While the folks were away, The Sister and I would usually discuss at the beginning of the week what our plans were for the next seven days and what nights we would be at home. We did this so we knew how much grocery shopping we needed to do, in order so that we could minimise the amount of wasted food left in the fridge at the end of the week.
It’s therefore a bit of a let down when your anticipated night out gets cancelled…and you’re left with nothing in the fridge. It was a Tuesday evening and I had already had a bit of soup (from a packet, yes, shoot me down) in anticipation of a ‘later’ dinner when I explored some new dining options in the city. With my plans cancelled, I was stuck at home sans the car, nothing defrosted, and frankly, not the slightest bit hungry.
With a night completely free, I decided to indulge in one of my old past times which I rarely get the time to do nowadays:
Watch a DVD.
I know, a bit pathetic to not even have the time to watch a movie, right? I can’t even remember the last time I went to the cinema. Anyway, if there’s any food that goes with a movie and lazy snacking, it most definitely is popcorn. I don’t like the popcorn they sell at cinema candy bars – it’s frankly over-salted, over-buttered, and what you’re left with at the end of your movie is a greasy cardboard box with a whole heap of unpopped, burnt and excruciatingly salty kernels at the bottom.
So why don’t we jazz that atypical movie snack with not just homemade caramel, but homemade salted caramel?
Yes, yes. We all know salted caramel is being done to death recently but you can’t deny its appeal – its sticky, gooey sweetness, but its cloying edge taken off with just a tang of salt; enough salt to have you licking your lips and craving more.
To make this deliciously moreish snack, it is all really too simple. Although having someone else wash up is always preferable. If you don’t have a someone else, unfortunately you will have to do it yourself. But at least you get the popcorn afterwards as a reward. Unless you decide to leave the washing up until after you eat the popcorn. Then you have nothing to look forward to.
You will need:
- 1/2 cup popping corn;
- Three tablespoons of vegetable oil;
- 40g butter;
- 1/4 cup honey;
- 1/2 cup caster sugar;
- 2 teaspoons of sea salt flakes.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. To judge whether the oil is sufficiently hot you can drop a kernel of corn into the oil and it’s hot when it spins slowly, or else bend down at observe the pan at eye-level and the surface will ripple when ready. Pour in the rest of the popping corn, shake the frying pan to distribute them evenly over the base, seal with a tight-fitting lid and reduce your heat to low. As the corn begins to pop, shake the frying pan at regular intervals.
When the corn is popped, tip it into a large bowl. Disregard the unpopped corn. Prepare a large baking tray by spreading it with a sheet of baking paper.
In a small saucepan, pour in the honey, sugar and cut up the butter over it. Place it over a low heat and stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar is dissolved.
Continue to cook, without stirring, for a few minutes or until the frothy mixture begins to turn a glorious shade of dark amber.
Working quickly, pour the hot caramel over the popcorn in the bowl, stirring with a large spoon to coat the popcorn. Beware of caramel burns!
Still working quickly, spread the caramel popcorn out on your prepared tray. Scatter the sea salt flakes over the tray and allow to cool completely before breaking it up and devouring.
While you’re waiting for the popcorn to cool, it may be a good idea to boil a kettle of hot water to aid you in removing the solidified caramel from the bowl and your saucepan! It makes for faster washing up so you can get back to your movie 😉
Popcorn is best all consumed on the day it is made as it does get rather chewy the next day. But if you like that sort of thing, be my guest.
A perfect snack. I can guarantee you’ll be tempted to make a double batch after tasting this sweet concoction.
Enjoy your weekend, lovelies… Catch you on Monday 😉 xx