Dreams of Florence, caramel-raspberry dome cakes recipe

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Special everyday cakes and treats

These domes of creamy caramel mousse are filled with fresh raspberry jelly inserts and covered in a light caramel glaze.  They float on bases of crumbly sablé breton, Brittany salted butter shorbread.  Fragments of homemade pralines, caramelized almonds, stud the sides like crunchy jewels.  My caramel mousse-raspberry domes have a romantic name:  Dreams of Florence.  For some reason they remind me of the beautiful Italian city with its sea of terracotta rooftops and glistening domes.  And they’re very do-able.  Read on and see how simple it is to assemble various basic elements and produce these entremets, cakes with different layers and textures.  Impress your family and friends with these divine creations and remember to take a photo. 🙂

Caramel-raspberry dome cakes - Dreams of Florence

Dreams of Florence, caramel-raspberry dome cakes

The recipe – makes 10 individual domes

These domes were inspired by Nathaniel’s Amber creations in the New Patissiers book.  I used his idea of a sablé breton base and caramel mousse dome surrounded by pieces of pralines, then adapted a Cordon Bleu caramel mousse recipe and added raspberry jelly inserts to give a contrasting lovely sharp centre.  My homemade caramel glaze is based on a combination of recipes and kitchen experiments.

The Magnum-like chocolate version

Initially I tried a covering of tempered dark chocolate then discovered it was being very dominant.  But if you like Magnum ice-cream then go for it.   Brush your dome moulds with melted tempered chocolate a few times, letting them harden and chill between layers.  If you don’t make the layer a little thick it will crack later.  I need practice and this was my sole un-cracked survivor out of 4.  lol.

Chocolate-covered caramel mousse domes

Anyway even with cracked chocolate they’re delicious.  Eat them semi-frozen with your eyes closed and you’ll be in Magnum-like heaven.

An easier version

You could use a digestive biscuit for each base instead of the sablé breton (shortbread).

This caramel glaze version

I really recommend this version with the glaze emphasizing that beautiful slightly burnt caramel flavour.  Also its softness allows you to stick yummy praline pieces into the side and hide any imperfections around the bottom.  And the sablé breton.. oh la la.  They’re a dream to eat.

caramel dome cakes with raspberry insert

Caramel-raspberry dome cakes – Dreams of Florence

The different elements

It doesn’t take as long as you’d think to make these domes and it’s more approachable if you separate it out over two or three days.  You can also emulate what pâtisseries do to work more economically:  make lots of raspberry inserts or extra pastry to freeze for next time or make extra sablés bretons to have as biscuits at tea-time; use your pralines to make other cakes or crumble on trifles, etc.; use extra caramel base as a sauce.  If you do these things then making these elements will seem even more worthwhile, helping you spend less time making future batches of cakes!

If you don’t have all the small moulds you could also make a big entremets with a cake ring and acetate strip, using the same layers.  A big cake is also faster to make than many small ones.  Though the domes are lovely.  🙂

Caramel-raspberry dome cakes - Dreams of Florence

Caramel-raspberry dome cakes – Dreams of Florence

Suggested timings

Can be made in advance:

  • A.  Sablés bretons:  10-20 minutes to make rest 4 hours or overnight, roll then rest again if necessary, bake 20-25 mins
  • B.  Almond pralines:  5-10 minutes to make – store in an airtight jar until needed and try not to eat them all
  • C.  Raspberry jelly inserts: 10 minutes to make – freeze from 30 mins to 4 hours or a few days in advance

Easier made on the day

  • D.  Caramel base – 15 minutes to make
  • E.  Caramel mousse – 15 minutes to make (then freeze mousse domes 4 hours to set before unmoulding)
  • F.  Caramel glaze – 10 minutes to make (needs to set slightly in the fridge for maybe around an hour)

Special equipment

A.  Sablés or palets bretons

DSCF1706

I found some versions too sweet so created my own sablés with less sugar and a little more salt.  I also experimented with healthier flours like gluten-free buckwheat flour or lower-gluten (easier to digest) spelt flour and unrefined brown ‘panela’ sugar (aka rapadura/whole cane sugar) or light brown sugar.  All these worked and added to the flavour, but stick to the classic plain all-purpose flour and white sugar if you prefer.  For the full recipe with tips and photos, please go to the sablés bretons recipe in my basics ‘pastry is your friend’ section.

  • 2 egg yolks (40g) from medium-sized eggs, beaten and at room temperature
  • 100g/1/2 cup less 3 teaspoons caster/superfine sugar or 2/3 cup granulated sugar, panela (rapadura) or light brown sugar
  • 150g/1 and 1/3 stick softened semi-salted butter (good-quality like the Président brand), whisked to beurre pommade (texture of hair cream)
  • 230g/2 cups less 1 tbsp plain/all-purpose or cake flour, options:  buckwheat (2 cups less 1/2 tbsp) or fine white spelt flour (2 cups less 1 tbsp)
  • 10g/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • from two pinches to 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste (1/3 to 1/2 teaspoon if using unsalted butter)

Tip:  don’t overwork the pastry when adding the flour.  Keep it quick and light or your pastry will become tough.

sablés bretons 1 illustrated recipeSablé bretons 2 illustrated recipe

B.  Almond pralines – follow my almond pralines recipe in the basics section.

Pralines collage

C.  Raspberry jelly inserts – for more details and photos see my Raspberry jelly inserts/layer for tarts or mousse cakes recipe in the basics section.

