Thursday, January 19, 2017

Chocolate Caramel Popcorn Balls: National Popcorn Day

Today is National Popcorn Day! I usually post popcorn recipes around the time of Academy Awards, but I came across this recipe last year on the Taza Chocolate website. You may recall that I always have a bar of Taza Mexicano chocolate in my desk. It's a favorite. I love the stone ground texture.  So, I've saved this slightly adapted recipe for Chocolate Caramel Popcorn Balls to post today. As I've mentioned before on this blog, you can find some great recipes at food and food association sites. I love the crunchy salty-sweet taste of these Chocolate Caramel Popcorn Balls, and they're so easy to eat. Great for parties for both kids and adults!

CHOCOLATE CARAMEL POPCORN BALLS
Makes 15 popcorn balls

Ingredients
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
pinch of salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
8 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup Taza Roasted Cacao Nibs
2 bars Taza Dominican 70% Dark Stone Ground Chocolate, chopped
Wood skewers or popsicle sticks
Sprinkles, to garnish

Directions
Grease large mixing bowl with oil or kitchen spray. In large lidded pot with lid on, heat vegetable oil, popcorn, and pinch of salt over high heat while continuously shaking pot and listening for popping. Remove from heat when popping is less frequent than every 3 seconds and pour into greased bowl.

In saucepan combine sugar, brown sugar, honey, and butter over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until temperature reaches 300 degrees measured on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and carefully add baking soda (be careful, the sugar will bubble and expand!), then pour over popcorn carefully using a spatula to toss and coat the popcorn. Add cacao nibs.

When popcorn is cool enough to handle, but still warm, wet hands and form popcorn into balls, sticking each one with skewers or popsicle sticks.

Place chocolate in heat proof bowl, then place on top of bowl of simmering water until chocolate is warm and melted then drizzle over popcorn balls. Top with sprinkles if desired. Allow to cool before serving.

Photo: Taza Chocolate

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