Thursday, 29 March 2012

Salted Caramel Popcorn

I made this for someone very special to me.

Yet sometimes... I wonder if baking something as a gift is actually a good thing. I mean.. if you give someone a "real present" (say, a candle set), at least they'll keep it somewhere and will always be reminded of you whenever they use/look at it. But the same can't be said for an edible gift. You give the gift, the receiver thanks you for the gift, the receiver eats the gift, the gift is forever lost in the receiver's gastrointestinal track. I know it is the thought that counts and the thought definitely counts when it come to an edible gift. But still... Unless you mean a lot to that person, the receiver will probably forget about it sooner or later.

When it comes to giving someone a gift, I'm someone who believes in making instead of buying something. It just feels more special. It shows you care. Plus I get to exercise my creativity, thinking of ways to make the gift stand out. And usually the gift with the smallest budget is the most creative/awesome/unique/out of this world present.

And now, back to the popcorn. I don't know if that special someone really liked it but I loved it. At first bite, it's sweet and then the saltiness hits you after that. This stuff is addictive. Just a little tip, cook slightly more popcorn than required. You'll probably be munching on them unwittingly while you wait for the caramel to cook. Well.. that happened to me.

If you go to the cinema and order yourself a bag of popcorn, half salted and half sweet (just like I do), then you'll definitely love this.  Oh, and here's a lesson I learn.. never try cooking un-popped kernels in butter. It doesn't work. 

Salted Caramel Popcorn from

115g (1 stick) salted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 cups popped popcorn

Preheat oven to 150 degrees C. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick spray.

Melt butter in a 1 gallon pot over medium-high heat. Add brown sugar and corn syrup. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let simmer undisturbed for 4 minutes. Stir, then continue to cook for an additional 4 to 6 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until the mixture is a deep golden color.

Turn off the heat and whisk in salt, baking soda and vanilla. Set the whisk aside and stir in the popcorn. Scoop up the syrup from the bottom and over the top. Keep stirring and scooping the syrup over the popcorn until it is evenly covered and there is no syrup left on the bottom of the pan.

Spread the mixture onto the prepared cookie sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until the caramel corn has turned a deep amber color. Remove the caramel corn from the oven and spoon it onto a waxed paper-lined surface to cool. When completely cooled, store caramel corn in a covered container- it should stay fresh for up to a week.

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