I’ll admit that I’m a pretty big fan of popcorn – stove popped, air popped, movie theater style, kettle corn – pretty much anything besides packaged microwave popcorn. Combine the high dietary fiber in popcorn, the microwave popcorn popper my parents got me, and the selling of bulk (organic!) popcorn kernels at the local Berkeley Bowl, and you’ve got a recipe for lots of popcorn a lot of the time!
Most of the time, I just throw a handful of kernels in the bowl, throw it in the microwave (no oil needed!), let it pop, salt it, and eat it! I’ll also admit that I usually don’t spend too much time in the kitchen baking or making sweets (though I would like to try my hand at some more baking, though that’s for future blog posts). However a couple of weeks ago, I thought I’d try something a little more fancy and attempt chocolate covered popcorn. Luckily, Berkeley Bowl also sells bulk chocolate chips, so I bought a decent amount of semi-sweet chocolate chips (what I didn’t use for this, I could eat!)
Having popped the popcorn, I tried to figure out how to melt the chocolate. Easiest way would have been to microwave, but I wanted to try my hand at making a double boiler. Now while I do have more dishes than my original single pot, I don’t have a huge selection, and I didn’t have a pot that would fit well in another pot without touching water below. So I cheated and used a large frying pan with water, and floated a smaller frying pan in the water with the chocolate (and now wish I had taken pictures of the set up!). It worked well enough – I let the water get hot enough to start melting the chocolate, though not up to boiling. I didn’t really know how much chocolate to put in, I just grabbed a handful of chips that looked like a good amount to me. I threw in a dash of salt to the chocolate as it melted. I probably could have added some milk or butter too, but perhaps next time.
While it was melting, I put some popcorn in a baking sheet, and then once the chocolate was all melted, I just drizzled it over the popcorn, stirring it with a wooden spoon to spread out evenly.
I soon realized that I probably didn’t melt enough chocolate – it didn’t cover too much of the popcorn, and the taste didn’t come through too strongly. A few places where the chocolate clumped up tasted good mixed with the popcorn. I let it sit for a few hours to harden, and then placed it all in a sealed container. I enjoyed it a lot, though I think next time I would use a higher chocolate-to-popcorn ratio. Also, for visuals, it might look nicer to use a piping bag (for me, a ziploc bag with a corner cut off) to drizzle on chocolate rather than using the spoon, and I could probably get some cool ribbon effects. But still, a nice treat, and an attempt at a fancier dessert!