GUEST POST: Jennifer's Gooey Caramel Corn

>> Monday, February 8, 2010



Hi! I'm Jen from Woman Versus Food, a blog about living abroad and losing weight.  I happen to be an avid reader of (never home)maker and am very excited to have a guest post here!  Today I'd like to share a recipe that I've come up with for homemade caramel corn that's calorie free!  Psych! (Has anyone said that since 1993?) It's very much not calorie free, but we all need to splurge once in awhile, and this will help you with that.

I never really thought of making caramel corn from scratch until I moved to South Korea.  In fact, there's lots of things I never considered making from scratch.  I just thought things like bagels, crackers, and caramel corn could only be produced in big, specialist factories and must come in a nicely designed box or plastic sleeve and purchased off the shelf of the nearest giant, corporate supermarket.  I've learned that's not true.  People actually used to make stuff at home, in their kitchens.  I know, it's so weird. 

Thanks to a lack of many of our favorite western foods, and my budding interest in all things cooking and baking, I've learned how to make a thing or two from scratch.  The best part is most of the time it's not difficult, it saves money, reduces waste, and you know exactly what you're putting in your body.  Oh, and it gives you an underlying sense of superiority...erm, maybe that's just me.

So let's get on with it already, shall we?



Perfectly Gooey Caramel Corn

The kind of caramel corn I make is nice and gooey. 

This is because:
a) It's much better this way, and
b) It replicates some sort of stove-top popcorn my husband used to eat as a kid and when he eats it all the wrongs of the world are righted.

Ingredients

  • 5 cups of popped popcorn, unpopped kernels removed.
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon butter or butter substitute
  • Salt to taste

Method

1. Make sure to have your popped popcorn ready to go before starting the caramel, things will happen rather quickly and you don't want to be distracted.  Be sure to remove the unpopped kernels as chomping down on one stuck to a popped piece of corn will really ruin your day.

2. To make the caramel you should use a light colored saucepan that is fairly deep so that you can see what's going on and you don't get splattered.

3. Place the brown sugar and water in the pan and place over medium-low to low heat.

4. The sugar will begin to melt and bubble, make sure to stir often with a metal spoon or whisk so that the sugar doesn't stick to the bottom and burn.

5. The more the sugar cooks and melts the more bubbly and foamy it will become.  Continue to stir and check the consistency.  When the consistency is that of maple syrup, and easily coats a metal spoon, remove pan from the heat and quickly but carefully add the butter and stir until combined.



6. Place half of the popcorn in a very large mixing bowl.  With a metal spoon drizzle half of the caramel over the popcorn.  Place the rest of the popcorn in the bowl and drizzle the remaining caramel over the top. 

7. Using a large spoon or spatula toss and mix the popcorn so that the caramel is well distributed.  Sprinkle with salt.

8. Place in a popcorn bowl and serve.



It is best served and eaten right away, as if you could stop yourself...but if you had to you could make it a few hours before and after it cools store in a plastic bag and reheat in the microwave for 10-20 seconds before serving. 

Thanks for reading my post, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did making it!



And thanks to Jennifer (from Woman versus Food) for sharing with us her awesome recipe. I've actually been looking to learn how to make this stuff for quite some time. Can't wait! And if YOU'D like to write a guest post or be featured on (never home)maker, just head over to our Reader Spotlight page for all the details!

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