Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Popcorn Fudge

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That's right. I went there. I told myself I was going to give up on the idea of putting popcorn in a dessert, after several failed attempts and so many other popcorn dessert recipes floating around the internet. But here's what happened; I was making regular old vanilla fudge for A's birthday and I got bored. He didn't want cake. He asked for lasagne, so I made that for him. But as per usual I couldn't resist making something sweet for afterwards. He doesn't like most desserts, but he really likes fudge. Not chocolate fudge, just regular vanilla fudge. So I figured I'd make it for him even though it didn't excite me much.
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I started making the fudge, and just happened to be making a batch of fresh popcorn for myself at the same time. I looked at my fudge recipe, and then I looked at my popcorn. YES! It had to be done. I infused the cream with some popcorn and topped off the fudge with more popcorn. It was fantastic. Why had I never thought of this before?! A might have inhaled a ridiculously large portion of lasagne for his early birthday dinner, but when I waved this under his nose he couldn't resist a couple of pieces. After all, it was a deadly combination of two of his favourite snacks. We've been addicted to popcorn recently, (the proper stuff not that awful microwave crap), and the flavour sort of reminded me of the batches of caramel popcorn I sometimes make. Yum.
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I've tried quite a few fudge recipes in the past, with varying results. The usual problem I have is that I have trouble getting the fudge to set at the right texture, it's usually a little too soft, a little too chewy. But this recipe was a little more complicated, so I crossed my fingers and gave it a go. Luckily the texture was perfect (ilu Martha). I also threw in some vanilla bean because I had a bit leftover, but feel free to skip it. It's deliciously rich, with the a lightness and crunch from the popcorn. I didn't salt the popcorn on top, but I imagine that would be great for those of you who like the sweet/salty combination in your desserts.
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Popcorn Vanilla Bean Fudge
(adapted from this vanilla fudge recipe)
15g (1 tbsp) cold unsalted butter, plus more for pan
1 1/2 cups pouring cream
3 cups sugar
1/4 cup liquid glucose or light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
1/2 cup popping corn kernels, popped

Grease an 20cm square baking pan; line with parchment paper, allowing a 3cm overhang. Grease parchment paper, and set aside. Put butter into a large bowl, and set over a wire rack; set aside. Gently heat cream in a large saucepan with 3/4 of the popped popcorn (set some aside to top off the fudge). Simmer for about 10 mins but do not allow the mixture to come to the boil. Strain mixture. Put popcorn cream, sugar, glucose, vanilla and salt into a medium heavy saucepan.

Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar has dissolved, about 10 minutes. Raise heat to medium. Bring mixture to a boil, washing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming. Attach a sugar thermometer to pan; continue to cook, without stirring, until mixture registers 238 degrees F(115 degrees C, soft-ball stage), 10 to 15 mins.

Immediately pour mixture into bowl with butter (do not scrape out the bottom of the pan). Attach thermometer to bowl. Let mixture cool, undisturbed, until it registers 110 degrees F (43 degrees C), about 1 1/2 hours.
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Remove thermometer. Transfer bowl to a work surface. Using a wooden spoon, begin to gently stir mixture.Continue to stir, gradually increasing speed until mixture thickens, lightens in color, and loses its sheen, 4 to 5 minutes.

Pour into prepared pan. Using a small offset spatula, quickly spread fudge to sides of pan, and smooth top. Sprinkle an even layer of (lightly salted) popcorn over the top of the fudge. Let fudge cool in pan on a wire rack, about 1 hour. Cover with plastic, and refrigerate untilcompletely set, about 8 hours. Run a sharp knife around nonparchment sides to loosen; lift fudge out. Cut into small square pieces (it's rich so the smaller, the better).
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Happy Birthday A! Love you long time.
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33 comments:

  1. ho ho yum yum, I'm one of those people who will put salt on top but regardless this looks amazing! Congratulations on finally cracking the popcorn/dessert barrier!

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  2. Haha oh yummo! Yeah popcorn desserts are 'popping' up everywhere hey? =D My boy loved Zumbo's popcorn macarons and has wanted me to make something popcorny for ages but I just havn't got around to it yet. And hey, don't mock the microwave popcorn! They're good for crazy popcorn cravings in the office!

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  3. What a fantastic and fun idea! A great companion to a movie marathon evening.

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  4. This looks great! I might make kettle corn and put that on top for some salty sweetness.

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  5. i haz dessert envy so bad right nao

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  6. omg your popcorn fudge looks awesome! haha and I love the birthday lasagna too hehe happy birthday A!

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  7. sooo yum!! I retweeted bc this is brilliant!

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  8. so beyond beautiful, you have made this so elegant and cool

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  9. Such a cute idea. Popcorn anything is guaranteed delicious, I say. Surely it has nothing to do with the lashings of butter!

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  10. OMG, I love fudge but you took it to the next level with the popcorn. I'm sure the popcorn compliments the sweetness of the corn.

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  11. Yum, yum, yum!! I recently had an amazing cupcake that kinda of reminds me of this - popcorn on top. I'd love for you to submit this to the M&T Spotlight at http://www.makeandtakes.com/spotlight

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  12. Sweet and salty...that does make sense! You are so creative!

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  13. That looks SO GOOD. Mmmm popcorny fudginess.

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  14. i don't know you.. but i am proud of you. lol.

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  15. Next time you should make lasagne out of fudge. Or fudge out of lasagne. Either way, feminism wins.

    Seriously though this A fellow should just shut up and enjoy :)

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  16. I'm not a big fudge fan myself, but I know I could definitely chow down on some of this fudge! What an awesome idea to add the popcorn! Love it!

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  17. Woah! that looks really yummy!! I always found that fudge was a little too heavy but with the addition of popcorn I think that would really add an element of texture to it! well done!

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  18. I'm from Canada and am dying to make this recipe. Unfortunately I have no idea what pouring cream is! A goolge search does not help only yields multiple different descriptions (canned, not canned, 30% milk fat, 18%milk fat etc...)

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  19. Anonymous - So sorry, I never know what to put for the cream part because each country uses different terms. By pouring cream I'm referring to what Australian's call 'Pure cream' - 35–56% fat, without artificial thickeners, not canned.

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  20. Anonymous - btw it might help you to refer to the original recipe which calls for heavy cream :)

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  21. What a great combination! My weekend project!

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  22. WOWWY! You have hit on popcorn and fudge genius. I have bookmarked the page. oh, and I prefer vanilla fudge to choc as well!!

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  23. Looks amazing! Great idea :)

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  24. Anything with popcorn i'm up for it. I went to Macau last summer and they had the most amazing popcorn cookie. Wish I can find it in Sydney

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  25. O.M.G. this looks soo yummy!

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  26. Hey, i'm so excited to make this! But I was just wondering, why do you put the butter in the bowl and then pour the fudge on? What's the point?
    Thanks, I'm so in love with your blog!

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  27. Anonymous - You'd have to ask Martha Stewart exactly why, but I'd guess it's just because it's the last ingredient that needs to be added i.e. it can't be mixed in while heating the sugar syrup or it might not set properly? All I know is that it worked for me!

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  28. Hi there,
    Recipe looks great. Quick question but what is pouring cream? Is that like whipping cream or heavy whipping cream?

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous - Pouring cream in Australia is min. 35% milk fat unthickened pure cream, which I'm fairly sure would be heavy whipping cream for you.

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