Monday, 4 January 2016

Caramel Candies + Recipe

After making my rice pudding last week I was left with about a cup of condensed milk still waiting to be used in the fridge.

satisfying to cut, yet premature; it's too soft
After making two caramel sauces within 24 hours, I really didn't feel like standing over the stove again to melt the butter, sugars, etc to make these candies. After doing some quick research I found some consensus on timings when using the microwave, and as the mixture requires stirring at frequent intervals, it was a good way for me to do so some spirited tidying up and dishes while the caramel was cooking.
Ready to Set

Caramel Candies

Time: 10 minutes + cooling time
Storage: in an airtight container out of direct sunlight for up to 2 weeks


  • 1 cup condensed milk
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup light syrup
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (114 g) diced
  • 1 tsp sea/freshly ground salt + extra for sprinkling


  1. Butter a 20 x 22cm dish
  2. Mix all the ingredients into a large microwave safe bowl
  3. Heat on high for 9 minutes, pausing every 90 seconds to stir the mixture thoroughly**
  4. As the mixture is very hot, pour VERY carefully into the prepared dish
  5. Lightly sprinkle with salt (and/or melted chocolate if you want to use some up)
  6. Leave to cool completely before cutting into small bitesized pieces

*adjust the recipe and setting dish size according to the ingredient you must use. The sugars, syrup, and condensed milk should be equal in quantity, and the butter should be half the quantity of the condensed milk. Use 1 teaspoon salt per cup of condensed milk.
**I made this in an 800w microwave. You should heat it in 90 second intervals for at least 6 minutes, and keep checking the consistency every 90 seconds after that.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Butterscotch Caramel Popcorn + Recipe

It's the early hours of 2nd January 2016, and I am watching Seinfeld. Jerry was eating some popcorn, and I had serious food envy.

Attempt 2: Finished article. Way too much syrup, but super yummy

Attempt 1: Homemade Caramel
I didn't want ordinary popcorn, so made an easy butterscotch caramel to pour over it, and baked it for that signature texture.


Preparation time took around less than 15 minutes, plus another hour in the oven, and don't forget you can store your caramel sauce in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, and use it for many other things, so do not feel obliged to make 3 bags of caramel popcorn.
1st attempt: Just before baking
Unfortunately, I must have overcooked the caramel so I had an unpleasant burnt sugar taste that was also giving me an actual headache.

2nd attempt: with salted peanuts
I decided to stop playing games, and seeing as I had some heavy cream that needed using, I tried again with a salted butterscotch caramel recipe that I felt more confident making.

Attempt 2: Not such an amazing colour or clarity, but AMAZING taste!

I made much more than needed and had to gestimate the proportions as it was dictated by the remaining cream I had, but now I'm getting into sterilising hats, I just put the extra in the jars I had for later use.

Repurposed Jars

Butterscotch Caramel Popcorn

Time: 75 minutes preparation + 1 hour cooling
Yield: 2-3 large bowls
Storage: popcorn can be stored in an airtight container out of direct sunlight for up to 5 days,, caramel can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks


  • 1/2-1 cup popcorn kernels/2-3 bags of plain* microwave popcorn
  • Optional: 2 cup peanuts
  • Optional: 1-1,5 tsp sea salt*

Butterscotch Caramel Sauce

  • 75 g unsalted butter
  • 50 g brown sugar
  • 50 g white sugar
  • 50g syrup
  • 100 ml double/heavy cream
  • 2 tsp sea salt


  1. Put the oven on to 120 °C.
  2. Melt the butter, sugars, and syrup ingredients in a medium sized saucepan until simmering. This should take 3-5 minutes.
  3. Whilst step 2 is happening, pop your corn using your chosen method
  4. Take the saucepan off the heat, and add the cream and salt, and stir well.
  5. Return to the heat for 1 minute, constantly stirring.
  6. Place the popped popcorn in a large bowl, add the peanuts if you are using them, and pour the butterscotch sauce over everything in the bowl.
  7. Stir the mixture thoroughly to evenly coat the dry ingredients with the sauce.
  8. Spread the popcorn evenly on a lined baking sheet, sprinkle with 1-1,5 tsp salt if desired*, and bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes
  9. When finished, place the baking tray in a safe place to cool completely.
  10. Break into bite-sized pieces, and store in an airtight container. Or snack immediately.

*If using a saltier variation of microwave popcorn, adjust the salt sprinkled accordingly.