Monday, 30 August 2010

Caramel Corn!

No, there is nothing remotely good for you about caramel corn. The popcorn is just a vehicle for almost pure sugar. But what a delicious vehicle it is!
Alarmingly, the grocery stores are all stocked up for Halloween, I say alarmingly as it is still August and we are having yet another heatwave. The Halloween decor and sauna-like air are making me crave fall flavours; pumpkin, apples and of course bite-sized chocolate bars.
In anticipation of fall, my son and I made caramel corn. And then ate all of it within 24 hours. That's just the way we roll.

Illinois Caramel Corn
From Martha Stewart Living, July 2010
Makes 12 cups


* 12 cups popped popcorn (from 1/2 cup kernels)
* 1 1/2 cups Beer Nuts or shelled salted peanuts
* 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 1 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
* 1/3 cup light corn syrup
* Coarse salt
* 1/4 teaspoon baking soda


1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place popcorn and nuts in a large bowl. Melt butter in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir in sugar, corn syrup, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Raise heat to high; bring to a boil without stirring. Cook until mixture reaches 248 degrees on a candy thermometer, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in baking soda.
2. Add caramel to popcorn, and stir to coat. Transfer mixture to a rimmed baking sheet.
3. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring twice. Remove from oven, and immediately sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Let cool. Break into clusters.

Storage: Cooled caramel corn can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 week.