Dark Chocolate Drizzled Popcorn Courtsey of: Kristina Kern, of Stella’s PopKern (www.stellaspopkern.com)
Invite guests for a cozy winter gathering and surprise them with this ultimate crunchy, salty-sweet snack. Pairing with the Sheldrake Point 2014 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon brings out the red fruit flavors of the wine, reminiscent of pie filling with a touch of smoke. Smooth on the palate, this pairing is the perfect accompaniment to a festive evening.
MAKE AHEAD: The popcorn can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
YIELD: Makes about 12 cups
- ¾ cup good-quality chopped dark chocolate
- 1 ½ teaspoons canola, vegetable, peanut, or virgin coconut oil*
- ½ cup mushroom popcorn kernels*
- Fine sea salt, for sprinkling
- *Notes: Canola, vegetable, peanut, and coconut oils all have high smoke-points compatible with high-heat cooking. ‘Mushroom’ popcorn kernels pop up round and fluffy, and are sturdy under the heat of a warm chocolate drizzle. Ask for it at your favorite gourmet retailer, or buy online.
- Fill a small saucepan with a few inches of water; bring to just below a boil over medium heat.
- Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl, then place the bowl over the saucepan. Or use a double boiler. Stir until the chocolate has melted and is smooth. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Line two baking sheets with waxed paper.
- Prepare your popcorn.
- STOVE TOP METHOD: Heat the oil in a deep pot placed over high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the popcorn kernels. (Test by putting 3 kernels into the pot with the oil. When these pop, the oil is ready). Begin stirring or shaking the pot right away to make sure each kernel is coated. Cover the pot and cook until the popping slows with long pauses in between.
- Spread the popcorn in an even layer on the baking sheets.
- Transfer the melted chocolate to a pastry bag or zip-top bag, squeezing the chocolate to one of the bottom corners. Snip off a tiny bit of the bottom corner to drizzle the chocolate over the popcorn. Hold the bag at a slight angle and drizzle evenly, covering about 75 percent of the popcorn.
- Sprinkle with salt. If desired, add crushed peppermint candy, orange zest, crystallized ginger, or crushed vanilla snaps to the just-drizzled popcorn.
- Let the chocolate set before serving or storing (about 2-3 hours).