Friday, 28 September 2007

Caramel Popcorn

We are having PorkChop's first birthday party on Sunday. It is incredibly strange to think that he is going to be one. I still look at his birth photos and almost cry! (which is even stranger really!)

His first year has totally run us over with all its illnesses! We have had at least one of us sick almost constantly since March. Boof was sick last week, PorkChop, GKGK and I all got sick from Boof, but we seem to be over it now, so hopefully we can all hold out for 2 more days so we can at least have PorkChop's party on time! After all, we can't possibly have it next weekend, because THE RACE is on. (We are a car house, not a football house!)

Anyway, mum came over today to help look after PorkChop while I decorated the cake. PorkChop obviously understood the gravity of the situation, and slept from 8:30am til 12! That left mum with not much looking after to do, so I got her cracking on the caramel popcorn. It's fabulous stuff - you can make it days in advance and it's still great on the day.

Mum made one batch, but it looked a bit small, so we decided that we probably needed another batch. This was an excellent idea, because the whole problem with making caramel popcorn in advance, is that it gets eaten in advance! It is so incredibly addictive. It's light and sweet, and you don't even realise that all of its own accord, your arm has just reached out and taken your 14th handful, and maybe you should probably stop now. I must admit, a good chunk of the popcorn mum made today is now nowhere to be seen! But don't worry partygoers, there's still plenty and I have hidden it away where I am not constantly looking at it, so there should be at least a handful left for Sunday!

This is not my secret recipe. I think have mentioned it before when I made it for Boof’s birthday – the recipe is off the back of the popcorn packet! (I omit the nuts though – so maybe I’ll claim it as my own after all!)

Caramel Popcorn

½ cup popcorn kernels
5 tbs oil
125g butter
¾ cup sugar
2 tbs honey

In a large saucepan (much larger than you think, compared to the ½ cup kernels), slowly heat the oil over medium heat. Drop in a couple of kernels, and once they start slowly spinning, the oil is hot enough. Add the remaining kernels, put the lid on, and give it all a good shake. Cook, giving a shake every now and again, until the popping stops. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

In a medium saucepan, heat the sugar, honey and butter. Stir until butter has melted and sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil. Boil for 5 minutes or until mixture is a deep golden caramel colour (or whatever colour you like your caramel).

Quickly pour caramel over popcorn and mix well until caramel is evenly spread throughout. Spread out over a baking sheet lined with baking paper to cool. Once cool, break into small pieces.

It really does taste better once it has cooled, but if you are anything like me (and my mum) you will probably burn your mouth trying to shovel it in while it is still hot! (I am going to be sooooo in trouble for writing that!)


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