Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Caramel Corn - aka homemade Cracker Jack

A good movie night just isn’t the same without some form of snack, and nothing really beats buttery salty popcorn... Well almost nothing, Cracker Jacks do, salty caramel covered popped corn studded with roasted peanuts, far too moreish, an I can’t believe I finished the whole bowl, kind of food, but you should indulge now and then. I found this recipe on Brown Eyed Baker, and it’s pretty close to what I remember of the caramel corn in a box with a prize.

I really recommend you roast your own peanuts, so you can control how salty they are, but store bought roasted peanuts are good too.

100 grams of popped corn (about 10 cups popped)
1 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Glucose syrup
85 grams unsalted butter (6 tablespoons), melted
1 cup of roasted lightly salted peanuts
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  1. Preheat Oven to 120ºC.
  2. Pop the corn and put it in a very lightly greased bowl, set aside.
  3. In a small pan whisk together the brown sugar, glucose syrup, butter, salt, and water. Simmer, stirring often, until the mixture reaches 120ºC (firm/hard ball stage)
  4. Remove from the heat, whisk in the vanilla and baking soda.
  5. Using a rubber spatula, fold the caramel into the popcorn until all of popped corn is coated, then stir in the roasted peanuts.
  6. Spread the mixture on to a lined baking tray and bake for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for half an hour.
  8. Gently break up the popcorn. It will keep for about 5 days in a airtight container.