The other day Mike and I were shopping at Whole Foods. I was starving, right on the verge of hangry. Luckily, it was a Saturday. Saturday is sample day. So while Mike did the adult thing and shopped for sensible adult things like animal welfare chicken and hunks of parmigiano, I was unapologetically eating samples. There was chocolate cake at the bakery and fennel sausage at the meat counter, but the winner was the snack aisle sample of dark chocolatey drizzled flaky sea salt kettle corn. It was so good: salty, sweet, crunchy, with the barest hint of bitterness from the dark chocolate. Thank goodness Mike let me have his sample. I was obsessed. Not enough to buy a bag, but enough that I snagged another sample on the way out – sorry not sorry!
I thought that being away from the source of the magical popcorn would make me forget it, but it really only made me want it more. The next day Mike surprised me when he came home with a bag. I was beyond ecstatic and proceeded to devour the whole thing instead of eating dinner. Who am I kidding – I still ate dinner but went to the gym for an extra 30 minutes. I kinda wanted to get another bag, but the $6 price tag was a little too much for me to justify buying a bag a day. I had to take matters into my own hands. I had to make my own popcorn.
Making popcorn at home is actually pretty easy. It’s incredibly satisfying to pop your own corn in a pan on the stove. Making kettle corn though, that was a whole other story. I first tried a tiny batch, but everything went wrong right from the beginning. I decided to use a glass pot, a small one. Trust me when I say that making popcorn in a small pot is not a good thing, especially when it’s made of glass. What you want is a nice, heavy-bottomed giant pot with lots of room for the kernels to have a party and dance around.
The other thing you need to do a lot of is shaking. Never stop shaking or the sugar will burn and you’ll end up with half popped black kernels that are stuck to you pot no matter how much you soak it. Anyway, make sure you shake and use a big pot and you’re gold. From there it’s just a question of a chocolate drizzle and a shower of flaky sea salt and you’ll be in popcorn heaven.
I seriously feel a popcorn addiction coming on. I keep thinking of different types of kettle corn I can make. The next one is definitely going to be a Christmas-y/holiday one with peppermint because ’tis the season! Hope you guys give this popcorn a try and yay, it’s almost December!
Dark Chocolatey Drizzled Flaky Sea Salt Kettle Corn RecipeMakes About 7-8 Cups Popcorn
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1/4 cup popcorn kernels
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons dark chocolate chips
- flaky sea salt, to taste
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Heat the oil over medium high heat. Add 3 kernels of popcorn to the pan and cover. Listen carefully for the kernels to pop. Add the popcorn kernels to the pan in a single, even layer. Sprinkle with the sugar, cover and remove from the heat for 30 seconds to bring the kernels to a near popping temperature.
Return the covered pan to medium high and shake. The kernels should begin to pop – keep shaking. When you hear almost constant popping, keep shaking the pan, keeping the lid slightly ajar to let out steam so the popcorn stays dry and crispy.
Once the popping slows to several seconds between pops, remove from the heat and remove the lid. Pour the popcorn onto the prepare baking sheet.
Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave. Drizzle on the popcorn and sprinkle generously with salt. Put the popcorn in the fridge to firm up the chocolate then devour the entire thing.
Robert Crum is a former journalist who has interviewed murderers on death row, flown over L.A. with the LAPD and patrolled with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police near the Arctic , He joined Sonics Diner Magazine since one year!