I know you might think it’s a waste of time to make your own popcorn when you can buy it pretty cheap anyway, but there really is something special about homemade popcorn and it has its merits; you can make as much of it as you like, and it can be made on a whim from items you’ve most likely got in the cupboard anyway (once you’ve bought some popping corn). I think a bag of popping corn is about 50p, so it’s pretty cost efficient and tastes a million times better than the microwave bags of popping corn.
It’s also really really fast to make and really fun. Children and adults alike are always amazed to see corn popping, it’s one of those MIRACLES OF NATURE that never disappoints. The only thing you need to worry about is avoiding getting hot fat spitting in your face, or burning yourself on boiling sugar. Obviously these things are easy to avoid if you’re careful!
I got this recipe from Rachel Allen, and though I haven’t changed the recipe at all, below I give a few tips that they don’t tell you in the recipe.
Homemade Toffee Popcorn
Makes one large bowl
40g popcorn (really you want enough to only just cover the base of the pan you’re using, otherwise it won’t pop properly)
2 tablespoons vegetable or other flavourless oil
40g light brown soft sugar
2 tablespoons golden syrup
Heat the oil on a fairly high heat in a large pan with a lid (if you have a pan with a glass lid you can see the magic happening. Very awesome). Once the oil is hot, add the corn and shake gently to spread them along the bottom of the pan. If you have a layer more than one kernel thick they won’t pop properly (you’ll be left with loads of unpopped kernels, worst thing ever) and your pan will be full before they can pop properly. It might not look like much, but once popped it will expand massively!
Once you can hear the corn start to pop, turn the heat down low. You will hear the popping get more furious and constant. If you have a glass lid you’ll be able to see how full the pan is getting. If not then DO NOT open the lid at this stage, because you’ll get covered in spitting, hot fat. Wait until the popping has died down and there are a few seconds between pops, and see how full the pan is. If it’s full but there are more kernels to be popped, empty out the popped corn into a bowl and put the pan back on the heat, leaving the other kernels to pop.
Whilst the corn is popping, put the ingredients for the toffee into a small frying pan on a high heat. The ingredients will melt together and then come to a rolling boil. Boil for a few minutes until the sauce is thick.
Once all your popcorn is ready and in the bowl, pour over the toffee sauce and immediately toss everything together with two spoons or spatulas (DO NOT BE TEMPTED TO USE YOUR HANDS!) Once everything is coated, leave the popcorn to cool for a few minutes. Once it’s cooled it will set into a big lump, so break it up with your hands into individual kernels and enjoy!