by Chathurika (Chath) Ginige

HP1B0223 (1024x683)It’s nearly that time of year again. You know what I’m talking about. Halloween. In my house this involves some traditions steeped in significance. There’s the annual trip to the deep dark recesses of my garage to find that long forgotten box of candy. The frantic rummaging through its contents to discard the expired candy. The last minute rush to Walmart to grab the last 15 pound bag of candy at 6:55pm on October 31st (Trick-or-treating on our street starts around 7pm). The squeezing into cheap, ill-fitting costumes and the constant battle to remain dignified while dressed as a cartoon character’s ‘mother’.

This year I’ve decided to change it up and serve some home-made goodies in honour of our little guy’s first trick-or-treating adventure. The idea of home-made candy has always been appealing but the traditional candy apples have never been my thing. There’s also a fair few known allergies in our neighbourhood so I wanted to avoid baked goods. Popcorn is a fairly safe bet in my books!

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup popcorn popped
  • 1/3 cup salted caramel sauce (see recipe below)
  • 1/2 tsp. orange gel food colouring
  • Small amount of brown fondant

Preparation

  1. Place the popped corn in a large bowl.
  2. Place the caramel in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds or until melted.
  3. Add the food colouring to the salted caramel and mix well before pouring over the popcorn. Using a spoon, mix well until all the popcorn is coated in the caramel mix. Cool slightly.
  4. Wet your hands slightly before forming the popcorn into pumpkin shapes. Press the corn together firmly so the caramel sticks together. I used a small tart tin to help form the pumpkins.
  5. Roll the brown fondant into a long worm before cutting into 2 cm (1 inch) lengths and attaching to the top of each pumpkin.
  6. Leave the popcorn to cool and harden before placing in an airtight container.

Caramel Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup  cream
  • 1 tsp. salt (or to taste)

Place the sugar in a medium saucepan and place on medium heat. As the sugar melts stir, don’t worry about the lumps, just keep stirring.Melting sugar

Once all the sugar has melted, you’ll see the sugar syrup becoming a dark brown/amber colour.

Melted sugarAdd the butter to the sugar and it will bubble, keep stirring. Take the bubbling sugar off the heat and add the cream. Keep stirring.

Adding butter

Once the mixture is smooth  add the salt, taste and leave to cool. Refrigerate any excess.

Fully combined

This sauce is fabulous to spice up some buttercream, amazing warm over ice cream or on top of cheesecake.

HP1B0235 (1024x683)

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