Popcorn Caramel

Popcorn Caramels | BakeNQuilt.com

When I get popcorn at the Farmer’s market, I always have trouble deciding between the kettle corn and the caramel corn.  This Popcorn Caramel candy marries both of those flavors with a sweet caramel base and a crunchy and salty popcorn topping.  A lot of good notes are hit with this recipe – crunchy, chewy, smooth, sweet and salty.

Since I’m the only one in the house who likes popcorn or caramel (no sharing!), I made half batch of my favorite basic caramel.  Since I’ve been wanting to try making cold-steeped flavored cream, I also soaked popcorn in the cream used in this recipe.   To do this, I chopped up about a cup of popcorn and poured the cream from the recipe plus a little extra over the top.  I let this sit at room temperature for 4 hours before my patience ran out.  I’m not sure how much flavor it really imparts to the caramel, but the drained cream smelled and tasted like popcorn!

Popcorn flavored cream

After pouring the cooked caramel mixture into the prepared pan, I sprinkled more popcorn on top and pressed it very gently (and carefully so as not to burn myself) into the surface of the caramel and then sprinkled the whole thing with a pinch of kosher salt.

Caramel Mixture | BakeNQuilt.com Popcorn topped caramel | BakeNQuilt.com

The finished Popcorn Caramel is pretty addictive, so it is a good thing I made a small batch.  I suspect that the popcorn might loose some of it’s crunch after a few days, but I don’t think it will last that long!

Popcorn Caramels | BakeNQuilt.com

Popcorn Caramel
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 32
 
Sweet and chewy caramel topped with crunchy and salty kettle corn.
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cup (295.5 ml) heavy cream (plus extra as needed)
  • 2¼ cup (30g) freshly popped salted popcorn or kettle corn, divided
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (198g)
  • ½ cup corn syrup (156g)
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter (56.5g
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • kosher salt for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. Chop 1 cup of the popcorn and place it in a small bowl. Pour the cream over the popcorn and cover the bowl. Let soak for 4 hours.
  2. Lightly oil a 9"x5" loaf pan and line with parchment or foil. Lightly oil the parchment. Set the pan aside.
  3. Drain the popcorn from the cream and measure out 1 cup of the flavored cream into a 2 qt. saucepan. If you have less than 1 cup, add some additional plain cream. Add the sugar, corn syrup and butter to the cream.
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly. Continue stirring while cooking the mixture until it starts to turn a light yellow color. Attach a candy thermometer and continue cooking the mixture, stirring constantly, until it reaches 248F/120C. This will take about 10 minutes, depending on your stove and the temperature of your ingredients.
  5. Immediately remove the pan from the heat, stir in the salt and vanilla, and pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Tap the pan gently to level the caramel and pop any bubbles.
  6. Quickly sprinkle the top of the caramel with the remaining popcorn. Press the popcorn down very gently to stick to the top of the caramel, being very careful not to touch the hot caramel with your hands. Sprinkle the top of popcorn-coated caramel with a pinch of kosher salt.
  7. Let sit at room temperature until the caramel is completely cool and solid. This will probably take 4-8 hours. Cut into small squares.
  8. The candy is best served within 24 hours of making it as the popcorn will lose some crunch over time. Store at room temperature, preferably individually wrapped in wax paper and stored in an air-tight container.
Notes
Candy is always best made on a cool, dry day. If humidity is high, the candy may turn out sticky.

 

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Overnight Chocolate Oats

Chocolate Overnight Oats | BakeNQuilt.com

Overnight Chocolate Oats look like a decadent dessert, but are actually a fairly healthy breakfast indulgence.  The first time I tried this technique, I made it with regular rolled oats and hated the mushy texture. I didn’t think I’d come round to them again, but thanks to a recent mis-purchase of quick cooking steel cut oats, I have changed my mind.

We eat a lot of oats in our house, mostly the old fashioned rolled oats in granola, cookies and granola bars or the quick cooking oats as a fast microwaved oatmeal.  Quick cooking steel cut oats are a whole different item.  They look like whole dried oats that have been broken up.

I accidentally bought them recently instead of quick cooking rolled oats and while they are tasty, standing over the stove stirring for 8 minutes is not my idea of quick (though it beats the 30 minutes required by regular steel cut oats).  Not wanting to spend the cooking time, I thought I’d give them a try in overnight oatmeal instead and I was really happy with the results.  Quick cooking steel cut oats turn overnight chocolate oats into a slightly chewy, not mushy, cold breakfast that is a bit like pudding and, when made in a mason jar, is easily portable.  Best yet, it keeps well for 4-5 days in the refrigerator making breakfast even quicker.  This will be a great replacement for hot oatmeal in the summer months as well.  It’s also very customizeable to prevent breakfast boredom (though I never get bored of chocolate).  A bit of cinnamon or orange peel or different fruit toppings and mix-ins easily change the flavor.  I have been topping mine with fresh raspberries, a dollop of vanilla yogurt and sometimes a few mini chocolate chips.  Not a bad way to start the day!

I am submitting this treat to We Should Cocoa this month as the theme is Oats.

We_Should_Cocoa_V3

5.0 from 1 reviews
Overnight Chocolate Oats
Author: 
Recipe type: breakfast
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Indulgent chocolate oatmeal that is soaked, not cooked, in the refrigerator overnight. Chocolatey, slightly chewy and delicious.
Ingredients
  • ¼ C. (40g) quick cooking Steel Cut Oats
  • 1 T. Dutch Process Cocoa Powder
  • 1 T. coconut sugar (or sweetener of choice)
  • ½ T. mini chocolate chips
  • pinch of salt
  • ⅓ C (80ml) unsweetened almond milk
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla bean paste or extract
Instructions
  1. Stir the dry ingredients together in a ½ pint canning jar.
  2. Mix in the wet ingredients.
  3. Put on the lid and store in the refrigerator for 12 hours or up to 5 days.
  4. Just before serving, give the oats a good stir. Top as desired and enjoy!
Notes
Dutch Process Cocoa powder is a much better flavor in these oats than Natural Cocoa Powder and a nice, dark chocolate color and aroma. Natural cocoa powder can be used if you want a less chocolate flavor and lighter color.
Add in any flavors you like to customize the oats - cinnamon, espresso powder, orange zest, flavoring extract, fresh or dried fruit (add more liquid if adding dried fruit before refrigerating as it will absorb some).

 

 

 

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