Dairy-free salted caramel popcorn
Popcorn is great because it is totally Wide Circle Cooking., ie suitable for everyone. Of course, you could just sprinkle salt or sugar on it, but I was thinking of how nice it would be to have something a bit like Butterkist toffee popcorn (which is, of course, full of dairy ingredients and therefore not suitable). And then I thought about the whole salted caramel thing being so popular at the moment, so I had the idea to combine the two. I defy you not to enjoy this – especially in front of your favourite film!
1tbsp sunflower oil
4tbsp (heaped) popcorn kernels
1tsp salt (ideally sea salt)
Place the oil and kernels in a pan with a lid (vital to prevent popcorn getting everywhere) on a medium heat. After about five minutes you’ll hear the corn starting to pop and when the pops die down to about one every three seconds, remove the pan from the heat.
Next, add the sugar to a really big pan and put it on a medium heat. Now, I don’t know why this happens, but it is vital that the pan is completely dry and that you don’t add water – on numerous occasions I’ve thought that adding water might help speed things up a little, but it doesn’t – it just makes the sugar go all weird. Instead, wait without stirring and you’ll see the sugar gradually become liquid. Once all the sugar has melted, remove from the heat, pour in all your popcorn at once and stir vigorously to coat all the popcorn. Then add the salt and stir again. Finally, stir for a minute or so more to let the caramel solidify on separate bits of popcorn (or you’ll just end up with one enormous lump).