My grandma Sally grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and lived the second half of her life in the U.S. Used to the inclement weather of Ireland, she was — to put it mildly — a fall fanatic!
She loved the crisp chill of fall mornings, the gorgeous rainbow colors of the changing leaves, a roaring fire in the fireplace and cooking something delicious and steamy on the stove.
I share her delight in the fall season, crackling leaves underfoot, seasonal treats and so many excuses for large mugs of hot chocolate! In honor of her incredible cooking and love of fall, using her old recipes as an inspiration for mine, I’m sharing my favorite creamy caramel mousse!
Caramel mousse with roasted apples
Long heat-resistant spatula or spoon
Caramel mousse ingredients:
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
4 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
2 cups heavy cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1. Take your heavy-duty saucepan and add in granulated sugar, brown sugar, water, honey and vanilla paste. Gently mix into a paste and then stop stirring.
2. Over medium-high heat, bring this mixture to a boil, without stirring it (you can move the pan back and forth gently to ensure even cooking). Cook the mixture until it turns a beautiful amber color; watch it carefully. The caramel is ready when the bubbles are clear of any sugar granules. This should take about six minutes. Do NOT stir the mixture, but do take your pastry brush and brush down the sugar when it sticks to the side of the pan. This stops the sugar from crystallizing as it cooks.
3. Reduce the heat to medium. Add ⅔ cup of room-temperature cream very carefully to the caramel; it should bubble and spit a bit, so be careful — this time you can stir! Remove the pan from the heat and use a heat-resistant spatula or spoon to stir continuously. Stir for a few minutes until all the lumps are gone and the caramel is smooth and shiny.
4. Return to the heat, add in your butter and stir until it’s completely melted into the mixture.
5. Transfer your caramel sauce to a bowl with a spatula and let cool to room temperature. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one to two hours, until the caramel can still be stirred but is cool.
6. In your stand mixer, pour in the remaining 1 ⅓ cups of cream and whip until it holds soft peaks. Take ⅔ cup of the whipped cream and put aside for garnish. Gently fold the remaining whipped cream into the chilled caramel sauce.
7. Spoon the mousse into individual bowls or wide glasses. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for at least two hours and up to 24 hours.
Roasted apple ingredients:
¼ cup sugar
⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 apples, cored and cut into quarters
1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon.
3. Add your apple pieces and toss everything together to coat.
4. Spread the apples in a single layer on your baking sheet.
5. Bake the apples for 30 to 35 minutes, tossing them halfway, until they are tender.
Spoon some apples over the mousse and garnish with whipped cream.