Friday, 1 October 2010

Sweet Treat

Dear Reader,

Here's wishing you a Happy Children's Day :)

Children's Day is a good time to remind ourselves that we were once kids, and we should take this opportunity to recapture our childhood innocence, shouldn't we?

This year, it will be the last day we are celebrating Children’s Day on 1st October. Starting from 2011, Children’s Day will be celebrated on the first Friday of October instead. The rationale is to offer an extended weekend to students and to give parents more time to spend with their children :)

After a fun-filled day in school, my kids were still in a merry-making mood...and upon their request, I made them some caramel popcorns for their afternoon treat.

This is not the first time I am making popcorn at home. I used to think that popcorn can only be made with a microwave oven...using those microwave popcorn packs. After stumbling upon some video clips sometime back, I realised that popcorn can be easily prepared with a pot over a stove. After watching the video and looking at some online recipes, I jumped head-on to pop my first bowl of popcorn. My first attempt failed miserably, there were far too many unpopped kernels left in the pot and the popcorn didn't taste as light and crispy. On my second attempt, I burnt most of the popcorn (^^'). It was only after spending 15 minutes watching a free demo session by a lady who was promoting some anodised woks in a departmental store, that I learned the correct method of popping popcorn. By following her method, almost every kernel pops, and I have not burnt any popcorn since!

The caramel for the popcorn is very simple to use need to melt some sugar in the wok before tossing in the popcorn with some grounded peanuts and sesame seeds. This is a delicious treat both children and adults would enjoy. If you ever happen to try this, I hope you will enjoy making the popcorn as much as eating it. Once again, Happy Children's Day!!! 

Caramel Popcorn


4 tablespoons popcorn kernels (I use organic ones)
3 tablespoons cooking oil (I use canola oil)

4 tablespoons sugar (use 6 tbs for a sweeter taste)
2 tablespoons coarsely grounded peanuts
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Heat up a wok (use a heavy-base wok to prevent the popcorn kernels from burning) over high heat. When the wok is very hot, add in the oil. Turn heat to medium-high and add in popcorn kernels. Stir with a wok spatula until the popcorn kernels are evenly coated with oil. Keep stirring until the first kernel pops (takes only a few seconds). Cover the wok immediately with a lid. The popcorn kernels will start to pop all at once. As the popping continues, gently swirl the wok back and forth over the burner. Do this once or twice in between the popping. Wait for the popping to slow to a few seconds between pops. Turn off the heat, remove lid and transfer popcorn into a wide bowl. (Note, the inside of the lid will be covered with the cooking oil.)

Return wok to burner and turn heat to medium-low. Place sugar in the wok and let it melt. Do not stir, it will take a few minutes for the sugar to melt/caramelise. Turn off the heat when the sugar has completely melted. Return the popcorn into the wok and sprinkle over the grounded peanuts and sesame seeds. Toss with spatula to combine.


Joyti said...

Children's day, how cute. Caramel popcorn sounds so good right now!

Bakericious said...

Happy Children Day to you too! I also thot that popcorn can be made only prepack kind using microwave, since I gave out my microwaven oven I did nit have 'homemade' popcorn. Thanks for sharing :).

Baking Fiend said...

I've done this before over the stove. it was fun, but i also got some burnt bits on my 1st try.

Kitchen Corner said...

I've not try to make my own popcorn. It looks interesting and it must be very fun listen to sound while it's frying in the pan. I shall give it a try for party next time.

CY said...

LOL is it the Super B wok demo you are talking about? I saw their demo in Tangs and bought the wok and brought it back to Perth with me! I tried the popcorn in the wok but mine turned out all burnt... but I have electric burners so it's hard to control the temp. Glad yours turned out great!

sherlyn said...

Is that so? Children's day on first friday of october? So there will always be long weekend during Children's day in the future lor?

Ya, knew abt the wok popping pop corn, and I have the wok .. maybe I shd try since my kids love .. never dare try and I do not really know where to buy the kernels... where ah?

sherlyn said...

I have just read the recipe. Must pot hot hot then put oil ah ... i think my pot will burn after hot hot with no oil .. oh dear... I already forget how the lady demo the pop corns ...

Happy Homebaker said...

Jess, you should try it. It can be tricky though, especially adjusting the heat...u need medium-high heat so that the kernels will pop well.

Baking Fiend, not sure whether I am correct, but I think I burnt the popcorn because I used butter.

Grace, I am sure you will have fun making popcorn.

CY, yes that's the brand!

Sherlyn, even Teacher's Day will be changed to first Friday of Sept...another long weekend :)
I am using those anodised wok, suppose to heat it up until hot hot so that it won't stick. If you are using non-stick wok, then u don't need to heat it until so hot. You can get the popcorn kernel from ntuc or cold storage. I got mine from an organic shop.

Blessed Homemaker said...

I made this today too :-)

If I have spare time, I will bake them in the oven after adding the caramel but most of the time, I'm lazy :P

Anonymous said...

HHB, I used to make these for my kids alot after I bought that wok. These days, I become so lazy and I guess my kids forgotten about it totally. Better they don't see this post, if not, they will pester me again. hehehe

The Experimental Cook said...

This is my hubby's favorite , talk about who is the kid here. For a long time, I have been figuring how to coat the sugar onto the popcorn. Now I know :-)
Thanks for sharing!

Reira said...

Reminds me of my mom! She used to make popcorns. Nowadays I just bought packet ones and use microwave. But it didnt taste as good as the ones from cinema!

Downside of the packet ones is that it is too much for me! Will try your recipe the next time i feel like having some!

Now i feel like having some butter popcorn. :D Luckily still have a pack left.

Bakertan said...

hey HHB,

you are very talented, can do so many things, even popcorns! Haha, it sounds like a good idea learning while watching live demo. There was this once I was watching a pastry chef frost a cake with a turntable in Jurong Point. I just stood and watch. It comes in handy when I frost my cakes, haha.

maybe next time you can experiment with different flavours, both sweet and savoury, for eg. curry, tom yam etc etc haha. There is this shop selling popcorns in diff flavours (both sweet and savoury) in Ion Orchard. I tried and find them quite interesting.

Coraine said...

Nice Popcorns!
And i love your photography =)

ReeseKitchen said...

Happy Chirldren's day..:) I've never try to make my own popcorn and it seems like you've made it so simple. I'll try to follow one day, and hope I'll success.

Pei-Lin said...

HHB, Happy Belated Children's Day to you and your kids! Funny enough, Children's Day now seems distant to me. Probably I've not been celebrating it for years. HAHA!

Well, I know we pop popcorn on the stove. I actually made popcorn in the States since it's like more commonly served at home there. I was given a popcorn popper that's meant to be used in a microwave. I personally find it easier and much convenient. Maybe I'm too lazy. HAHA!

Hey, Americans actually prefer theirs seasoned with just butter and salt. Savory popcorn! It was an eye opener to me initially since in our region, most of us probably grew up with kettle corn.

Aimei said...

Oh i didn't know children's day will be changed to the first friday of Oct from next year.

Your kids are very fortunate leh, you are always thinking of cooking them good food to eat, and sometimes allow them to indulge as well. :)

FL Mom said...

I didn't know caramel corn was so easy!

For everyone: when making popcorn on the stove, you're basically frying the kernels so that's why you must make sure you use enough oil. I also heard popping corn this way in your steel or cast iron wok helps to season it because it distributes the oil.

Sally said...

Hi, HHB. Happy New Year! Thanks for this wonderfully easy recipe. I made them today and they are just perfect (despite the fact that I have omitted the peanuts and sesame seed. This is definitely a keeper and I can see myself making it again and again!