Wednesday 29 July 2015

Salted Caramel Popcorn Macarons

Salted Caramel macaron form. Popcorn Vanilla shells sandwiched together with a salted caramel frosting and dollops of sticky, salty caramel sprinkled with flaked sea salt. Perfection.

Salted Caramel Popcorn Macarons
Recipe by Charis Mitchell
Makes 15

For the macarons
3/4C aquafaba (water from a can of chickpeas) (180ml)
1/2C sugar (100g)
1C ground almonds* (100g)
1/2C powdered sugar (65g)
1tsp vanilla extract
1C salted popcorn

For the salted caramel
1/2C light brown sugar
2Tbsp vegan butter spread
1/4C soy, almond or coconut milk
1/4tsp salt

For the salted caramel frosting
2Tbsp vegan butter spread
3-4C powdered sugar
1/4C salted caramel

Flaked salt to finish

First make the macaron shells
Pour the aquafaba into a small saucepan and allow to simmer over a medium heat until it has reduced to 1/3C (80ml). This usually takes around 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes.

Pour the reduced chickpea water into the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a balloon whisk attachment and whisk on medium to high speed until soft peaks form. Add half the sugar and whisk until well combined, then add the remaining sugar and the vanilla extract and whisk at high speed until the meringue is glossy and thick - it should be the consistency of thick marshmallow fluff. Set aside while you prepare your dry ingredients.

Pulse the popcorn in the food processor until finely chopped, with very few big chunks left. Pour into a bowl and set aside.
Pulse the ground almonds a few times in a food processor until very finely ground. Add the powdered sugar and process for a few seconds, until well combined.
Sieve the almond-sugar mixture and discard any large pieces. Pour half the dry mixture into the meringue and use a spatula to mix the ingredients together, pressing the dry ingredients down into the meringue until everything is incorporated well. Add the remaining dry mixture and fold into the batter. 

Now it's time for a crucial step - the macaronnage. Firmly press the batter against the side of the bowl and then scoop it up and turn over. Repeat this process a further 19 times. After macaronnage the batter should be thick and glossy but should fall slowly off the spatula like a ribbon and then settle/spread slightly in the bowl. Spoon the batter into a large piping bag and seal at the top.

Line two large baking trays with grease proof paper and carefully pipe 15 circles onto each, in one smooth motion holding the piping bag directly above the center of each macaron. Drop the baking sheets twice onto a hard surface (this helps to get rid of air bubbles and develops the 'pied') 

Top the macarons with the popcorn bits and leave them to dry at room temperature for 2-3 hours. Once ready to bake, place the first baking tray into a COLD oven, and then immediately set the oven to just under 100 degrees Celcius. Bake the macarons for 20 minutes (some ovens you may have to bake for longer but don't bake for more than 30 minutes) you can check that the macarons are sufficiently baked by gently lifting up a corner of the grease proof paper and lightly peeling it from a macaron shell. If it comes off easily and the macaron doesn't stick then you can turn your oven off!
Turn off your oven and leave the macarons inside with the door shut for 10 minutes, then open the door and leave them to cool inside the oven for a further 10 minutes before removing and allowing to cool completely on the baking tray at room temperature.
Once the oven is COMPLETELY COLD you can repeat the baking process with your second tray of macaron shells. Once the shells are cooled, gently peel them from the baking paper and place them on a tray or rack, ready to fill.

Make the salted caramel
Put the brown sugar, butter and milk in a small pot and place over a medium heat. Whisk constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes (it should only be bubbling a little bit, don't let it boil) stirring regularly. Remove from the heat and stir in the salt. Pour into a small jug, bowl or jar and leave to cool. As it is cooling give it a stir every 10 minutes or so as it thickens so that a skin doesn't form on the top. Once it's completely cooled pour 1/4C of the caramel out and then spoon the rest into a piping bag and seal it at the top.

Make the frosting
In a medium mixing bowl cream together the butter spread and 1 cup of powdered sugar until smooth. Add the salted caramel and mix well. Finally, add the rest of the sugar - one cup at a time - until a thick, smooth frosting forms. Spoon into a piping bag and seal at the top.

Pipe a circle of salted caramel frosting onto each base macaron shell before filling the centers with a good dollop of salted caramel. Sprinkle on some flaked salt and then sandwich together with the top shells.

Place the macarons in the fridge for 24 hours or overnight before eating (this allows the flavors to develop and gives the desired chew) 
Macarons keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for a week and in the freezer for months.


  1. You're absolutely marvelous!

  2. Hello Charis !
    I feel so lucky to have found your blog while looking for aquafaba recipes on YouTube. First of all, I've seen ALL your recipes and absolutely LOVE them. I don't use eggs in my cakes and your blog came as my knight in shining armor to fabulous baking EXACTLY the way I like it. Your macarons, each one of them, look just AMAZING. I'm going to try out your recipes super super soon. Add me to your regular follower list, already a fan of your work.
    Best Wishes :D

  3. These look and sound absolutely delicious! Will try :-)

  4. These look AAAAAAMAZING. Voted for these in the Great Vegan Bake Off!

  5. You are the macaron queen!! These look perfect.

  6. I just made these (with sunflower seeds, since I'm allergic to nuts, and kidney bean AF) for my dad's birthday since popcorn and caramel are his favorites-they're delicious, thanks so much!