Cinnamon, Caramelised White Chocolate Mousse, Apricot and Salted Pretzel Crunch Cake

Layers of cinnamon vanilla sponge, caramelised white chocolate mousse, salted pretzel crunch and passionfruit and apricot compote - topped with whipped caramel, honeycomb, chocolate pearls and brownie pieces (optional). This cake is by far one of my favourite flavour combinations I've made - I love how well all the textures go together, and the tart apricot and passionfruit compote provides just enough sharpness to cut though the sweetness. It started out being a take on one of the Momofuku Milk Bar cakes, however I have added my own flavours and decorations. Although it takes a bit of time to make and has quite a few different components, the end result is well worth it!

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CINNAMON, CARAMELISED WHITE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE, SALTED PRETZEL CRUNCH AND APRICOT PASSIONFRUIT CAKE

For the cinnamon cake:

150g butter, softened

¾ cup. Castor sugar

3 eggs

190g plain flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

pinch salt

½ cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

For the caramelized white chocolate mousse:

1/2 cup milk

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tbsp corn flour

1 egg yolk

150g caramelized white chocolate (I use Valrhona dulce chocolate)

½ cup cream

100g butter, softened

 

For the salted pretzel crunch:

100g butter, melted

1/2 cup self-rising flour

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup crushed pretzels

1 cup cornflakes

 

For the passion fruit and apricot compote:

½ cup apricot jam

2 teaspoons freeze-dried passion fruit powder

 

For the decorations (optional):

Plain butter icing (I made mine caramel and passionfruit flavored)

Cubes of brownie

Shards of honeycomb

Shards of dark chocolate

Edible flowers

Chocolate pearls 

 

Pre-heat your oven to 170°C. Grease and line a 33 x 45 cm slice tin with baking paper. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar using electric beaters until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In another small bowl, briefly whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until just combined. Add the milk and vanilla and beat until combined and smooth. Pour the cake batter into the prepared slice tin and spread out into an even layer. Bake in the pre-heated oven for around 20 minutes, or until slightly golden around the edges and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave to cool while you prepare the caramelized white chocolate mousse.

To make the mousse, place the milk and brown sugar into a small bowl and whisk to combine. Microwave in 30-second bursts until the milk starts to bubble. Remove from the microwave and whisk in the egg yolk and cornflour until combined. Place back into the microwave and microwave in 30-second bursts, whisking after each addition, until thickened (this wont take very long). Once thickened, cover the surface of the custard with cling film and place in the fridge to cool. Whilst that is cooling, place the cream and chocolate into a small bowl. Microwave in 30 second bursts, whisking after each addition, until all the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Place in the fridge to cool. Once both the custard and chocolate mixture has cooled to room temp, place both into a large bowl and beat together using electric beaters until lighter and fluffier in texture (about 5 minutes). Add the softened butter and beat for a further 2 minutes. Once combined, place the bowl into the fridge to chill whilst you make the pretzel crunch.

To make the pretzel crunch, whisk together the melted butter, flour and brown sugar in a medium bowl until combined. Add the crushed pretzels and cornflakes and mix to combine (the mixture will be crumbly). Sprinkle onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper and bake in the pre-heated oven for around 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Set aside.

To make the apricot compote, whisk together the apricot jam and passion fruit powder in a small bowl to combine. Set aside.

To assemble the cake, line a 5-inch cake tin with baking paper, making sure the baking paper raises about 4 fingers above the tin. Set aside. Remove the cinnamon cake carefully from the tin. Using the base of the cake tin as a stencil, cute two circles from the cake ensuring that you cute them close to the edge. Cut two half-circles out of the remaining cake (as there wont be enough space to cut three whole circles). Place one of the whole cake circles into the bottom of the lined cake tin. Spread over half of the apricot compote. Spoon over half of the mousse and spread out into an even layer. Sprinkle over a handful of the pretzel crunch evenly. Place a second whole cake layer over the top and press down lightly. Repeat the same filling steps as above, and then place the two half cake layers together on top to form a whole circle cake layer. Press down lightly to sandwich all the layers together (note that the cake will rise up above the cake tin). Place into the fridge to set for at least 3 hours. Once set, place a plate on top of the cake and carefully flip the cake upside down. Carefully lift off the cake tin and unpeel the baking paper. Place back into the fridge until you are ready to decorate the top.

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