Diane, A Broad
July 25, 2012

Nutella Popcorn

Friends: if you are on le régime, I warn you to stop reading this right now. Because this? This is what nearly destroyed my fledgling considerations of going on a — oh, you know, lifestyle change.

Justification: popcorn is a whole grain. Rebuttal: oh who are you kidding, that’s a half cup of Nutella in there.

I think it’s okay, though. I’ve been eating just tiny bowls of it, like this. Moderation, right? I know if I put the whole huge bowl near me, it’s game over. And it’s so sweet and rich, just a few bites will do you. Not that anyone’s judging if you end up eating the whole bowl. We’ve all been there.

Nutella Popcorn
Adapted from The Kitchn.

I thought of this recipe on the way home from Zurich. I had been thinking about finding peanut butter at one of the expat stores in town and making peanut butter popcorn, but realized that the store would be closed by the time the train made it to Paris. So, what did I have in my kitchen already that sort of resembles peanut butter? Nutella. Duh.

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup unpopped popcorn
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 cup Nutella

Pop the popcorn: heat the oil and 4 kernels of the corn in a very large pot over medium heat. Put the lid on and wait for all four kernels to pop, then remove from the heat and add the rest of the popcorn. Re-lid and shake the pot, count to 30, then place it back on the heat. The popcorn should start popping almost immediately. Shake the pot every few seconds to make sure that the unpopped kernels fall to the bottom of the pot. Once the popping stops, remove the lid and pour the popped corn out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet or a large bowl.

Make the Nutella caramel: In a small saucepan, mix the honey, sugar, and salt over very low heat. Bring to a low boil, then let it simmer for about 2 minutes. You’re cooking out some of the water in the honey so that the sugars will create a chewier coating on the popcorn. After 2 minutes, add the Nutella and stir vigorously until it is completely incorporated.

Mix with the popcorn: While the Nutella caramel is still quite hot and liquid, drizzle it evenly over the popcorn. Be careful, it looks like tepid melted chocolate but it’s extremely hot cooked sugar (what pastry chefs call liquid napalm). Toss and mix the popcorn to make sure it’s evenly coated, then let it cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Music to cook by: The Call [Regina Spektor // Live in London]

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