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

Ingredients

* 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

Directions

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.