[popcorn instructions here]
A. and I aren't the biggest fans of nuts in desserts, so when it came time to make the Caramel-Peanut-Topped Brownie Cake for TWD, chosen by Tammy, I decided to sub out the peanuts for popcorn. Hey, it all works together in Cracker Jack, right? In truth, I don't think you could really ruin this dessert as long as you keep in the caramel, because that was just plain delicious.
I didn't have an 8" springform pan around, and reading through the recipe, it seemed that the only purpose of the springform was to keep in the caramel topping. So, I opted to use a regular cake pan to bake with. I think I maybe overbaked this a little bit -- I always forget to turn down the temperature for my dark colored pans!
I thought it would be fun to try popping the corn on the stove, rather than just getting a bag of microwave stuff like I usually would. According to the package, you just take a heavy-bottomed pot, put in enough oil (I used canola oil) to cover the bottom, and put a few kernels in to be tester kernels.
Once those kernels pop, put in the rest of the kernels, moving the pot around to mix up the corn the whole time. It only takes a minute or so for them all to pop. (Consider using a screen on top of the pot to control oil splashing and runaway kernels.)
After they are all popped, season as you want — I just salted them, since I know that goes well with caramel.
Then, it was caramel time!! Once the sugar syrup reached the caramel stage (the right pic below — 320°-350° F), it was time to add the cream and butter.
Everything in the pot foamed like there was no tomorrow, but it eventually calmed down with some stirring and became liquidy caramel.
I drizzled the warm caramel over the popcorn — first just a little bit to make a light coating, and then I added some more to the mix before topping the cake.
My makeshift non-springform-pan solution was to wrap the sides of the cake with aluminum foil, which worked well enough.
I ate one piece of this that night, and it was delicious! According to A., when he took it into work, a lot of the caramel had kind of slid off the side into a giant pool of caramel. Not necessarily a bad thing. ;)
In all, I was pretty pleased with this recipe, and with the popcorn! Thanks to Tammy of Wee Treats by Tammy for this yummy pic. Go check out her blog for the recipe, and also take a peek at the rest of the TWD blogroll! Don't forget — just a few more weeks to join up!