The Candy Bar
Ok, so it's finished, but not perfect (will it ever be?). I finally caramelized the sugar to the right amount of bitterness to better balance the nougat and chocolate mousse. But, I overcooked the caramel a little bit because it reached temp so fast after adding the cream, making it slightly firmer than I'd like (the previous caramel was much easier to cut). I'd already set the frozen nougat layer on the sponge and couldn't change that, so that means it smooshes out a little when I cut portions and when you cut it with your fork to eat.
Overall, I am happy with the dessert as a whole; the flavors are pretty perfect. So, next time, I'll just reverse the nougat and caramel and be done with it. I'll be giving it away to friends tomorrow and probably Thursday. It's messier to eat than the original version, but this time the flavors are more distinct. Before they were all muddled together in a vague sweetness. Third time around it should be pretty perfect in execution and maybe I'll finally be happy with it.