Chocolates and Confections by Peter P. Greweling
Published by Wiley
- 8 oz (5 qt) popped popcorn
- 8 oz (1 c) granulated sugar
- 4 oz (1/2 c) light brown sugar, packed
- 6 oz (1/2 c) light corn syrup
- 2 oz (1/4 c) water
- 1 1/2 oz (3 tbsp) butter, unsalted, soft
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
Place the popcorn in a large ovenproof bowl. Place in a 350 degree oven. Combine the sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, water and 1 oz/2 tbsp of the butter in a 2-quart saucepan. Stir while cooking to 300 degrees.
Remove the caramel form the heat and stir in the baking soda and salt. Mix well.
Remove the popcorn from the oven. Pour the caramel over the popcorn while stirring with a wooden spoon. Continue to mix until the caramel begins to stiffen too much to stir. Return the bowl to the oven for 10 minutes, remove, and stir the mixture again. Repeat until the popcorn is well coated with caramel.
Add the remaining butter, stir gently to allow it to melt and to distribute it.
Pour the caramel corn onto a clean countertop and separate the individual kernels before they harden. Store in airtight containers at room temperature
Caramel corn with nuts. Substitute up to 6 cups toasted nuts such as peanuts, cashews, or brazil nuts for an equal volume of popped corn.
Chocolate caramel corn. For the ultimate in caramel corn, drizzle the cooled caramel corn with 1 lb/1 ½ cups of melted, tempered dark chocolate using a pastry bag or pouring it in a fine stream. Allow to set fully before packaging.
Popcorn balls. Rather than separating the kernels, gather them into balls. Insert sticks, if desired.
Keys to success
• Keeping the popcorn hot while working with it will make it easier to distribute the caramel evenly.
• Hold the hot bowl with a pad and stir the hot corn with a wooden spoon.
• Do not stir excessively when adding the butter to the popcorn. It is intended to coat it and make the kernels easier to separate, not to mix into the caramel.
• To avoid burns, wear food-handling gloves when separating the kernels of popcorn.