Frozen Salted Caramel Mousse cake is a cake with three layers: waffle cookie crust, salted caramel mousse, and a white chocolate mousse. It is frozen and when cut into slices and eaten it takes like a soft and creamy ice cream.
I modeled this recipe after a cake I once had in Barcelona. The cake was at its most perfect in my memory, as bites of food often are when enjoyed in a special or unique place. It was a chocolate layer cake with all different textures of chocolate - crunchy crust, dense cake, thick mousse, creamy pudding, light ganache. I’ve been working for many years to replicate that cake and it is still a work in progress.
This, though, is the caramel version of that cake. It was inspired by a photo for a caramel chocolate tart recipe that I had seen online. And while the picture looked wonderful, when I clicked on the recipe it wasn’t what I had imagined it would be.
So I decide to make what I had imagined, which was a frozen salted caramel mousse cake with three layers. I knew that I wanted a lighter crust, not chocolate. I wanted a salted caramel mousse and a third layer to be determined. After hemming and hawing I settled on white chocolate mousse as the top layer, which is distinct enough to not blend in with the caramel mousse, but tame enough to not overpower the salted caramel mousse.
Notes on Frozen Salted Caramel Mousse Cake:
- It is important to use high quality white chocolate chips. There is such a big difference in the taste when selecting a higher quality brand like Ghirardelli. The other brand that I like is Guittard.
- You can make this in stages if you it feels like too much to do all at once. You could make the crust one night and the salted caramel and white chocolate mousse the next night.
- This keeps well in the freezer for a long time, so you could make this well in advance.
Frozen Salted Caramel Mousse Cake
Waffle Cookie Crust
- 6 tbsp butter, melted
- 1 box Trader Joes waffle cookies (8.8oz), or graham crackers
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp butter
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp salt
Salted Caramel Mousse and White Chocolate Mousse
- 6 egg yolks
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 and 2 ½ cups heavy cream, divided
- salted caramel
- 1 cup Ghirardelli white chocolate chips
- Crust: Add all but three waffle cookies to a gallon sized plastic bag and using a rolling pin (or other fun smashing device) roll or bang into crumbs. Combine the crumbs and melted butter and press into a spring form pan. Snack on the remaining three waffle cookies.Bake at 375 for 8 minutes. Set aside.
- Salted Caramel:Add 1 cup sugar to a saucepan and melt over medium heat. Continue stirring until it turns golden brown. Add the butter, stirring very quickly. Add the heavy cream, continuing to stir. Once smooth, remove from heat and add the salt. Allow to cool to room temperature.
- Salted Caramel Mousse and White Chocolate Mousse:In a small bowl microwave the white chocolate chips at 50% power, 30 seconds at a time until melted.In a medium bowl whisk together the egg yolks, granulated sugar, and salt.In a medium saucepan bring 1 cup heavy cream to a simmer over medium heat. Slowly add the heavy cream to the medium bowl with the egg yolk mixture, stirring constantly. Then pour the egg yolk and heavy cream mixture back into the medium saucepan and turn the heat down to low. Continue to stir for 1-2 minutes until slightly thickened. Do not over cook.Divide the mixture in half into two large bowls. In one bowl add the melted white chocolate chips. In the other bowl add half of the caramel. Stir and allow both bowls to cool.In a third large bowl add 2 ½ cups heavy cream and whip until you get stiff peaks. Add half of the whipped cream to the bowl with the now completely cooled melted white chocolate mixture, one half at a time until fully combined. Repeat with the remaining half of the whipped cream and the salted caramel mixture.
- Assembling the Cake:Pour the salted caramel mousse into the spring form pan over the waffle cookie crust. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.Then gently add the white chocolate mousse on top of the caramel mouse in the spring form pan. Place the finished cake in the freezer for at least two hours or overnight. Remove from the freezer about 10 minutes prior to serving to allow it to soften slightly.You can use the remaining salted caramel to drizzle over the top of the cake when serving, or save for a later dessert.