The cake recipe that I am sharing with you today is my absolutely favorite cake recipe that I have ever created. It is the best cake that I have ever made in my life. Here and there, I tell you that I am happy with a recipe but this caramel apple mascarpone mousse cake tops all the cake creation that I have ever made in my entire life. I have no words for how much I like these petite cakes. I cannot tell you how much joy I have making these scrumptious little mousse cakes. Not only the colors of the different layers of the cake match perfectly but the different flavors are a dream. The speculoos flavor of the crunchy cake bottom goes so well with the caramel, the apple ragout and the mascarpone vanilla mousse.
And what do you think of my M chocolate seal? A while ago, I customized the seal and I made seals out of chocolate for the very first time. I could not be more happy about the result. Whenever I give away a cake, I will "sign" my name with this chocolate seal.
I hope you will enjoy these caramel apple cake as much as I do. It is the perfect winter mousse cake and the perfect holiday dessert.



Makes 6 little cakes (7 cm / 2.75 inches)

APPLE RAGOUT

  • 125 g / 1 cup apple cubes, cut into 1 cm 
  • 25 g / 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 pinch of cinnamon
  • Place the apple cubes, brown sugar and cinnamon in a pan. Over medium heat, let the mixture simmer until the sugar is melted which takes about two to three minutes. Make sure that the apples do not get too soft. 
  • Place the apple ragout into 6 little moulds. The size of each mould I use is: 2.5 cm / 1 inch in diameter and 2.5 cm / 1 inch in height.
  • Freeze the moulds for at least 2 hours.

CARAMEL

  • 85 g / 1/3 cup and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 45 g / 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 55 g / 3 tablespoons salted butter, cut into cubes
  • Place the sugar in a medium sized saucepan. Over high heat, melt the sugar (do not stir the sugar). As soon as the sugar starts melting switch the heat to low medium heat. At this point you can toss the pan. 
  • In a separate saucepan heat the heavy cream.
  • As soon as the sugar is melted and is golden in color, remove from the heat. Carefully pour the heavy cream to the sugar and constantly stir. Add half of the butter cubes and mix well. Place the saucepan back to the heat (medium heat) and mix until the caramel is smooth. 
  • As soon as the caramel is smooth, remove from the heat, add the rest of the butter cubes and mix well again. Pour the caramel to a bowl and let it cool for a minute. 
  • Pour the caramel on top of the frozen apple cores. 
  • Freeze the moulds again for at least 1 hour. 

VANILLA MASCARPONE MOUSSE

  • 15 g egg yolk / equals 1 egg yolk of a medium sized egg
  • 15 g / 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 85 g / 3 tablespoons mascarpone
  • 5 cm  / 2 inches piece of vanilla pod
  • 2.25 g / 1 1/2 sheets gelatin, soaked
  • 135 g / 1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • Place the egg yolk and granulated sugar in a heat proof bowl, Over a double boiler, heat the egg mixture until it is very hot. Stir constantly. Remove the bowl from the double boiler and whisk the mixture creamy. 
  • In a separate bowl, add the mascarpone and the seeds of the vanilla pod. Mix until the mascarpone is smooth. 
  • Add the mascarpone to the egg mixture and mix well until all ingredients are well combined. 
  • Gently heat the gelatin in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat. Add two tablespoons of the mascarpone mixture to the melted gelatin and mix well. 
  • Add the gelatin mascarpone mixture to the rest of the mascarpone mixture and stir. 
  • Whisk the heavy cream until creamy. 
  • Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture. 
  • Place hemisphere moulds ( 7 cm / 2.75 inches in diameter / I use silicon moulds) on a tray. 
  • Fill the hemisphere moulds 2/3 with the vanilla mascarpone mousse. Unmould the frozen caramel apple cores and gently press the frozen cores into the mousse, 
  • Place the tray with the moulds in the freezer for at least 4 hours or overnight. You can keep the frozen mousse cakes up to four weeks in the freezer.

SPECULOOS COOKIE SABLE BRETON BOTTOM

  • 75 g / 5 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, soft
  • 75 / 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 30 g egg yolk / equals 2 egg yolks of a medium sized egg
  • 100 g / 1 cup pastry flour
  • 2 g / 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2.5 g / 1 teaspoon speculoos spice mix, * here is my recipe
  • 20 g / 1/4 cup almond flakes
  • Preheat the oven to 175 °C / 350 F°.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • Place the soft butter and sugar in a medium sized bowl and mix with a (wooden) spoon until well combined. Add the egg yolks and mix well. 
  • In a separate bowl, add pastry flour, baking powder, salt and speculoos mix and stir well.
  • Add the flour mixture to the egg-butter mixture and mix well. When the dough comes together, transfer the dough to a floured work space and quickly knead the dough. 
  • Sprinkle the almond flakes onto the baking sheet. Roll out the dough onto the baking sheet to a 23 cm / 9 inch square.
  • Bake the speculoos sable breton for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and cut out circles with a cookie cutter (7 cm / 2.75 inches in diameter). Place the baking sheet back to the oven. Bake the cookies for another 5 to 7 minutes or until the speculoos cookies are golden brown in color. 
  • Let the cookies cool completely. The cookies can be prepared up to two weeks in advance. Store the speculoos cookies in an airtight container. 

CARAMEL GLAZE

  • 125 g / 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 125 g / 1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 5 g / 3 sheets gelatin, soaked
  • Place the sugar in a medium sized saucepan. Over high heat melt the sugar (do not stir the sugar). As soon as the sugar starts melting switch the heat to low medium heat. At this point you can toss the pan. 
  • In a separate saucepan heat the heavy cream.
  • As soon as the sugar is melted and is golden in color, remove from the heat. Carefully pour the heavy cream to the sugar and constantly stir. Place the saucepan back to the heat and stir until the caramel is smooth. Remove from the heat, add the gelatin and stir until the gelatin is completely melted. Transfer the caramel - pour the glaze through a sieve - to a bowl or mug and let it cool until it has the temperature of 30 °C / 86 °F. If the glaze is too thick, add a few drops of water to the caramel glaze and mix well. 
  • You can also prepare the glaze in advance. Keep the glaze in an airtight jar in the fridge and gently reheat the glaze. You can keep the glaze up to 5 days in the fridge. 

ASSEMBLING

  • Unmould the frozen mousse cakes. 
  • Place each frozen mousse cake on a speculoos bottom. 
  • If you made the glaze in advance, place the glaze (it has a very thick consistency) in a saucepan and gently reheat the glaze. If the glaze is too thick add a few drops of water.
  • Pour the glaze into a jug (I use a measuring jug) because than it is easier to pour the glaze over the cakes. When glazing the cake, it is important that the glaze is lukewarm (30 °C / 86 °F) and not hot. 
  • Place the frozen cakes on a wire rack and place a deep plate under the wire rack in order to catch the excess glaze, so you can reuse the glaze.
  • Pour the glaze over the frozen the cakes. Make sure that the mousse cakes are completely frozen when pouring the glaze over the cakes. 
  • Place each cake on a cake board and let the cakes defrost in the fridge.