Monthly Archives: November 2015

Movies Mean Popcorn . . .

But not just any popcorn!  Oh no, not tonight.  Tonight is a Sweet and Salty Popcorn kind of night, I think.  Now, there’s nothing I like more than lounging all over my couch, watching a movie with my Minions, with a big bowl of buttery, salty popcorn.

BUT!  Tonight, this Minion Family is going to share a bowl of popcorn with Minion J’s friend (we’ll call her Minion B) because he invited her over for family movie night, and what better way to introduce a new friend to family movie night than with Sweet and Salty Popcorn?!  And maybe, just maybe, I may be able to fight the Minions off long enough to grab a handful myself!

I love how simple this is!

First, dissolve 3 – 4 teaspoons of caster sugar in a tablespoon of water.  Once it’s dissolved, take it off the heat and melt through 30g of unsalted butter.

We have a Popcorn Maker, so I just use the scoop that came with that to measure out the popcorn, and this is just the right amount for Minion Dad and I . . . when the Minion Kids are home, I make double, or even triple because this stuff disappears quickly!  If you don’t have an air popper, pop your corn as you would normally using about 1/3 cup of uncooked corn.

Once your popcorn is finished popping, throw it in a large saucepan over a low heat, pour over the butter syrup (it needs to cool a bit first or your popcorn will go to mush before the magic happens), stir quickly to cover all of your popcorn and salt to taste.  We use Pink Himalayan salt, which adds a beautiful flavour.  Keep stirring your popcorn over a low heat until the syrup has dried and your popcorn has a lovely crunch to it.

This is a very subtle flavour and it doesn’t overpower the taste buds, which makes it really, REALLY easy to munch on.

Enjoy!

*  Originally posted on 21st November, 2014

20151025_095405

Jaffa Pancakes with Spiced Orange Compote and Chantilly Cream

20151025_095405From the imagination of Minion Dad came THE BEST breakfast in bed for my birthday!

Before making the pancakes, it’s important to make the Orange Compote as this takes more time & requires undivided attention to avoid the syrup turning to toffee (Oh but, orange toffee would also be DABOMB…right???)

Part 1 – Spiced Orange Compote

Ingredients
4 – 5 small oranges, preferably seedless (I used Valencia as these have thin pith & are quite sweet)
2 cups water
5 tablespoons caster sugar
1 vanilla bean
1 cinnamon stick
2 – 4 whole cloves (depending on size)
1 star anise

Method – With a paring knife or zester, carefully peel the rind from all but 1 or 2 of the oranges & place to one side, being careful to avoid a much, if not all, of the white pith as possible as this can be quite bitter.  Remove the top & bottoms of the oranges & slice into 4-6mm thick slices, removing any seeds & excess pith.  Using a fine grater or zester,  finely grate the zest from the remaining oranges & set aside for final garnish.

In a wide based pan bring the water & caster sugar to a light boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.  Add the zest, lower the heat & simmer for a further 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove the zest & discard.  Cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise; scrape the seeds into the sugar water and add the pod along with cinnamon stick, cloves and star anise, together with the orange slices & simmer until reduced to a light syrupy consistency.  Remember, it will be thicker when it cools so try not to let it reduce too much.  Reduction should take around 20-30 minutes.  Remove the cinnamon, star anise, vanilla pod & cloves.  Set aside to cool slightly while making the pancakes.

Part 2 – Chantilly Cream

200ml – thickened cream (we’ve always used long life with great success – refrigerate before whipping)

3 to 4 Tblsp Caster Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla extract

Method – in a glass bowl, combine cream, vanilla & sugar & whisk to medium peaks.  Being careful not to over whisk as this will cause the cream to separate & stiffen.

Part 3 – Chocolate Pancakes

1 1/2 cups Milk

1 Egg

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

2 cups SR Flour

1/4 tsp Bicarb Soda

1/3 cup Caster Sugar

2 Tbsp sifted Cocoa Powder

15-20gr melted butter

Method –   Beat milk, egg & vanilla together in a jug & put to one side.  Sift SR flour & bicarb soda together in a bowl & add caster sugar.  Make a well & while mixing gently with a whisk, add milk & egg mixture.  Combine until smooth then, sift cocoa powder evenly over the top of batter & gently whisk together until mixed well.

Cooking –  If possible, use a cast iron skillet as these will always distribute heat more evenly.  Heat pan or skillet over medium/low heat & brush lightly with melted butter.  Using a soup ladle & cooking one at a time, slowly pour one whole ladle of mixture into the center of the pan & cook until bubble appear evenly across the surface.  Flip & cook for equal amount of time.  Stack & cover lightly with foil to retain heat.  Wipe pan with paper towel between pancakes to avoid burning the butter & lightly brush fresh butter.
20151025_095429Put it all together on a plate and destroy . . . I mean enjoy!