Don’t baulk at cooking caramel. It takes 5 minutes and it’s the only way to get that candied crunch on these clusters. The trick is to work quickly before the caramel sets. We’ve chosen to toss the popcorn in a roasting tray (instead of a bowl), so the popcorn gets coated in caramel evenly, and lightly oil your tray and stirring spoon to stop the caramel from sticking.
- 2 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
- 70 g (⅓ cup) popcorn kernels
- 80 g (½ cup) Brazil nuts, halved lengthways
- 100 g salted butter
- 75 g (⅓ cup) caster sugar
- 2 tbsp liquid glucose (see Note)
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp sea salt
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.
Makes 7 cups
Cooling time 15 minutes
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. Get the largest roasting tray you have and lightly oil. Tip the popcorn into the tray. Scatter over the Brazil nuts.
Combine the butter, sugar, and liquid glucose in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook until melted and combined, then increase the heat and bring to a gentle boil. Cook, shaking the pan occasionally, for 5–6 minutes or until the mixture turns a deep caramel colour. Add the bicarbonate of soda and salt (be careful as the mixture will bubble up) and stir to combine.
Immediately tip half of the caramel over the popcorn and, working quickly, mix the popcorn and caramel together with a wooden spoon. Add the remaining caramel and mix until evenly coated. Set aside for 15 minutes to cool.
• Liquid glucose is available from supermarkets in the baking aisle. It is colourless and sticky like honey.
• 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.