Friday, July 4, 2008

Caramel Popcorn Part II

It's been a hectic week for me and even though I did make the popcorn 2 nights ago I wasn't completely satisfied cause I went home to discover that I only had microwave popcorn. Don't get me wrong I love microwave popcorn but I don't like to use it when making caramel popcorn. I find the caramel to heavy for the light popcorn. I decided to make it anyway but because I was so tired and rushed I almost burnt the caramel. I didn't enjoy the popcorn much so I decided I will try again the next day.
Yesterday I also got home a bit late from work but I still had to time to rush out to the shops to buy some popcorn after some procrastination because I was feeling a bit lazy. I even had time to take pictures. Normally I'm too busy enjoying what I've made to remember to take pictures.
I enjoy making popcorn from scratch. I enjoy the smell of fresh popcorn that fills the kitchen as well as the therapeutic sound of the popcorn popping.

First I added the popcorn and oil into a large pot. Some prefer to heat the oil first but it doesn't really make a difference to me. I still get good popcorn everytime regardless of which method I use.

You would need to cover the pot with a lid but leave the lid slightly open for the steam to escape. Not too wide though unless you want a mess all over your kitchen. Remember to cook the popcorn on medium heat otherwise it will burn. When the popping has slowed down I normally switch off the heat and leave the pot on the plate until the popping has stopped.

Mmmmmm fresh popcorn!!!

Once the popcorn has popped I remove the lid so that the steam from the pot doesn't wet the popcorn.

When making caramel popcorn I always transfer the popcorn into a large bowl and remove any unpopped kernels. This is important cause once you add the caramel it will be hard to do this. If you bite into any kernels while eating the popcorn you could lose a tooth or something....just don't do it. Also you might want to lightly salt the popcorn for flavour. At this point I normally start eating the popcorn before I even add the caramel.

I then proceeded to make the caramel. When I'm in a rush I normally start the caramel while the popcorn is popping but I don't recommend this because you could easily forget about a pot and burn something....and everybody knows that once your popcorn or caramel is even slightly burnt you just can't use it cause then it just tastes bad.

I added the sugar, butter and syrup into a heavy based pot. I've found that you don't need a very big pot like when making fudge because the caramel is heavy and doesn't rise up too much in the pot as it's boiling. I used golden syrup because we don't get light corn syrup in our shops here in South Africa. I also like to use glucose syrup when have it but unlike golden syrup it's not readily available and more expensive.

I stirred the caramel continuously until it started to boil. Once it started boiling I left it to boil for about 5 minutes without stirring.

Before the mixture boils...

About 2 minutes into boiling....

After 5 minutes I removed the pot from the stove (be careful the caramel is very hot and can cause serious burns) and added the vanilla and bicarb.

Stirred the mixture to incorporate the vanilla and bicarb. Notice how the bicarb causes the caramel to foam. For some reason I enjoy watching this.

Immediately poured the caramel over the popcorn and mixed it like crazy before it started to cool and set.

In the next part of the recipe you have to put the the popcorn into the oven. To see what the big fuss really is I put half into the oven and left the other half to set in a bowl. Quite frankly I preferred the popcorn that didn't go into the oven . I preferred the taste and more so the texture of the caramel before it went into the oven. Maybe it's something I did wrong but I found that the caramel sought of became "fudgy" once it came out of the oven. Anyway if you going to put it into the oven then you would need to leave it there for about 45 minutes to an hour making sure that you stir it every 15 minutes so that it doesn't burn.

Now that you can see how much I enjoyed making and eating this popcorn go on and print the recipe and make it yourself.


tamlyn said...

Your blog looks really nice

Diane said...

Thanks Joey. I try to keep it interesting. Hope you try my recipes. I'll be posting a few of your favourites