Caramel Apple Mousse
For an unexpected sweet course, set out confections reminiscent of pleated skirts. We whipped up a silky caramel mousse with caramelized apples, then layered gold-flecked tuile cookies around it to make this stunning silhouette. Complete the look by displaying the individual portions on a ridged tablecloth, and invite guests to serve themselves. Half an hour before starting, freeze the bowl and whisk attachment of your mixer.
- Yield: Makes 10
Photography: Sang An
Source: Martha Stewart Weddings, Fall 2011
Sprinkle gelatin over the 2 tablespoons water in a medium bowl; let sit until softened. Fill a large bowl with ice and water for an ice bath.
Combine the 1/3 cup cold water and the sugar in a large pan with high sides; bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring until dissolved. Raise heat to high; cook without stirring until very deep caramel color (400 degrees on a candy thermometer).
Remove from heat; add 1 cup cream (mixture will bubble up). Once bubbling subsides, return pan to heat; whisk in another 1 cup cream, the vanilla, and salt. Heat to simmering.
Transfer 1 cup hot caramel mixture to bowl with gelatin; stir to dissolve. Whisk in remaining caramel mixture. Set over ice bath and let stand in refrigerator, stirring frequently, until beginning to set, about 1 hour.
Transfer caramel cream to chilled mixer bowl; whip with chilled whisk attachment on high until as stiff as possible (it will only hold soft peaks). Transfer to another bowl; keep well chilled. Then use a clean bowl and attachment to whisk remaining 1 cup cream until medium peaks form. Fold whipped cream into caramel-cream mixture with a rubber spatula.
Fill 4-ounce timbale molds about 1/2 full with mousse; spoon on the cooled caramelized apples. Add remaining mousse, mounding slightly (this ensures dessert will cling to plate when unmold- ing). Cover lightly with plastic; chill until completely set, 5 hours or overnight.
One hour before unmolding, transfer mousses to the freezer. To unmold, invert chilled mold onto plate. Gently warm outside of mold with a blowtorch, then lift it away. Surround each mousse with gold-flecked tuiles. Garnish with gold leaf; serve immediately.