The Nutcracker Dessert: Caramel Sponge Cake


The Nutcracker Dessert: Caramel Sponge Cake

A nutcracker tea-infused mousse sits atop a palace of caramel sponge cake and chocolate. A cinnamon Jivara tea sauce finishes the story, the perfect end to the Nutcracker’s adventures.

[[ recipeID=recipe-8kkrixapq, title=The Nutcracker Dessert: Caramel Sponge Cake ]]

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The Nutcracker Dessert: Caramel Sponge Cake

Notes from Ravindra Verma, Pastry Chef atRitz-Carlton New Orleans:

“Cold infusing the tea in milk for 12 hours allows for a more gentle infusion, enhancing the delicate flavor of the Nutcracker tea. Infusing the tea in boiling milk would have only taken 15 minutes, but would also destroy the flavor profile by releasing the tannins, resulting in a bitter taste that overpowers the desired complexity.”

Servings: 1 Pastry

Keywords: Baked Goods, Pastry, Dessert, Cooking, Chocolate

  • Prep Time: 45 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hours 0 mins


The Nutcracker

  • Caramel Sponge Cake (see recipe below)
  • Chocolate Ganache (see recipe below) 
  • Nutcracker Mousse (see recipe below) 
  • Italian Meringue (see recipe below) 
  • Jivara Tea Sauce (see recipe below) 
  • Red Chocolate Plaques (for garnish) 
  • Thin Chocolate Cigar (for garnish)

Caramel Sponge Cake

  • 160 g. Sugar
  • 125 g. Butter
  • 60 g. Water, hot
  • 120 g. Almond Flour
  • 75 g. Egg Yolk
  • 125 g. Egg Whites
  • 125 g. Trimoline
  • 75 g. AP Flour

Nutcracker Mousse

  • 720 g. Warm Milk
  • 30 g. TEALEAVES Nutcracker Loose Leaf Tea
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks, chopped
  • 170 g. Sugar
  • 320 g. Cream
  • 420 g. Whole Milk
  • 90 g. Egg Yolk
  • 170 g. Jivara Chocolate
  • 50 g. Azélia Chocolate
  • 15 g. Gelatin Leaves, bloomed
  • 110 g. Italian Meringue (see below)
  • 280 g. Whipped Cream

Italian Meringue

  • 40 g. Egg Whites
  • 70 g. Sugar
  • 10 g. Water

Jivara Tea Sauce

  • 275 g. Water
  • 150 g. Sugar
  • 156 g. Cream
  • 5 g. TEALEAVES Nutcracker Loose Leaf Tea
  • 500 g. Jivara Chocolate
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick


The Nutcracker

  1. Spread a thin layer of the chocolate ganache on the sponge cake.
  2. Top the cake with a layer of the Nutcracker mousse.
  3. Cut the cake and mousse into three by one inch pieces.
  4. Garnish with red chocolate plaques and a thin chocolate cigar.
  5. Decorate the plate with a few drops of the Jivara chocolate tea sauce to finish.

Caramel Sponge Cake

  1. Make a dry caramel by caramelizing the sugar in a saucepan over low to medium heat. When the edges have caramelized, use a spatula to bring the caramel to the center of the saucepan. Once the sugar has completely caramelized and turned an amber color, stop the cooking process by adding butter and hot water.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the almond flour and egg yolks.
  3. Make a meringue with the egg whites and trimoline, using a mixer on a low speed.
  4. Fold the caramel, almond paste and flour into the meringue.
  5. Transfer the mixture to a 21x14 inch baking pan.
  6. Bake at 170ºC for approximately 15 minutes and let cool.
  7. Place chocolate on the bottom of the sponge cake in a thin layer.

Nutcracker Mousse

  1. Infuse the tea and cinnamon with the milk overnight.
  2. Microwave for 15 seconds and strain.
  3. Add in enough milk to make up for the loss from straining.
  4. Make a dry caramel with the sugar.
  5. Boil the cream and whole milk together, separate from the caramel.
  6. Deglaze the caramel with the hot milk and cream mixture.
  7. Add the caramel to the yolk and mix well. Add the chocolate and bloomed gelatin leaves.
  8. Fold in the Italian Meringue and whipped cream.

Italian Meringue

  1. Whip the egg whites to a soft meringue.
  2. Combine the sugar with water and cook until it reaches 110ºC.
  3. Slowly add the sugar syrup to the meringue.

Jivara Tea Sauce

  1. Cold infuse the cream and loose leaf tea overnight.
  2. Boil the water, sugar and cinnamon until it reaches 120ºC.
  3. Once the mixture is boiling, add the cold infusion and steep for 3 minutes. Strain.
  4. Add in the chocolate and reserve.


In time for the holidays, TEALEAVES, in a collaboration with 15+ ballet companies, 10+ luxury hotel partners, and an antiquarian horologist, launched the worldwide Nutcracker #AfternoonTEALEAVES: Gifts of Time initiative. The project is a twist to the traditional gift guide that offers experiential pairings to afternoon tea, themed after the story of the Nutcracker, and celebrates the arts, true craftsmanship, and spending quality time with others.

Piece together your real-life Nutcracker fairytale and explore various ‘Gifts of Time’. Journey to