I LOVE making these homemade easy caramel popcorn. There is something really satisfying about smelling the heavenly warmth scent of the caramel when you pulled them out of the oven and hearing the rustling sound of crunchiness against the baking tray.
Once you have mastered making this basic caramel popcorn (trust me, it is really really easy), the variety of flavors you could come up with will be endless. Add salt = salted caramel. Add chilli powder = spicy caramel. Add bacon = bacon caramel. Ooh, that’s an idea!
In this recipe, a fair bit of the brown sugar required, but they are mildly sweet and not cloying at all. I’ve reduced a fair bit of butter in this version but if you prefer the full-blown level of buttery goodness like Garrett’s, please stick to the original quantity listed below.
Check out my maiden video for this recipe! Let me know what you think.
¼ cup (60 g) popcorn kernels
½ cup (125 g) salted mixed nuts (or more if you prefer)
3 tbsp cooking oil
1/4 cup (60 g) unsalted butter (original uses 1/2 cup = 115 g unsalted butter)
1 cup (170 g) soft brown sugar
1/4 cup (60 ml) corn syrup (substitute with honey if unavailable)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
Makes 2 baking trays of popcorn
Recipe source: MyRecipes.com (with slight modifications)
In a large pan, heat 3 tbsp oil under medium-low heat and add in the popcorn kernels. Stir them around so they are well coated with the oil.
Cover with lid and wait for the kernels to pop. It should take about 3 -5 mins. When the popping has stopped, turn off heat. Remove lid and allow the popcorn to cool slightly.
Transfer popcorn into a large bowl, sifting out those kernels that are not popped.
Pour the nuts on top of the popcorn but do not mix. This is necessary in order for them to coat with the caramel evenly.
In a non-stick saucepan, add in butter, brown sugar, salt and stir to melt.
Stir in corn syrup and allow the caramel mixture to bubble gently under low heat for 5 mins.
After 5 mins, turn off heat and immediately add in baking soda and vanilla extract. Stir constantly and the caramel mixture will puff up and thicken.
Pour hot caramel carefully all over the popcorn and gently mix well so the popcorn are coated evenly with the caramel.
Preheat oven at 100°C/250°F. Line two baking trays each with non-stick baking paper and spread the popcorn evenly in a single layer.
Bake for 60 mins, taking them out every 15 mins to give them a good mix (total 4 times) before returning to the oven.
Allow to cool slightly before popping them into your mouth. They will become even more crunchy when cooled. Store popcorn in air-tight containers for up to 1 week.