Recipe: Christmas popcorn edible gift

My last post about edible gifts from the Capital Region Farmers Market inspired me to make my own edible Christmas gift! So I decided to make a low-cost Christmas gift you can give to friends, family and colleagues! Christmas popcorn is a delicious, affordable and very easy to make festive gift. It’s also a fun activity to do with kids!

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Ingredients

  • 5 tbsp  canola oil
  • ½ cup popcorn kernels
  • 250g white chocolate
  • 6-8 regular sized candy canes
  • ¼ cup hundreds and thousand sprinkles

Method

  1. Pour the canola oil into a large saucepan, heat the oil on medium high.
  2. Once the oil is hot, pour corn kernels in and swirl the pan so that corn is evenly covered in oil. Put saucepan lid on and wait for popping to occur.
  3. Once the popping starts, gently shake the saucepan back and forth to encourage more popping.
  4. Once the popping slows to several seconds between pops, immediately take the saucepan off the heat, remove the lid and dump the popcorn onto a baking paper-lined baking tray. Arrange evenly across the tray.
  5. Melt the white chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of hot water.
  6. Meanwhile, crush the candy canes in a mortar and pestle. Cover the bowl with your hand so that shards of candy do not fly everywhere.
  7. Once the chocolate has melted, drizzle it generously over the popcorn, then sprinkle it with the crushed up candy cane and the hundreds and thousands. Work in small areas at a time so that the sprinkles and candy cane stick to the melted chocolate.
  8. Allow to cool and set.
  9. Wrap popcorn with clear cellophane and ribbon as an edible Christmas gift or serve in a bowl as a festive snack.

How do you flavour your popcorn? Let me know in the comments!

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Recipe: Strawberry cornflake soil

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This is the crunch element and will add a textural contrast to any dish. It’s absolutely addictive and dangerously easy to make. I adapted the recipe from Christina Tosi’s Cornflake Crunch from Momofuku Milk Bar and used strawberry-flavoured milk powder instead of regular milk powder. The_Food_Avenue_Molecular_Gastronomy4

Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes Total time: 35 minutes, plus chill time Yield: 4 cups

Ingredients

  • 1/2 (12-ounce) (5 cups)/ 170 g box cornflakes
  • 1/2 cup/ 40 g strawberry milk powder (e.g. Nesquick)
  • 3 tablespoons/ 40 g sugar
  • 1 teaspoon/ 4 g salt
  • 100 g butter, melted

Heat the oven to 135°C.

Pour the cornflakes in a medium bowl and crush them with your hands to one-quarter of their original size. Add the strawberry milk powder, sugar, and salt and toss to mix. Add the butter and toss to coat. As you toss, the butter will act as glue, binding the dry ingredients to the cereal and creating small clusters.

Cool the cornflake mixture completely before storing or using in a recipe.

If the consistency isn't fine enough, pour the mixture into a mortar and pestle. Pound until the mixture resembles a soil consistency.

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Stored in an airtight container at room temperature, the strawberry cornflake soil will keep fresh for 1 week; in the fridge or freezer, it will keep for 1 month.

Recipes for the other elements of the pictured dish:

Recipe: Bliss balls - great snack!

Adapted from a friend's recipe (which I believe she got from the Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation program) this is a decadent-looking snack without the guilt trip! A  friend creatively called them "Healthy Ferrero Rochers" but I've since discovered most people call them bliss balls. I brought these to work one day for an afternoon tea and people gobbled them up! There is no refined sugar in this recipe - the sweetness comes from the dried fruit, cocoa powder and honey (which you can tailor to your liking). Having these bliss balls prevents me from reaching for the chocolate bars during any the mid-afternoon slumps! (although it can be hard to stop eating the bliss balls after one or two after you start!) OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw nuts (I used peanuts and walnuts but you could also use cashews, almonds or pecans)
  • a handful of toasted coconut (you can buy it in a packet already toasted)
  • 1/2 cup seeds (I used sunflower and pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 cup dried pitted dates (check for and remove pits)
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit (I used dried blueberries, cranberries, and cherries but you could also use dried goji berries, apricots, and currants)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp of honey

Method

  1. Finely chop nuts, seeds and coconut in the food processor. Scoop about 2 tbsp of mixture out and reserve on a plate.
  2. Add dates, dried fruit, essence, cocoa powder, spices and honey to food processor until combined.
  3. Roll into balls before rolling around in the reserved nuts and seeds mixture.
  4. Keep in airtight container and eat within a week or so (if they last that long!)