Popcorn Salted Caramel Mousse

This creation was born out of a crave for really good salted caramel mousse! Paired it with a brownie base, and topped it with air-popped popcorn, drizzled with more caramel syrup.

Verdict: mousse was awesome. The flavor of the homemade salted caramel and sea salt really came through without being too overwhelmingly creamy or sweet. The texture was still quite light and airy as it was lightened with whipped egg white meringue (similar to the Tiramisu recipe I like). I made some modifications with the sugar type (replaced a portion with brown sugar), and increased the egg white proportion slightly. The brownie base was fudgy but slightly too sweet, but it wasn’t meant to be the star of this recipe so I wasn’t too bothered by it – just something to improve for next time.

I have a serious obsession with Popcorn (my favorite savory-ish snack) and so really liked the air-popped popcorn as the topping for this recipe. It cut the sweetness and provided an interesting crunch. I only wish that I didn’t eat all of the leftover popcorn myself at home – my classmates who tried it at a friends housewarming also went for extra popcorn, so should have definitely brought over the rest next time.

 

Popcorn Salted Caramel Mousse
Makes 1 9x5x3 inch pan
Popcorn Salted Caramel Mousse adapted from Baking Ginger

Salted Caramel Sauce from Sally’s Baking Addiction

1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
6 Tablespoons (90g) salted butter
1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt

Fudge Brownie Base from Supernatural by Nick Malgieri

8 tablespoons (113g) unsalted butter
4 ounces (113g) bittersweet chocolate, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Salted Caramel Mousse adapted from Baking Ginger

220 ml Heavy Cream (I only had 200 ml on hand)
2 Sheets Gelatin
1 Cup Cold Water
20g brown sugar
60g white sugar
85 g Egg Whites (~4 egg)
1 Cup Salted Caramel Sauce (slightly warmed)
pinch of Sea Salt

To make Salted Caramel Sauce

Heat granulated sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, until it melts and forms a thick brown, amber-colored liquid. Swirl, rather than stir, sugar to prevent crystallizations. Be careful not to burn.

Once sugar is completely melted, immediately add the butter. Swirl until completely melted, about 2 minutes

Very slowly drizzle in 1/2 cup of heavy cream while stirring. Since the heavy cream is colder than the caramel, the mixture will rapidly bubble when added. Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute. It will rise in the pan as it boils.

Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon of salt. Allow to slightly cool down before using. Caramel thickens as it cools. Cover tightly and store for up to 1 month in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove to desired consistency.

To make Fudge Brownie Base

Line and a 9x5x13 inch pan with baking paper. Set a rack at the middle level of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.

Combine butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl and melt over double boiler. Allow to cool

Whisk eggs together in a large bowl, then whisk in salt, sugars, and vanilla. Stir in chocolate and butter mixture, then fold in flour.

Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for about 45 minutes, until top has formed a shiny crust and batter is moderately firm. Cool in pan on a rack, and unmould. Wash and re-line the baking pan and place the fudge brownie back. Place in fridge while you prepare the salted caramel mousse.

To make Salted Caramel Mousse

Whip the cream until soft peaks and place in the fridge. Place the gelatin sheets in a bowl with the cold water to allow them to bloom (about 5-10min)

Using a clean bowl and whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites until foamy, then add in the sugar and continue to whisk until soft peaks form.

Meanwhile, squeeze out the excess water from the gelatin sheets and place it in a bowl over hot water. Allow it to stand for 5min or until melted. Stir the melted gelatin into the salted caramel sauce and set aside.

Using a spatula, fold the cream, egg white and caramel sauce together until combined. Top the mousse on the brownie base (which should be in the fridge) and place in the fridge to set (about 4 hours). Unmould. Place back in the freezer. Shave off the sides to neaten, and place back in the freezer or fridge

To decorate

Dust with cooca powder and pipe on some rosettes using vanilla buttercream. Top with air-popped popcorn and drizzle on extra salted caramel sauce. Bring to room temperature around 15-30 minutes before serving. Enjoy at room temperature or slightly chilled!

 

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