Remarkable grazing dessert for gatherings. And because it remains fresh for weeks, it makes for a sensational meals gift!Ramsha Baig
The closing Caramel Popcorn! With a skinny, crispy, even coating of caramel on every piece, this caramel corn stays crispy for weeks. Caramel corn may be made with or without corn syrup – I’ve observed the ideal alternative that works a hundred percent flawlessly!
I make caramel popcorn lots all at some stage in the yr. I make it for:
- Gifting – just a pure act of kindness without any ulterior motives;
- Bribing – when I’m trying to sway decisions / get in or stay in someone’s good graces. (This happens more than I care to admit ); and
- Dessert for gatherings – it’s a brilliant grazing option for dessert so your family and friends don’t need to commit to a huge slice of chocolate cake because they’re stuffed full from dinner!
The reason it makes such a regular appearance around here is because it ticks a lot of boxes:
- long shelf life – 100% crispy for 2 – 3 weeks;
- is low effort to make a fair volume (this makes about 11 – 12 cups);
- it’s gluten free (useful for gatherings / gifting); and
- everybody loves it – young and old!
This stuff is CRAZY addictive!! UPDATE: This year (2020) I’ve also made special Christmas version of Caramel Popcorn called Christmas Popcorn Candy, flavoured with classic warm festive spices and almonds!
Why this is The Caramel Corn Recipe
If you’ve ever made caramel popcorn and ended up with uneven globs of caramel on the popcorn which finally ends up stuck to your teeth – I experience your ache.
I’ve been there and carried out that, and it became many years earlier than i found the name of the game to perfect, crispy, frivolously covered caramel corn:
- BAKING SODA (aka bi-carbonate soda, or bi-carb for short); and
Baking soda is the secret to an even, thin coating of caramel on the popcorn. When it’s added to the caramel, it makes it foam up so it increases in volume and makes it easier to coat the popcorn more evenly.
The baking part serves two purposes:
- Coat popcorn evenly – initially, the caramel remelts so when you toss the popcorn, it coats the popcorn more evenly and thinly (thanks to the baking soda!); and
- Crispy caramel and popcorn – during the 2nd half of baking time, the caramel and popcorn dries out, making the thin caramel coating AND popcorn super crisp. This caramel corn stays crispy for WEEKS!
What you need for Caramel Popcorn
Here’s what you need. Not very much stuff!!
For the ones of you out of doors of the us and Canada who can’t get corn syrup, don’t be anxious. Glucose is a 100% perfect substitute. I make caramel popcorn quite frequently (meals gifting!) so I stock up on corn syrup when I go to the States. but I continually run out.
So I had to discover a alternative. And after making dozens and dozens of batches with glucose, i’m glad to report that glucose is a really perfect alternative for corn syrup!
(if you’re questioning why you want corp syrup, its purpose is to make certain the caramel doesn’t crystallise ie in place of becoming liquid, you grow to be with sugar grains. Caramel is easy but may be temperamental. Corn syrup makes it a positive factor.
How to make Caramel Popcorn
- Pop your popcorn kernels using your method of choice – stove or popcorn maker, if you have one (I do, but for some reason digging it out of the back of the cupboard seems like more effort than cooking the popcorn on the stove);
- Make caramel – simmer butter, sugar and corn syrup or glucose;
- Whisk in baking soda to make the caramel foam up!
- Toss popcorn with caramel – just do the best you can here, the caramel will harden as it cools. Don’t worry if it’s not evenly coated, we do this in the next step;
- Bake 45 minutes, tossing 3 – 4 times – this makes the caramel coat the popcorn evenly, then makes the caramel and popcorn crisp so it stays crispy for 2+ weeks!
Caramel warning: handle with care because that molten goodness is mighty hot! So don’t be tempted to stick your finger in for a taste test!
Full coverage vs lighter coating
The popcorn you see pictured in the photos and in the video has full caramel coverage. Meaning, the ratio of caramel to popcorn is such that it’s intended that every piece of popcorn is coated with caramel.
Full coverage caramel popcorn is very sweet! It’s made with 1/3 cup kernels, 10 cups popcorn, and is literally like candy. If you eat it by the handful like Butter Popcorn, chances are you will regret it….unless you have a major sweet tooth (otherwise try my Light ‘n Salty Butter Popcorn)!
I commonly move full insurance when I’m gifting to people I don’t know that nicely (ie generally paintings associated bribing because it looks better.
For my own personal purposes, for my family and buddies, for gifting to people I understand, I do a lighter insurance. Lighter insurance popcorn has seen white splotches due to the fact you don’t get full insurance. It’s made with three/four cup kernels and it’s far certainly nevertheless sweet and indulgent.
no one has ever had my Lighter coverage caramel popcorn and stated “that’s no longer sweet enough”!