Cranberry, Dark Chocolate, and Truffle Salt Popcorn

Recipe and photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser Yield:  16 cups
Prep Time:  15 minutes Cook Time:  10 minutes

Cranberry, Dark Chocolate, and Truffle Salt Popcorn

Popcorn is one the greatest snack foods. Period. Delicious all by itself with some salt, it’s easy to dress up for a party. And as part of my fantasy cocktail party for Mindy Kaling, it is gussied up and ready to take center stage. You can use any tart dried fruit, but they key is fresh popcorn and the very best dark chocolate you can find (look for couverture chocolate, between 60 and 70 percent cacao). A little sweet, a little salty, a little earthy, a little chewy, and a little crunchy, this is one of my most well-loved recipes.

Ingredients

14 cups freshly popped unsalted popcorn (see Kitchen Tips)

¾ stick (⅜ cup/85 grams/3 ounces/6 tablespoon) unsalted butter

2 teaspoons truffle salt

½ cup dried cranberries or dried pitted sour cherries, Michigan preferred

¾ cup dark chocolate Kisses or chunks

Instructions

  1. To prepare brown butter, set a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until it crackles, foams, begins to brown, and has a  nutty aroma. As soon as the butter turns amber brown remove from the heat, strain through the prepared sieve, discard the solids, and set the remaining liquid aside to cool. Note that butter burns easily, so watch the heat carefully and adjust the heat or lift the pot off the burner occasionally if it seems like it’s becoming too hot.
  2. Pour the popcorn into a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with the brown butter, sprinkle with truffle salt, and toss gently to coat. Add the cranberries or cherries and chocolate and toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.

Kitchen Tips

  1. If you are using packaged microwavable popcorn, know that yields vary among brands, so check the label and use as many packages as needed to make 14 cups. You can also pop loose popping corn if you wish; pour ⅓ to ½ cup plain popping corn into a large microwavable bowl, cover securely with a microwavable plate and pop for about 4 to 4½ minutes, or until the popping sounds come 4 seconds apart. Immediately remove the plate to release the hot steam and then carefully remove the bowl from the microwave and let cool. Whether you use packaged popcorn or loose, act quickly because once the popping slows, the popcorn can burn easily. If you smell a burnt smell, chuck that batch and start again, because the popcorn will be infused with that burnt flavor and aroma, which equals no yummy at all.  If you use packaged popcorn, note that the amount of salt varies by brand, so try to stick to unsalted if you can, or skip the truffle salt.

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