Edible Insects Recipe: Caramel Corn
Aug. 18, 2019
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The most fun part of this recipe is the science experiment moment when you add the baking soda to the caramel, and the whole thing will expand into a huge delicious mass before your very eyes. This caramel corn makes a great holiday gift, but make sure you commit to giving it away to all your friends before you taste it, otherwise you're likely to eat the whole batch yourself; it's that dang good. The following recipe was prepared with vanilla cricket protein powder provided to me by Coast Protein.
Total: 1 hr 20 mins; Active: 25 mins;; Serves 4
- 6 tablespoons popcorn kernels; unstopped (will make 3 quarts, or 12 cups, when popped)
- 3 tablespoons oil – preferably coconut, but canola or olive oil will also do
- 1 cup dry roasted walnuts, peanuts, or other nut (optional)
- 3/4 cup butter or margarine
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 3 tablespoons Coast Protein vanilla cricket protein powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1. This will taste way better is you pop the popcorn from kernels over a stove, Microwave popcorn will not be as good because it tends to become spongy as it cools, which will make the caramel corn less satisfyingly crunchy. However, if you insist on using microwave popcorn, skip to Step 2. To pop kernels over a stove, heat oil and 3 kernels over medium heat in a very large pot, or a wok, if you have one. You will know the oil is hot enough when you hear the 3 test kernels pop. Remove those 3 test kernels, then add the remaining of your 6 tablespoons kernels, and cover. Reduce heat to low and keep kernels moving constantly, either by agitating a covered pot, or shaking the wok. When you no longer hear any popping, remove from heat and let cool.
2. Remove any un-popped kernels form the popcorn. If you are adding nuts, add nuts to popcorn now, and stir until combined. Lightly grease two baking pans, and spread popcorn (and nuts, if using) evenly over the pans. Set aside.
3. Preheat the oven to 250°F/120°C. Melt butter or margarine over medium heat in a small pot or saucepan, and add the the brown sugar, corn syrup, cricket protein powder, and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, for 5 additional minutes after it has already started to boil.
4. This is the fun part. Remove sugar mixture from the heat, and stir in the baking soda. The mixture will immediately billow up like a marshmallow. Pour over the popcorn immediately, and stir until coated. You don't have to worry too much about coating all of it, because you will stir a few times while baking.
5. Bake for 1 hour, Removing the pans and stirring every 15 minutes. When the hour is finished, remove from oven and let cool just enough so you can handle the popcorn. When it is still warm and flexible, bunch into clusters and separate into popcorn bags, or just sheets of waxed paper, and store in airtight containers or bags. Be sure to separate popcorn when still warm; if it is allowed to cool on the pan it will be crunchy and hard to separate.
6. Pass popcorn balls or bags out to your friends, and enjoy within a few days. Try not to eat it all yourself!
This entomophagy recipe is included in Bugs for Beginners, a cookbook which teaches Westerners how to prepare edible insects and safely eat a bug. Text may include affiliate links
I'm Mic. I love reading about, writing about, thinking about, photographing, and especially eating, food. Especially bug food. Enough talk, let's eat!