Recipe video above. This is a homemade version of a very popular, slightly sweet and lightly salty Butter Popcorn sold at grocery stores (Cobs brand, for those of you in Australia!). I love it, and replicated it so I could serve giant bowls of it when I have friends around. It's always a hit!BONUS: It stays crispy for days! The secret is clarified butter which is 100% fat, and no water. Normal butter is 15% water so it what makes popcorn soggy. It's a Movie Popcorn secret!
Pop the kernels using your method of choice - either popcorn maker or stove (see next section)
Heat fat: Melt clarified butter in a large pot over medium high heat (medium for strong stoves). Add a few kernels of popcorn and wait until they pop - this means the oil is now hot enough. Quickly remove test popcorn.
Add popcorn: Add remaining popcorn, lift pot off stove to shake and spread corn out evenly. Cover with a lid and return to heat. Once the popping really gets going, shake the pot gently once.
Done! Remove from heat when the popping largely stops (3 seconds between pops) and transfer to a (very!) large bowl.
Place salt in a mortar and pestle then grind into a fine powder. You could also do this using a spice grinder. You won't use it all, but it's harder to work with a smaller quantity than this.
Sprinkle & toss!
Drizzle melted clarified butter all over the popcorn surface. Sprinkle with half the salt, then use small sieve to dust with half the icing sugar.
Toss very well in large bowl. Then sprinkle with remaining salt and dust with remaining icing sugar. Toss well again. At this stage you can add more sugar or salt, to your taste. The above quantities make it slightly salty and lightly sweet which to me is the perfect balance!
1. The secret to popcorn that stays crispy is to use clarified butter or ghee (same thing). It's butter with all water removed so it has a more intense butter flavour and it won't make your popcorn soggy.Clarified butter & ghee firms up to a peanut butter like consistency when cool in the pantry, and into a very hard paste in the fridge. Just scoop and melt in the pot.You'll find ghee sold in jars in the Indian section of large supermarkets (Coles/Woolies) and Indian grocers. Or make your own - it's super easy and cheaper, lasts for 3 months in the pantry and you will use it to pan-fry and roast everything!In Europe/UK, clarified butter in jars is also quite common.2. "Popcorn Salt" - You need to grind salt into a fine powder otherwise it won't stick to the popcorn, it all ends up in the bottom of the bowl.3. Storage - Transfer to airtight container as soon as it has fully cooled. It will stay quite crispy for days! Stovetop popped popcorn is crispier than air-popped (ie. popcorn maker).Reviving popcorn: If your stored popcorn is softer than you'd like on retrieval, bake it at 110C/230F for 30 minutes (you can fill the pan 5cm/2" deep), no stirring required. This makes it super crispy again!4. Nutrition per cup of popcorn.