When I was in a Crate and Barrel in Chicago last year, I saw this small glass Hurricane on display and, although it's meant for a candle, I immediatley knew I was going to make a trifle in it. I played around with various flavor combinations but finally decided to make something for fall. That meant pumpkin. And wouldn't caramel go great with pumpkin? And you have to have whipped cream in there somewhere. One thing led to another and here it is - pumpkin cake layers with an incredible caramel mousse filling and whipped cream. And it's all topped off with some caramel jewels.
There are four components to this cake. It may look daunting, but each component is a snap to prepare. The pumpkin cake is simply the same cake that is used in this classic Pumpkin Roll - I just doubled the recipe and made it in a bigger sheet pan. The caramel mousse is incredible and not at all hard to make. The little caramel jewels are surprisingly easy to make - just cook sugar and water together until it turns golden and drizzle it on a sheet of tin foil. It hardens up in a snap and you just lift the little jewels right off.
There will be cake trimmings leftover after you cut out your layers. These are definitely for snacking, so don't throw them away.