I have been thinking of making a cake with these flavour combinations for a while and came up with the final idea in the early hours of the morning. I hope you enjoy it as much as my willing testers.
Green Apple, Caramel & Walnut Cake
For the Caramel Mousse
- 12g powdered gelatine, sprinkled over 3 tbsp cold water
- 3 egg yolks
- 40g caster sugar
- 190ml whole milk
- 130ml caramel sauce (see basics) or shop bought
- A few drops of caramel essence, optional
- 190ml double cream
For the Walnut Sponge
- 170g self-raising flour
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- 100g walnuts, finely chopped
- 170g butter, softened plus extra for greasing
- 170g caster sugar
- 3 large eggs, beaten
For the Apple Mousse
- 800g green apples such as granny smiths
- 50g muscovado sugar
- 250ml double cream
- 75ml apple juice
- 7 leaves of gelatine, soaked in cold water
For the Apple Mirror
- 280ml clear apple juice
- 2 leaves of gelatine, soaked in cold water
- A few drops of green food colouring (optional)
- 1 granny smith apple
- Juice of half a lemon
For the Walnut Marzipan
- 250g walnuts, finely ground
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 tsp liquid glucose
- 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 100g icing sugar
- 100g soft brown sugar
- To make the Caramel Mousse, in a large bowl, whisk the egg together with the sugar until pale and creamy.
- In a saucepan bring the milk to a simmer. Whisking constantly, slowly pour the milk over the egg yolks.
- Pour the mixture back into the saucepan. Over a low to medium heat and stirring constantly, cook until the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon.
- Stir in the gelatine and continue to stir until the gelatine has completely dissolved. Stir in the caramel and pour the mixture back into the bowl. Set aside at room temperature to cool.
- Beat the cream in a bowl with an electric hand whisk until soft peaks form. With a hand held balloon whisk fold the cream and caramel essence into the caramel mixture.
- Line a 20cm sandwich tin with cling film and pour the caramel mousse into the tin. Refrigerate until set.
- To make the Walnut Sponge, preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan. Grease and base line two 23 cm tins with baking parchment.
- Sift the flour into a bowl with the baking powder and stir in the walnuts.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer beat the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy.
- Beat in the eggs, a little at a time until incorporated.
- Divide the mixture between the prepared tins, level the surface and bake in the preheated oven for 25 – 30 minutes until golden brown and springy to the touch.
- Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning the cakes out onto cooling racks. Remove the baking parchment and let the cakes cool completely.
- To make the Apple Mousse, peel, core and cut the apples into small cubes and place in a saucepan.
- Add the apple juice and sugar and cook over a low to medium heat until soft.
- Pass the apples through a fine sieve or puree in a blender and pour into a bowl.
- Add the squeezed out gelatine leaves to the hot apple puree and stir until the gelatine has dissolved.
- Set aside to cool completely.
- Beat the cream in a bowl with an electric hand whisk until soft peaks form.
- When the apple mixture is cool, fold into the cream.
- To Assemble the Cake, place the first walnut sponge onto a serving plate and enclose with a spring form ring. Reserve 3 tbsp of the apple mousse in a small bowl and pour half of the remaining mousse over the sponge.
- Remove the caramel mousse from the tin and place over the centre of the apple mousse, pressing down lightly to level and centre the caramel mousse.
- Refrigerate for 1 hour before pouring on the remaining half of the apple mousse and levelling the top.
- Place the second walnut sponge over the mousse pressing down lightly to level.
- Spread with the reserved apple mousse and return to the fridge for 2 hours.
- To make the Apple Mirror, pour 40ml of the apple juice into a microwave bowl or saucepan and heat until just below boiling.
- Stir in the squeezed out gelatine and leave to cool to room temperature.
- Pour the gelatine mixture into the remaining 240ml of apple juice and colour with a few drops of green food colouring if desired.
- Core and halve the apple and cut into thin slices. Toss the apple slices in the lemon juice.
- Arrange the apple slices in an overlapping circle on the cake.
- Carefully pour enough of the apple juice mixture to cover the apples and return the cake to the fridge for at least another hour until set.
- Meanwhile make the Walnut Marzipan. In a bowl combine the ground walnuts and the icing sugar.
- Place the egg yolks, soft brown sugar, liquid glucose, cinnamon and vanilla into a saucepan and, whisking constantly, cook over a low heat until pale, creamy and hot.
- Pour the egg mixture over the nuts and stir until combined. Knead the mixture until you have a smooth paste. Warp the marzipan into cling film.
- To Finish the Cake, take the cake out of the fridge and carefully remove the spring form clip. You might want to use a cook’s blowtorch on the outside of the spring form clip to loosen the mousse before removing it.
- Roll out the marzipan between two sheets of cling film to 2 – 3 mm thickness and about 73cm in length (To get an even result use wooden skewers along side and roll out the marzipan to the thickness of the skewers). Measure the height of your cake and cut the marzipan to fit.
- Decorate the marzipan using flower cutters if desired. Place the marzipan around the cake pressing lightly.
- Serve with caramel sauce poured over the top as this enhances the flavour.
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