Thursday, April 23, 2009

Spiced Caramel Corn

Sometimes you just need to eat something specific.  Right.  Now.  An hour ago, I was overwhelmed with the desire for Spiced Caramel Corn...

hardware: candy thermometer, good heavy small pot, greased cookie sheet or cookie sheet lined with SILPAT, large bowl lightly greased, spatula or spoon lightly greased.

software: 2 quarts of popped corn, spice mixture (3/4 t cinnamon, 1 1/2 t nutmeg, 1/8 t grnd cloves, 1/4 t grnd cardamom, 3/4 t salt, 1/2 t baking soda), 1 stick unsalted butter, 1 1/2 c brn sgr, 1/2 c light corn syrup, a vanilla bean (split and scraped)

Put butter, brn sgr and corn syrup in pot.  Stir until it begins to boil and then add vanilla bean and seeds.  Cook mixture without stirring until it reaches 300 degrees C.  

A little tip for measuring sticky liquids: line your measuring cup with saran, pour in the liquid, twist the saran so you have a little balloon of sticky liquid and then poke it with a knife and squirt.

When mixture reaches 300, pull out the vanilla bean, stir in your spices and pour mixture over popcorn in the greased bowl.  Stir gently with greased spatula until all corn is coated (WARNING: the mixture is SO HOT.  DO NOT touch it, or you will be very very sorry).

Transfer corn to your baking sheet and spread into an even layer.

Wait until cool (WARNING: It will smell really good.  Waiting will be difficult.)

Once cool, break into delicious shards and eat by the fistful.

- Team Hollywood