Sunday, 28 October 2012
A few different things came together to form this lovely bowl of popcorn last night. A few days ago I was wondering around Lewis & Cooper which is a fine food and wine store in Harrogate. I randomly picked up a pack of Gourmet Popping Corn. This particular version was described as "Rich Ruby Red". I had no idea such popcorn was available! I had just planned to throw it in a pan, let it pop away and enjoy. But last night, as "The A-Team" began on TV, I remembered a little recipe from Heston Blumenthal in his book "Heston Blumenthal at Home", which a friend from work shared with me this week. So all these things came together to produce this delicious gourmet popcorn treat.
For me, popcorn has always just been the bland snack you get at the cinema, either covered in butter or sugar. My way of cooking popcorn turns it into something much more enjoyable and grown-up. It does start with both oil and sugar, as the cinema product does, but it is then spruced up with a lovely cinnamon sugar. Various toppings could be added at this stage, and I will be sure to experiment further in the future.
One small point here; when making the caramel at the start of the process, do this very gently. The oil in the sugar will make the mixture very hot very quickly and there is a chance you will burn this pretty badly. This is exactly what I did, and nearly ruined the pan in the meantime.
This recipe used a 90g pack of popcorn which was a pretty large amount for 2 people but we still got through it all!
90g popcorn kernels
40g oil (groundnut/olive/rapeseed)
90g white caster sugar
For the topping
1 tsp cinnamon
40g caster sugar
1. Start by heating the oil and sugar in a heavy bottomed pan. Officially speaking this should be heated to 150C but if you dont have a sugar thermometer then just heat until a rich dark colour is seen.
2. Add the popcorn and stir until all coated with the caramel.
3. Place a lid on the pan and let the kernels "pop".
4. When finished, tip the popcorn into a big bowl and then sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over and coat well.