When I was growing up, we only had popcorn at the movies. Twice, maybe thrice a year. Life was simple. Yet, that was enough to fuse a strand of thought in my head. One that connected popcorn with movies. One that compels me to make a batch of popcorn when we have family movie afternoons or crave a tub of overly salty, often cold popcorn when we have a movie date at Event Cinemas. Quite honestly, the popcorn in Australia leaves a lot to be desired. When Nick and I lived in Singapore, we discovered caramel popcorn. It was delicious. Crunchy, barely sweet with a kiss of sea salt. But most importantly, always crunchy and always hot.
There is just something amazing about popping your own corn. It is fresh, the warmth of the kernels and the buttery taste is infinitely addictive. For ELLE magazine’s backyard movie night feature (first appeared in ELLE Australia March 2014 issue), I created this recipe for beautiful milk chocolate popcorn with sprinkles. It is an ode to good old fashioned butter popcorn and the crunchy caramel popcorn that I miss from my Singapore days. Topped with enough milk chocolate and sprinkles to bring the child out in you. What popcorn flavours have you experimented with?
Lifestyle, Food And Props – Backyard Movie Nights can be fun! We covered our soccer goal post with a massive white sheet. An old portable electronic projector became the star of the show. We brought out our sofa cushions and outdoor bean bags. Cider crates became makeshift tables. Hurricane lanterns housed candles. We served juice in little dollar shop bunting bottles. We used colourful paper straws. We also had oven roasted root chips with spicy mayonnaise and Tiramisu Truffle Balls. We used an old suitcase to house rugs and throws to get cosy later in the night. We did not eventually watch a movie because it was peak summer in Australia and the sunlight is blaring bright even at 8:00pm!! And you need pitch dark to watch a movie through a projector on a sheet.
MILK CHOCOLATE POPCORN WITH SPRINKLES
A fun homemade popcorn recipe that would be perfect for giving away as a gift or to jazz up your movie nights. Sweet, salty, crunchy and buttery with milk chocolate and colourful sprinkles.
Serves – 8
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon butter
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup corn kernels
Line two large rimmed baking trays with baking paper.
Heat oil, butter and salt in a heavy bottomed saucepan (2.7 litre capacity) on medium. When butter has melted and starting to turn golden, add the corn kernels. Mix once. Cover with a tight lid, increase heat to medium-high and allow the kernels to pop. When the popping abates and the saucepan is full, remove from heat and spread evenly over the prepared baking trays to cool completely.
Milk Chocolate Sprinkles
200g milk chocolate
1 teaspoon butter
2 tablespoons 100s and 1000s
sprinkling of sea salt flakes.
Melt chocolate and butter in a heavy bottomed pan over low heat. Mix gently and remove from heat when melted completely and glossy. Drizzle over the popcorn in the trays. Sprinkle 100s and 1000s and sea salt.
Mix gently using a fork and allow to cool completely letting the chocolate harden. Store in an air-tight container in a cool spot until ready to serve.