Caramel-Honey Popcorn (Serves 4)
Today is International Popcorn Day. Celebrating Popcorn Day is as simple and delicious as it comes! You can start by just enjoying a bag of popcorn with your favourite toppings. You can have it with a classic mix of butter and salt, or get creative and add your favourite spices and herbs to it. There really isn’t anything that doesn’t go wonderfully with it. To celebrate, try out this caramel and honey popcorn.
Using these measurements for cinnamon and chipotle (hot chilli pepper), you get a popcorn with a mild hit of heat and a subtle cinnamon flavour. If you’re making the popcorn for kids, you might want to omit the chipotle; if you’re making it for spice lovers, you can increase the amount of both ingredients.
6 cups popped plain popcorn (not buttered or flavoured)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
3/4 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons honey
Lightly grease a large metal mixing bowl with cooking oil spray and pour the popcorn into it. Have at hand two heatproof flexible spatulas (sprayed for extra slipperiness, if you like).
If you’re crisping the popcorn in the oven (see headnote), centre a rack in the oven and preheat it to 120ºC.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (which you can spray very lightly, if you like) or a silicone baking mat.
Whisk together the baking soda, salt, cinnamon and chipotle pepper in a small bowl.
Combine the butter, brown sugar and honey in a medium saucepan over medium heat; cook, stirring frequently, until the butter and sugar have melted.
Bring the mixture to a boil; cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until it’s a light mahogany colour. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the baking soda mixture to form a caramel.
Stir to make sure that everything is evenly incorporated, and then pour the caramel over the popcorn.
Working with the heatproof spatulas, turn the popcorn until it’s coated with caramel.
This takes a couple of minutes. Keep turning; if your kitchen is cold and the caramel thickens, pop the bowl into the oven for a few minutes before continuing.
You won’t get a perfectly even caramel coating, but you’ll come close.
Let the popcorn cool in the bowl before eating.
Bake (120ºC) for 40 to 50 minutes, turning the popcorn twice to make sure that nothing sticks and everything bakes evenly.
The caramel may bubble and spread, but it will be fine once the corn is fully baked. Cool on the baking sheet.
The Washington Post