Black Sesame and Salty Caramel Popcorn

OMG life has been so busy! There has been so much baking happening in the PhD kitchen but no time to write about any of it 🙁 Those of you who know us may have seen the recent video of our toddler making her way under the baby gates. Needless to say this means that most of Mommy’s downtime has become “Where on earth is that girl?” time.

Thankfully today’s is a quick and easy recipe. This is the easy version of caramel popcorn that I have been making for the past few years. It doesn’t involve making a toffee so you don’t have to be so scared about burning it. I do have plans to post another version soon which my friend kindly shared with me which used the toffee method and doesn’t require any baking time.

Black Sesame and Salty Caramel Popcorn - PhD Baker

This is a crispy, tasty and very moreish treat. The black sesame adds texture, a different flavour and makes the popcorn look so pretty.

You can either pop a bag of microwave popcorn or pop around 1/3 cup of popping corn. I really enjoy the stove top method because I have glass lidded pots so I can watch the kernels explode.

To make the caramel you just melt and boil brown sugar, butter, corn syrup (or golden syrup), cream of tartar and salt for about 5 minutes. The fun comes when you add baking soda to this and it all foams up.

Working very quickly (or employing a helper) pour the caramel over the popcorn and stir well to cover. To get the crispy coating you then bake the popcorn in a low heat oven for about an hour.

Black Sesame and Salty Caramel Popcorn - PhD BakerBlack Sesame and Salty Caramel Popcorn - PhD BakerBlack Sesame and Salty Caramel Popcorn - PhD Baker

You need to give it a stir every 20 minutes or so and of course take samples of the popcorn to make sure you have enough salt…..(ok so we just can’t wait to eat it but checking the seasoning is a better excuse).

Black Sesame and Salty Caramel Popcorn - PhD Baker

Sweet and salty this is such a satisfying treat and it can be yours in just over an hour. The perfect introduction to home made caramel corn. Stay tuned for the slightly scarier but I think even prettier version in the next week or two (assuming the baby doesn’t learn how to open doors or the front gate!!)

Black Sesame and Salty Caramel Popcorn - PhD Baker

Black Sesame and Salty Caramel Popcorn

A PhD Original
Makes approximately 9 cups of Caramel Popcorn

Popcorn

1 bag of microwave popcorn or 1/3 cup popping corn popped your way.

Caramel

120 g butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup (or golden syrup)
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1/4-1/2 tsp ground sea salt (add more to taste while baking)
2-3 tbsp black sesame seeds
1/2 tsp baking soda

1. Preheat the oven to 100 °C. Pop the popcorn and place in a deep baking tray lined with baking paper. Set aside.
2. Place the butter, sugar, corn syrup, cream of tartar and salt in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat till melted and it begins to simmer. Continue to stir and allow to boil for 5 minutes.
3. After 5 minutes remove the caramel from the heat, add the sesame seeds and stir well. Add the baking soda and stir quickly. It will foam up quite a bit. Quickly pour the caramel over the popcorn and then stir to coat it evenly.
4. Bake the caramel popcorn for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes and checking the seasoning (I added quite a bit of extra salt but each to their own).
5. Allow the popcorn to cool to room temperature to let it get nice and crunchy.

The popcorn will keep for 3-4 days in an airtight container (if you have excellent self control).

Black Sesame and Salty Caramel Popcorn - PhD Baker

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