I’ve been trying to make salted caramel mousse with poached figs, ever since I tried the dessert at the superb restaurant Zur Kaiserkron in Bolzano. Glad to say I’ve finally worked out a recipe that tastes just like the real thing.
I have never really understood the hype surrounding salted caramel, until I tried the salted caramel mousse with poached figs at an outdoor restaurant Zur Kaiserkron in Bolzano. It was a beautiful summer night with a blood moon rising over the Dolomites, and the dessert matched the atmosphere perfectly. It was unusual and intense and the salty notes seemed to enhance the dark taste of burned sugar. Delicious.
Back home I’ve been trying to copy the experience, and the first attempt failed miserably as too much salt and too little effort made the salted caramel mousse inedible. Second time round I had adjusted the ingredients and the technique, and now my salted caramel mousse can take me back to a summer night in Bolzano, any time I make it.
For the salted caramel mousse
80 g sugar
50 g butter, chopped into pieces
50 ml double cream
1.5 tsp sea salt flakes
2 sheets gelatin
250 ml double cream
For the poached figs
4 dried figs (fresh figs can be used instead)
250 ml red wine
1 tbsp sugar
1 star aniseed
Start by preparing the salted caramel.
Soak the gelatin sheets in cold water. Place the sugar in a medium heavy saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat, until it melts and turns amber. Swirl the pan occasionally to stop it from burning.
Remove the pan from the heat.
Add butter immediately to the melted sugar, while whisking vigorously to make it combine.
Add salt and 50 ml double cream to the pan and whisk some more until combined. It can take quite a while, and and you may have to reheat the salted caramel over very low heat, to get the perfect, creamy smooth texture.
Lift the softened gelatin sheets out of the water, and stir them into the still warm salted caramel, until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
Place the remaining double cream in a mixing bowl and whisk until it reaches stiff peaks.
When the salted caramel mixture has reached room temperature, add it to the bowl and gently fold in the cream until combined.
Pour equal amounts of faked caramel mousse into 4-6 silicon molds or serving glasses.
Chill until set, at least 2 hours.
For the poached figs.
Heat up red wine, sugar and star aniseed in a saucepan.
Include the figs, turn down the heat and let them simmer until the figs are soft and the wine is syrupy. Fresh figs should only be cooked for a few minutes, while dried figs need more time.
Place the poached figs in an airtight jar and keep them in the fridge. It’s recommendable to poach af many figs as possible in the red wine. They will keep for week and are perfect with many desserts like ice cream, chocolate or lemon mousse.