Who doesn’t love popcorn? I don’t have it very often but I do love treating myself to a bag of toffee popcorn every now and then while perched in front of the tv at the weekend! I’ve seen popcorn being made into bars made with chocolate and honeycomb which sounds amazing but I’ve never actually made before myself for some bizarre reason! So I decided to try my own but use some different ingredients! I like trying to use up whatever I have in the cupboards so this recipe was just a using-up day and thankfully worked out really well!
I decided that making my own popcorn would be the best option for this, as it’s much better value for money and I do think popcorn is better when it’s freshly popped! When you’re making your popcorn, make sure you follow the instructions carefully. If possibly, try to use an oil that has no/very little flavour, like vegetable or coconut. I didn’t have any of these on me unfortunately so I just used one tablespoon of olive oil and about a thumb sized blob of butter! You also want to use quite a big saucepan as the pan fills up pretty quickly once the kernels start popping! You’ll want to heat the oil in the pan with the lid on and then pop in just a few kernels before replacing the lid and once these have all popped, the oil is ready for the rest of the kernels! Take the pan off the heat, add the rest of the kernels in a single layer, count 30 seconds, then put the pan back over the heat with the lid and allow the corn to pop! Shake it gently every now and then until the corn begins to stop popping then take off the heat and pop in a bowl to cool. It doesn’t take too long to make and it’s definitely worth it! I’ve put down to use around 25g of kernels, which will probably make a little too much, but I’ve done this just to make up for the fact that sometimes you get lots of rogue kernels that refuse to pop! So I would suggest adding about ¾ of the popped corn to the mix and see how that goes, and you can add the rest in once you’ve added the chocolate! And before you add the popcorn to the mixture, make sure you check for those unpopped kernels, unless you want a trip to the dentist!
Dark chocolate my choice for this recipe. I always use Bournville as I think the flavour of this brand is the best! Dark chocolate can sometimes be a little bitter but I never find that with Bournville! You can use milk chocolate but I do think that with the bitterness of the dried cranberries the dark chocolate works much better! If you do choose to use milk chocolate, I would add a bit less golden syrup as it could end up a little too sweet! Since there’s not really anything in the dry ingredients that could melt, you don’t really have to allow the chocolate mixture to cool, but I usually still allow it about five minutes so it’s not going into the fridge too warm!
Let me know if you try this recipe and send me in some photos!
Cranberry-Mallow Popcorn Bars
25g popcorn kernels
100g digestive biscuits
50g dried cranberries
7 large marshmallows, roughly chopped
300g Bournville dark chocolate
3 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1) Line an 8×8 baking tray with greaseproof paper and set aside.
2) Make popcorn (read the section above for tips and full method). Heat oil in a saucepan and add a couple of kernels. Cover and when they pop, take off the heat, add the rest of the kernels, wait for 30 seconds, then put back on the heat and put the lid back on. Allow the kernels to pop while shaking the pan gently every now and then. Take off the heat and place in a bowl to cool.
3) Place the digestives in a large mixing bowl and roughly crush. Add the chopped marshmallows and the cranberries and mix well. Add the cooled popcorn and mix.
4) Place the butter, dark chocolate and golden syrup in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water and mix until fully melted.
5) Pour over the dry mixture and mix until thoroughly combined.
6) Press into the baking tray and smooth out. Chill in the fridge for at least three hours then cut into bars.