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Caramel Popcorn

Yield: 12 to 15 balls cups

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup of vegetable oil
  • ½ cup of popcorn kernels
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • ½ cup of water
  • ½ cup of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon or so of fine French-style sea salt
  • 1 pair of disposable sanitary kitchen gloves in your size

Method 

  1. Pop the popcorn in hot oil then toss into your largest bowl.
  2. Sprinkle the sugar away from the sides, over the water in a small, tight pile in the centre of the water. Don’t stir! As they heat the water and sugar will quickly dissolve together and form simple syrup. Stirring actually encourages granular crystallisation.
  3. As the heat increases the syrup will begin simmering and steaming, and the water will gradually evaporate. Once the water’s gone, the steam will die down, but the temperature will begin to rise past the boiling point of the water leaving behind a pure melted sugar syrup. As the heat rises farther the sugar will eventually start to turn golden. Put on a pair of disposable sanitary kitchen gloves.
  4. When you see the first hint of golden brown, begin gently swirling the pan helping it colour evenly. When the sugar is caramelised deep golden brown, as brown as you dare, add the butter and carefully whisk it in until the sauce is smooth. The butter will quickly drop the sauce’s temperature and prevent it from over-browning. Whisk in the vanilla and baking soda. It will foam a bit. Working quickly, pour and toss it over the popcorn to mix well. While the works is still warm, scoop it out by handfuls and roll into balls.  Lay the balls out on a sheet pan and sprinkle with the sea salt. Serve and share.