If you like this article, please share:
HOW TO POP THE CORN KERNELS
Source: Adapted from Big Snacks, Little Meals by Rose Dunnington
- Prepare a large pot/ pan (26-28cm) with lid. Preferably use a glass cover so that you can watch the corn popping.
- Pour enough oil into the pot/ pan to coat the bottom and heat on medium-high heat until the oil shimmers. That’s mean it must be hot enough to pop your kernels.
- Add enough popcorn kernels to make a single layer on the bottom of the pot. Reduce the heat to medium, and put the lid on the pot/ pan. When you hear the kernels start to pop, hold on to the handles, shake the pot/ pan over the heat source (by moving in back and forth across the heat source) while the popcorn pops.
- When the popping slows down to the point that you don’t hear a pop for 10 seconds, take the pot/ pan off of the burner, let it rest with the lid still on for a few seconds, and then turn off the stove. Don’t worry if you hear a few more pops coming from the pot.
- Take off the lid, and dump the popcorn into the serving bowl. Don’t be surprised if you find a few late poppers. Remove any unpopped kernels if any. Refer to tip no. (1) below on how to save these unpopped kernels.
HOW TO MAKE CARAMEL POPCORN
Source: Adapted and modified from Annabel Karmel Family Cookbook
½ cup corn kernels (refer to photo)
½ stick (or 110-120g) butter
½ cup soft light brown sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
2 tbsp water
Pinch of salt
2-3 tbsp neutral-flavored oil, such as sunflower or olive oil for popping the corn kernels
- Preheat oven to 150°C.
- Line a large baking sheet with foil and lightly grease with oil.
- Pop the corn as per the method above.
- Prepare the caramel. Combine butter, sugar, syrup in a saucepan with two tablespoons of water and a pinch of salt. Heat gently until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Then bring the syrup to the boil and remove it from the heat.
- Let the syrup cool slightly, then drizzle over the popcorn. Toss the popcorn carefully using two large wooden spoons or salad servers.
- Spread onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and carefully stir. Bake for a further 15 minutes, watching closely in the last five minutes.
- Remove the popcorn from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for five minutes, then transfer to a bowl and serve warm (check temperature before serving as the caramel coating can stay hot for a while) or leave to cool completely (it will crisp up as it cools). Refer to tip no. (2) on how to store popcorn.
1) Saving unpopped kernels (aka “Old Maids”)
“Old Maids” is a term for kernels that fail to pop and are often found at the bottom of the popcorn bowl. They can, however, be rejuvenated. The water content in the kernels is what causes popcorn to pop, so all you need to do is re-hydrate the dried kernels.
David Woodside, author of What Makes Popcorn Pop? suggests filling “a one-quart jar three-quarters full of popcorn and adding one tablespoon of water. Cover the jar with an airtight lid and give it a few good shakes every few minutes until the popcorn has absorbed all the water. Store the jar in a cool place.”
Woodside says in two or three days you can test-pop a batch of kernels. If you still get old maids, add a few more drops of water to the jar, shake it, and let it sit for a few more days. (Source: Popcornica)
2) How to store popcorns
Store popcorn in airtight containers (either plastic or glass) as it is to avoid moisture loss especially when stored in a cool place like a cupboard. Avoid the refrigerator. Then again, if it is so easy to make, why make so much that you need to store them. Make an amount that is enough to satisfy your craving. Freshly made popcorn tastes the best. More often than not, there is not much leftover anyway as munching popcorn can be infectious.