Popcorn is making a huge comeback. I know, it never really went anywhere in the first place, but for years popcorn has been all about basic buttered flavour, caramel corn, air pop, or maybe just sprinkled with a bit of sea salt thrown in for good measure.
But 2015 is the year popcorn really came back to life, and this summer the recipe blogs I follow have exploded with posts about popcorn. Just like Nutella is the flavour of the month for cakes and donuts, crazy popcorn recipes are ‘popping up’ everywhere you look.
It’s not just a foodie thing either—parents at birthday parties are sprinkling popcorn cones with icing and drizzling them with chocolate sauce, restaurants are handing out cones of gourmet popcorn to their guests so they can nibble while they order. If you just take a look around you, you’ll see that popcorn isn’t just making a comeback, it’s surging to the top of the munchie list.
Popcorn is low in calories, and if you air-pop it comes in at only 31 calories per cup. With such low calories to start with, you can load your popcorn up with a bunch of different flavours, spices, and extras and it still won’t be as heavy on the calories as a bag of M&Ms or bunch of cookies.
Summer nights mean summer snacks, so don’t just serve a bowl of basic buttered popcorn. Take a look at these recipes and see exactly how versatile a bowl of fresh popcorn really is!
Truffle Bacon Popcorn
Who can say no to bacon? I follow foodiecrush.com and when I saw this popcorn recipe and photo, I knew I had to try it right away. Not only does it include bacon, but parmesan cheese is one of my favourites on popcorn.
8 cups popped popcorn
4 slices bacon
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter
1 teaspoon truffle salt
½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
Pour popcorn into a large bowl and set aside.
Arrange bacon side by side on a plate lined with parchment paper. Cover with another sheet of parchment paper or microwave-safe cover and cook on high for 4-6 minutes. Rotate the plate half way through cooking so bacon cooks evenly. Place bacon on a paper towel lined plate to drain, then crumble or slice into small pieces and add to popcorn.
Add butter to a microwave safe bowl and heat on high for 30 seconds. Rotate and heat for another 15-30 seconds, watching to be sure it doesn’t boil over.
Pour butter over popcorn then sprinkle with truffle salt. Mix to combine. Then add parmesan cheese and toss to coat. Serve warm or at room temperature.
This has been a big year for coconut too, and I think almost every pantry I’ve been in lately has replaced the vegetable oil with coconut oil. With a dash of maple syrup, this popcorn has a real Canadian twist to it. Photo and recipe from thefitfoodie.com.
½ cup organic popping corn
1 ½ tbsp coconut oil
½ tbsp maple syrup (optional)
Pinch sea salt flakes to taste
Heat your a have-based pot (with lid) over medium heat.
Add the coconut oil and melt, then add the maple syrup (if using).
Add a few kernels into the pan and wait for them to pop (determines when the oil is heated enough to popping).
Once the test kernels have popped, place the rest of the kernels into the pan and cover.
After the kernels begin popping, begin to shake every 10 seconds or so until you the popping slows.
Remove from heat and continuously shake for another 10-20 seconds.
Pour into a bowl, salt to taste and enjoy.
Butterscotch popcorn cheesecake
Ok, I know this isn’t just a popcorn recipe, but who could resist this cheesecake? If you want to take a break from watching your calories, you have to try this unique use for popcorn. Recipe and photo from myfoodiethoughts.com.
For the cheesecake
About 14 digestive biscuits
180g Full fat cream cheese
160g caster sugar
80g icing sugar
For the sauce
30g unsalted butter
Splash of milk
160ml double cream
145g light muscovado sugar
Salt, to taste
For the popcorn
30g popcorn kernels
1 tbsp oil
Pinch of salt
Line an 8ch spring form cake tin with greaseproof paper
Whizz the digestive biscuits in a food processor (or bash them with a rolling pin). Add these into a bowl with the butter chopped up into chunks and microwave for 30sec chunks until the butter is fully melted. Mix to combine. One fully mixed pour this mixture into the cake tin and push town using a teaspoon in concentric circles starting from the outside. Refrigerate.
Put all the sauce ingredients into a saucepan, and heat on high heat until boiled, and then on a very low heat for about 10 minutes for the mixture to thicken. Add salt to taste (if more is required)
Mix the cream cheese and mascarpone in a stand mixer (or by hand) with the caster sugar. It’ll be grainy at first but the more you mix the smoother the mix will be. Add in the icing sugar and carry on mixing. Add about half (if using the full quantity of butterscotch sauce, about 2 or 3 generous table spoons if you’re scaling down) into the cheesecake mix and lightly mix for a rippled effect. Pour this mix on top of the biscuit base and smooth the top. Refrigerate (preferable overnight).
Just prior to serving, pop the corn by putting the oil, salt and popcorn into a sauce pan and putting on a medium heat. Wait for the popping to start and give the pan regular shakes to make sure that the popcorn doesn’t burn. Once the popping becomes less frequent you can take this off the heat and pour out into a bowl.
I found that the easiest and prettiest way to top the chilled cake was to make an outline of a circle of popcorn slightly smaller than the cake and then fill it in with the remainder of the popcorn, and then carry on stacking. Just before serving pour the butterscotch sauce over the cake.
It’s amazing what you can create with something as basic as popcorn, and now that I’m hooked on popcorn, I’m thrilled to whip out the popcorn maker and try something new every weekend.
Here’s a few small kitchen appliances and accessories you’ll need in your kitchen to begin creating amazing popcorn:
Pop up some organic kernels in a Norpro popcorn maker
Share some of your popcorn creations with friends using these stackable bowls