[Caramel au beurre salé and milk chocolate mousse]

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From Trish Deseine’s Du caramel plein la bouche (page 76)

On caramel au beurre salé
Caramel au beurre salé [salted butted caramel] might sound strange but it is a classic combination. The beurre salé [salted butter] enhance the caramel flavour, resulting in a delicious treat.
Caramel au beurre salé comes from the north-west of france, from somewhere between Bretagne and Normandie. In these places, it’s a common statment to produce milk and thus cream and butter. And because of the proximity of the ocean/sea, salt is also produced for our greatest pleasure, leading to the confection of the famous caramels.

On chocolate and caramel
The association of caramel and chocolate is also un classique these days; from Pierre Hermé’s macarons Plénitude to Michael Recchiuti’s Burnt Caramel ganache.
This pair is also a favourite of mine.
It seems the caramel boosts the chocolate aroma. And to tell the truth it’s nothing but science.
Chocolate = fermented + roasted + ground cocoa beans = Maillard reaction
Caramel = caramelised sugar = caramelisation

Maillard reaction and caramelisation are both non-enzymatic browning.
Non-enzymatic browning is responsible for colours (brown tones) and flavours (subtly burnt).
As a result, chocolate and caramel are made to go together, highlighting each others.

On chocolate, caramel AND salt
Salt is an effective taste-enhancer and adding salt to a confection enable to develop its flavours. Nothing less, nothing more!

Mousse au chocolat au lait et au caramel au beurre salé
This mousse is a delight. Chocolaty, caramely!
I love the way the chocolate and the caramel complement each others to form a perfect after-dinner pudding.
I like serving this mousse (and any other chocolate mousse) in espresso cups.
Let me think… Everything’s been said! Enjoy.

Just a short note – The NY times recipe says ‘deglaze with the cream and butter’, while the butter should be added first until melted, then the boiling hot cream should be poured over. If you follow these two steps, seizing should not occur.

Mousse au chocolat au lait et au caramel au beurre salé

serves 6

100g granulated sugar
2 tbsp water
30g good-quality salted butter
200ml double cream or crème fleurette, heated to the boiling point
200g milk chocolate (38% cocoa solid)
3 eggs, separated

Make a caramel with the sugar and water.
Off the heat, mix in the butter until melted.
Then pour over the boiling hot cream and continue mixing til smooth.
Add the milk chocolate and wait for a minute or two for the chocolate to melt. Homogenise by mixing.
Mix in the egg yolks. Whisk the egg whites until they form firm peaks and fold into the chocolate mixture.
Divide between six ramekins and chill for at least 6 hours.