Saturday, January 25, 2014
Sriracha Caramel Corn
The internet is a wonderful thing.
For example, the other week I was googling for recipes and the title "Sriracha Caramel Corn" popped up in my search results. As my brain processed the words I was seeing before me I went very still. In that brief moment, my whole world was that magical sequence of three words and all that they implied. Sriracha caramel corn. SRIRACHA CARAMEL CORN.
I almost fell of my chair. Holy shit amazeballs. Sriracha caramel corn? Oh my god. What fabulous wizard genius did I have to thank for not only having the vision to put Sriracha in caramel corn, but for then putting it on the internet for me to find and hence make FOREVER.
Because just think of about it. Caramel corn is already awesome - it's two amazing things: popcorn covered in fucking caramel. Covered in caramel, people. You wouldn't think this could be more delicious, BUT WAIT, let's add some tasty firestorm sauce from the heavens to it, because just imagine the sweet and crunchy goodness of caramel corn laced with smoky, sweet, spicy Rooster Sauce, as if you're receiving a gentle hug from a jalapeño on your tongue while eating pure decadence and WHY ARE WE ALL NOT MAKING THIS RIGHT NOW?
Don't you dare accuse me of overreacting. My feelings about this caramel corn are WARRANTED. It's a damn miracle this entire post isn't in caps-lock. I exercised more self-restraint here than I did when I shovelled all of this caramel corn into my face with the speed and grace of a baleen whale encountering a swarm of krill.
Please do yourself the service of making this caramel corn. If you're feeling extra nice, give it to people as gifts, or serve it at parties. Or, lock yourself in your room, hug the entire bowl of it to your chest and eat all of it because NO REGRETS, just tasty sweet firestorm forever.
Sriracha Caramel Corn
Adapted from Imperial Sugar
Sweet, spicy, and with just a touch of smokiness, this caramel corn is addictive in the best and most dangerous way, and it takes so little effort that you'll find yourself making it much too often.
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
1 tsp oil, such as canola or coconut
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp light corn syrup
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp Sriracha (a.k.a. Rooster Sauce)
1 tsp ground cumin (optional)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1. Preheat the oven to 250°F. Line one large or two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Heat the oil in a large, deep frying pan with a lid, or a large pot over high heat. Place 3 popcorn kernels in the pan and cover. Once all 3 kernels have popped remove the pan from the heat for about 30 seconds, then return to the hot element and add the 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels to the pan. Cover with the lid and move the pot around occasionally to prevent the kernels from burning. Once the popcorn starts to pop vigorously, keep the pan moving until the popping stops. Immediately transfer the popcorn to a large bowl. Alternatively, if you have an air-popper, use that for popping the corn.
3. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat, then stir in the brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt until combined. Bring the mixture to a boil and continue to boil for 4 minutes, without stirring. Remove from the heat and mix in the Sriracha, cumin, and baking soda.
4. Pour the sugar mixture over the popcorn, then toss together until evenly coated. (A silicone spatula works well for this step.)
5. Spread the coated popcorn on the parchment lined baking sheets. You can sprinkle the popcorn with extra Sriracha at this point, if you so desire (as I did). Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, stirring the caramel corn every 15 minutes.
6. Let cool completely before serving, breaking up any large clusters that may have formed. Store any leftovers in an airtight container or resealable plastic bags in a cool dry place. (Not that you'll have leftovers.)