My very successful maple bacon popcorn gave me a taste for the sweet and salty snack combination. We were, however, going to dinner with friends who don't eat bacon, so I needed to come up with an alternative. This version is, I think, even better. It has more caramel and a nice warm bite from the chilli.
Chilli Salted Caramel Popcorn
1tbs vegetable oil
100g popping corn
1/2tsp chilli flakes (I used chile de arbol)
1/2tsp Maldon salt (i.e good quality seasalt)
50g salted butter
75ml maple syrup
75ml golden syrup
Heat the oil in a large saucepan with a lid, and add the popping corn.
Cover, and shake until the corn has popped, then pour into a large,
heat-proof bowl or tray, holding back any unpopped kernels if possible.
Combine the chilli flakes and salt in a little eggcup or ramekin or something, for ease of access when the syrup is done. In a
heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the butter, maple syrup and golden syrup over a
medium heat, and swirl gently as it comes to the boil. Boil rapidly for a
couple of minutes, or until it starts to change colour to a darker
Take the caramel off the heat and tip the chilli and salt quickly into it. Keeping your fingers well clear, give it a stir with a silicon spatula and pour the caramel evenly over the popcorn. Stir it through. It
won't coat all of the popcorn. Allow it to cools and set before eating. I suspect a handful of roasted peanuts combined with the popcorn before adding the caramel would also be welcome. That's for next time.