Archive for the 'Candy' Category

Mom’s Fabaulous Caramel Corn

Makes about 10 cups

My Mom used to make caramel corn. We loved that caramel corn. We don’t make it very often these days because we gobble it down faster that you can shake a stick. But, boy is it good.
Making caramel for this recipe involves heating sugar on the stove to achieve a hard-ball stage. This requires you to use a candy thermometer to keep the temperature of about 255 degrees F. This will put the caramel just into the hardball range. The different stages of heating sugar for candy making are listed below for reference:

Stage                       Temperature                      Sugar   Concentration

(degrees F)

Thread                    235 to 240                                        85%

Soft-Ball                  245 to 250                                        87%

Hard-Ball                250 to 265                                         92%

Soft-Crack               270 to 290                                        95%

Hard-Crack             300 to 310                                        99%

Tips for popping popcorn: Place three tablespoons of oil in the bottom of a large, heavy-bottom pot and drop in several popcorn kernels. Put a lid on loosely and wait for a few kernels to pop. When they do, take the pot off the stove (leave the burner on), remove the lid and dump in the popcorn all at once. The amount of popcorn kernels you use should cover the bottom of the pot or less in just a single layer.  Let the pot rest off the heat for one minute. Immediately put the pot back on the burner and adjust the burner to medium to medium high depending on your burner and how hot it gets. Place the lid on the pot so there is an opening for the steam to escape from the pot (a tight lid will lead to soggy popcorn). Several times during the popping, shake the pot.  The popping will be very vigorous at first and then will slow down.  When the popping almost stops, take the pot off the heat and let it rest for a minute or two.  Some of the last kernels will pop during this time.  This method results in almost all the kernels popping.
I learned this from a chef a long time ago and it works every time. And, yes, I have not idea why it works, just that it does work.
This recipe is easy and straight forward. Just watch yourself as you dump the caramel sugar mixture into the bowl with the popcorn. The caramel is very hot and it is easy to get burned if you are not careful. As the recipe states, feel free to add salted peanuts or other nuts to this. About a cup to a cup and a half of roughly chopped nuts should do it.

Recipe follows.

Continue reading ‘Mom’s Fabaulous Caramel Corn’

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