I love snacking on popcorn, and the salty-sweet of this combo with savoury thyme is delicious and dangerously addictive! Plus it’s pretty to boot. I served this up recently at a friend’s baby shower and everyone was wowed by the flavours. Bag up and tie with a ribbon for a special homemade gift or party favour.
Makes: 8-10 as an entrée
Takes: 30 minutes
2 Tbsp canola oil, or other light oil
¾ cup popcorn kernels
1 cup sugar
90g butter, cubed
½ cup cream
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp fresh thyme, leaves only
Method: Preheat your oven to 180°C. Line an oven tray with baking paper. Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot with a lid over a medium heat. Add popcorn kernels and cover, cooking until the first kernels begin to pop. Shake occasionally and continue to cook until the kernels stop popping. Pour popped corn onto your lined oven tray.
To make the caramel, heat sugar in a medium-sized saucepan over a medium heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula. The sugar will melt into a thick amber-coloured liquid as you stir. Use the spatula to keep splashes of sugar from burning up the sides of the saucepan. Once the sugar has completed dissolved, add butter and keep stirring until the butter is completely melted.
Slowly drizzle in cream. Be careful, as the mixture will rapidly bubble and rise in the saucepan. Allow to boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the salt. Pour caramel over popcorn, gently tossing it with a spatula until coated. Sprinkle over thyme leaves.
Bake caramel for 10 minutes, tossing the popcorn mixture once or twice to redistribute the melted caramel, until golden. Remove popcorn from the oven and it allow to cool completely before breaking up into clusters and serving.