Raspberry jelly inserts in caramel dome cakes

  • 125ml/g (1/2 cup) raspberry juice – press fresh raspberries through a sieve to get rid of the seeds and extract the juice (needs about 170-200g/6-7oz fresh raspberries)
  • 15g/1 tablespoon caster/superfine sugar, or more to taste (I used unrefined golden caster sugar).  Healthier option:  the same quantity of maple syrup or honey.
  • 1 and a half sheets gelatine (3g)

Raspberry jelly insert or layer illustrated recipe

D.  Caramel base (use for the mousse and glaze) – for more details and photos see my caramel base/sauce recipe in the basics caramel.. section.

Caramel base for caramel-raspberry dome cakes

This is a 3-saucepan operation.  Synchronise your watches pans.  Big pan A has the caramel-to-be, small pan B the warm water and small pan C the warm cream mix.

  • Medium pan A:  150g/3/4 cup sugar, 40g/2 tablespoons glucose, 60ml/g water
  • Small pan B:  90ml/g water
  • Small pan C:  160ml/g whipping cream 35% or double cream, 40g/3 tbsp + 1 tsp sugar, 2 pinches fine sea salt, 2 and 1/2 ml/g (half a teaspoon) pure vanilla essence

Caramel base illustrated recipe

E.  Caramel mousse – for more details and photos see my Caramel mousse recipe in the basics section.

Caramel mousse

  • 2 sheets of gelatine – soak in 30ml/g water for about 10 minutes
  • 390ml/g whipping cream (use 50ml/g of this/1/3 cup to dissolve the gelatine)
  • 225g (about 225ml if quite liquid) caramel base

Caramel mousse illustrated recipe

Assembly part one

As soon as the mousse is ready immediately do the steps in the illustrated recipe up to where you put the domes in the freezer (if you wait too long the caramel mousse will start setting).

Dreams of florence illustrated recipe

Assembling caramel and raspberry domes

Assembly part two

4 hours later (or the next day) when the domes are set and unmoulded, continue with the glazing shown in the second part of the illustrated recipe above (more details below).

F.  Caramel glaze

You just need to have the caramel base and glaze at around 30°C/ 86°F.  Stir them gently to combine.  Don’t whisk or it will go cloudy and have bubbles.  The glaze will be very liquid so place in the fridge for around 10 to 20 minutes.  Keep checking it.  You want quite a liquid texture that’s a little gloopy (gelatinous).  If it becomes too gelatinous and thick you need to warm it again.

caramel glaze for caramel-raspberry dome cakes

Still very fluid and could be thicker. But great if you want a thinner glaze that adds less sweetness to your cake..

Now you need…

  • your glaze, sablés bretons and pralines, broken up into rough pieces
  • gold leaf (optional)
  • freeze-dried raspberry pieces or whole fresh raspberries

Have your frozen domes on a wire rack placed over a big baking tray to catch the extra glaze.  Next to it put a ladle, small spatula knife and 10 sablé breton bases.

When the glaze is the right consistency pour over each dome, making sure it covers the whole surface of the dome.  Don’t worry if it’s a little messy at the bottom (this will be covered by the pralines).  Assembling caramel-raspberry dome cakes 1

Allow the glaze to set a little (for 5 to 10 minutes) then lift each mousse dome on to a sablé breton base.  Stud the sides with pralines.  Decorate with gold leaf and freeze-dried raspberries (optional) or fresh raspberries.

Assembling caramel-raspberry dome cakes 2

Eating and storing

These little entremets keep really well in an airtight container, in the refrigerator for up to 3 or 4 days and in the freezer for up to 2 weeks (or a month even).  They’re light and refreshing to eat for breakfast, tea or dessert!

Caramel-raspberry dome cakes - Dreams of Florence

Caramel-raspberry dome cakes – Dreams of Florence

Time to party

Well, that was a bit of a semi-sphere adventure!  I have to say these are really worth making.  They’re absolutely delicious.  The light caramel mousse and glaze, the wonderful raspberry centre, salty crumbly base, crunchy pralines pieces … I kind of love my little caramel-raspberry dome cakes, my Dreams of Florence.  And I’ll definitely make them again.  Actually I’ve already made them a few times!!! 🙂  And some mojito ones… but that’s another story.  Anyway do please help yourself to one and consider making them…

Dreams of Florence, caramel-raspberry dome cakes

Dreams of Florence, caramel-raspberry dome cakes

Yum yum!  🙂

Caramel-raspberry dome cakes - Dreams of Florence

Caramel-raspberry dome cakes – Dreams of Florence

Have a lovely dreamy week sweet reader!  And of course happy baking and eating!  🙂  Lili x

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Posted by

Making cakes with my French mother on Sundays was an important part of my childhood. As an adult I then experimented with baking books and internet recipes and did a great patisserie course in Le Cordon Bleu Paris. I'm still trying out new recipes and creating some of my own cakes with influences from all around the world, adding some healthy ones to the repertoire. Yes, I love cakes!!! :)

27 thoughts on “Dreams of Florence, caramel-raspberry dome cakes recipe”

  1. Pingback: Dreams of Florence, caramel-raspberry dome cakes recipe

  2. Pingback: Healthier sablés or palets bretons recipe (Brittany salted butter shortbread biscuits/cookies) | lili's cakes

  3. wow extremely complicated, but you break the recipe down really well, and I love the recipe drawings you do! Great idea! Will need to try this – my husband loves caramel, and I have a feeling he will LOVE these!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Emma for your kind comments! So pleased you like these little entremets and find the recipe approachable. Would love to know your thoughts if you make them for your husband. 🙂 PS. Really enjoying your blog and totally for the onion ice-cream (mum too)! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Happy new year! Top posts in 2016 and baking projects for 2017… | lili's cakes

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