the freezer for at least 2 hours or until needed.
The almond sponge cake
- 2 eggs
- 70g of almond meal
- 70g of icing sugar
- 10g of flour, sifted
- 70g of egg whites
- 10g of caster sugar
- 50g of chocolate
In a large bowl, beat the 2eggs, almond meal and icing sugar and light and creamy – ideally you want it to double in volume. In a separate bowl, beat the eggwhites ,while slowly adding the sugar a little at a time. Once you have a nice, stiff meringue, use a spatula to incorporate 1/3 into the egg/ almond meal mixture. Next, add half the flour, then 1/3 more of the meringue, then the final portion of flour and meringue.
Line a large, shallow baking tray with baking paper. Pour in the cake batter and smooth it out so it is level and roughly 1cm in thickness. Bake for 7-10 minutes. The cake should be golden but still quite soft and moist.
Unmould the peanut caramel layer by running a knife between the patisserie ring and caramel. Leave the caramel on the baking paper and place back in the freezer. Wash the patisserie ring and use it as a cookie cutter to cut out a large circle of the almond sponge cake. Melt the chocolate in the microwave and use the back of a spoon cover one side of the cut out sponge cake in chocolate. Place in the fridge until the chocolate sets.
The salted caramel mousse (3 components)
- The Meringue:
- 130g of sugar
- 40g of water
- 100g of egg yolk
- The Caramel:
- 100g of sugar
- 130g of cream
- 5g of salt
- 10g of gelatine leaves (gold strength)
- The Whipped Cream:
- 250g of cream
Submerge the gelatine in a bowl of cold water and set aside. Next, make the caramel by placing the sugar in a medium saucepan over med/high heat. In a separate saucepan heat the cream. Stir the sugar until it has melted then stop stirring and watch it closely. You want it to be a dark amber colour or 165°C. Once it reaches the desired colour, remove from the heat and gradually add the hot cream. Be careful as it will bubble and spit! Keep stirring until the caramel is smooth. If there are lumps of caramel, place back on the heat and whisk continuously until you have a nice glossy mixture. Next add the gelatine. Make sure you squeeze and discard the liquid before adding it. finally, stir in the salt. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
While the caramel is cooling, prepare the egg yolk meringue (yes, egg yolk!! this isn’t an error) by placing the egg yolks in a bowl and setting up your electric beater or mixer. Next, make your sugar syrup by heating the sugar and water over med/high heat until it reaches 118°C. While the sugar syrup is heating, start beating the egg yolks then when the syrup is ready slowly pour it in as you continue to beat. Keep beating until the mixture cools to room temperature.
Make the whipped cream by beating the cold cream until soft peaks form. Using a spatula, mix 1/3 of the whipped cream into the caramel. Once completely incorporated, gently fold the caramel into the meringue mixture, followed by the rest of the whipped cream.
Time to assemble
Place the patisserie ring on a tray covered with baking paper. Line the ring with either acetate or baking paper. Place the layer of sponge, chocolate side down, in the ring. Remove the caramel peanut layer from the freezer and place on top of the sponge cake. The caramel will still be sticky so tip the baking paper upside-down over the circle and gently pull away the baking paper. Use your hands to push it on top of the sponge cake. Finally, pour on the caramel mousse on top making sure the top is smooth. You can either place it in the fridge for several hours and eat it like this or place in the freezer overnight and glaze it and decorate it the next day.
For the caramel glaze
- 200g of sugar
- 160g of hot cream
- 40g of slightly heated neutral glaze
- 52g of milk powder mixed with 70g of water
- 80g of glucose syrup
- 8,5g of gold strength gelatine leaves
Submerge the gelatine in a bowl of cold water and set aside. Make another caramel by heating the sugar over med/high heat until it reaches an amber colour (slightly lighter than the caramel for the mousse). Add the hot cream and mix until smooth. Add the neutral glaze and the milk powder mix, then add the glucose syrup. Allow to cool to 60°C and add the gelatine (squeeze out and discard the water). Mix well until smooth and allow to cook to 32°C.
To glaze the cake remove it from the freezer and warm the outside of the patisserie ring with your hands or a warm cloth. Remove the ring and place the cake on a wire rack. Cover your surface in plastic wrap (this is a messy job!). Take the glaze, which should now be 32°C and slowly and evenly pour it over the cake that should now be sitting on the wire rack on top of the plastic covered surface. Allow the glaze to run down the sides and drip for several minutes. Carefully place the cake on a serving plate and decorate it with macarons or chocolate shards. Place in the fridge for approximately an hour before serving.