I would like to begin this post by apologizing for the rather uninspiring picture – it seems photographing popcorn coated in caramel/burnt sugar in an attempt to make it look appetizing is beyond me. I have my strengths, photography, however, is not one of them! The last time I took a particularly good picture was in a high-rise restaurant in Kyoto, wielding my brother’s fancy camera – it was there, looking out over the city, that I christened myself ‘Lucy (my nickname) Leibovitz’, oh how far the mighty have fallen, when after too many attempts to count on one hand, the very best I could do was this! Clearly I’d had too much plum wine! Anyway, having said that, I hope this recipe will speak for itself, warm buttery caramel, coating freshly popped, crunchy popcorn. I found this recipe in Bill Granger’s fabulous ‘Holiday’ cookbook and have made it more times than I’ve taken a good picture! I have adapted it this time by adding a sprinkling of salt to the caramel – but feel free to leave it out. Either way this popcorn is addictive! You have been warned!
Salted Caramel Popcorn
makes about 10 cupfuls
200ml sweetened condensed milk ( this works out to be a tablespoonful short of a tin – so lick up the remainder with glee or pour it into your next coffee)
110g Brown sugar
110g Caster sugar
80g Unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon Maldon salt (optional)
Pop the corn in a pan or in the microwave, following the instructions on the packet (don’t do what I did and accidentally leave the lid off the pot! duh!). Preheat the oven to 170C. Put the popcorn in a large heatproof bowl and line two baking trays with baking paper. You may want to pick out any unpopped kernels at this stage.
Put the condensed milk, brown sugar, caster sugar and butter in a saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 1 minute to make caramel. At this stage stir in the Maldon salt. Pour over the popcorn and use a wooden spoon to stir until all the popcorn is completely covered with caramel.
Spread the popcorn onto the baking trays. Put the trays in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the popcorn is golden brown, stirring occasionally to break up any clumps. Allow to cool completely on the trays before serving.