Thursday, May 19, 2011

Batch #9 - Salted Caramel Popcorn & Sweet Orange Macarons

A few weeks' rest from making macarons.  Now to try some new flavours!  Very excited to see the glossy peaks I'm getting in the meringue!

The Salted Caramel Popcorn is my first endeavour to add flavours to the shell during baking.  Previously the shell is flavoured by the migration of moisture from the filling into the shell during maturation in the fridge.  To get the popcorn flavour, I replaced a small amount of almond meal with the same amount of ground up popcorn, which I had smashed up in the food processor.  The 'popcorn meal' seemed to absorb more moisture than the almond meal, and my TPT turned out a bit dry and thick.  In a last moment of brilliance (read :desperation!) I added in a little bit of extra egg white.  I think I went a little overboard as the macronage ended up slightly more runny than I'd like, but the macarons tasted fine.  Hubby said the popcorn flavour needed to be a bit stronger, so I will endeavour to rectify this in the next batch!

The caramel turned out better this time as compared to Batch 6.  I forgot to put in the salt as I was piping, so I sprinkled a little of the sea salt onto the filling after I piped them onto the shells.  Fortunately the results were still good!

The Salted Caramel turns a lighter color after being whipped.
Onto a new citrus flavour.  The Sweet Orange macarons did not come out as tangy as the lemon or lime ones (therefore SWEET orange!)  I used a mixture of orange zest, orange juice and a tiny bit of orange essence to flavour the butter cream.  I generally don't like using flavour essences as I find it tends to leave an after taste in the mouth.

Lessons Learned :
  • I now understand why most cooks don't like to flavour the shells as it can be a bit tricky!  Having extra egg white on hand can help you achieve a good macronage consistency if you find it's a bit thick.  Obviously it helps if you've made this a few times and know what consistency you'd like to achieve!
  • The color orange requires a bit more yellow than red when color mixing!!!


  1. What recipe do you use for your macarons?

  2. I use a mish-mash of recipes I have read over the net and in books, and have made adaptations as I've gotten more used to the whole process, as described in the "Lessons Learned" sections. In my opinion, the best recipe out there, and the one that is closest to what I do, is Duncan's method outlined in his awesome blog which has a huge section on macarons -

    The ratio of 1:1.35 he uses is golden!