To celebrate #WorldCupRussia2018, we've borrowed a quintessential Russian staple of sour cherries to make a grown-up version of a childhood Aussie favourite, the chocolate crackle - but as popcorn! The tart dried cherries counters the bittersweet cocoa, all joined together in clusters with coconut oil.






Skill level

Average: 5 (1 vote)


  • 1½ tbsp (30 ml) canola or vegetable oil
  • 55 g (¼ cup) popcorn kernels
  • 40 g coconut oil (see Note)
  • 1½ tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar               
  • ½ cup dried sour cherries (see Note) or dried cranberries, very roughly chopped
  • 70 g (1 cup) shredded coconut (see Note)

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Chilling time 20 minutes

Makes 5 cups

Read our tips on how not to screw up stovetop popcorn.

Heat the oil in a 3-litre saucepan with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat until just before it smokes. Add a popcorn kernel to the oil to test if it is hot enough; if it spins, then the oil is ready (see Note).

Add all the popcorn kernels, swirl to cover the kernels with the oil, cover with the lid and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, for 1 minute 45 seconds or until the popping sounds have stopped.

Melt the coconut oil in a heatproof bowl in the microwave for 20–30 seconds or until melted.

Add the cocoa powder and icing sugar to the coconut oil and stir to combine.

Place the popcorn in a large bowl, add the dried fruit, pour over the cocoa oil and toss to coat well. Spread evenly on a tray lined with baking paper and chill for 20 minutes or until slightly set. Break into clusters to serve.



• Coconut oil comes in solid form in jars from Asian grocers, health food stores and select grocers, such as Harris Farm. If you can't find, you can substitute with Copha, available from most supermarkets in the dairy section.

• Dried sour cherries are available from health food stores or select grocers, such as Harris Farm. If substituting with cranberries, choose unsweetened ones.

• Lightly toasting the coconut will add a lovely nuttiness. Lightly toast in a preheated 180°C oven for about 5 minutes. Remove from the tray to cool (otherwise it will continue cooking.)

• The oil shouldn’t be smoking; if it is, remove from the heat until it stops smoking, then return to the heat.


Photography by Amanda McLauchlan, styling by Aimee Jones.


View more ridiculously tasty recipes from our Popcorn Cup collection to celebrate the World Cup.