Sweet and salty Kettle Corn, with no extra calories

Posted on 29 March 2011

Fats, sugars and salt. They comprise the snack food hat trick, and, frankly, are what we crave in food. When made with enough oil, popcorn with salt nails two out of three.

Caramel corn solves the sweetness issue, but then you’ve got Cracker Jack, a real sugar-shock inducer. So when I discovered Kettle Corn, with its light sugary glaze, I decided to make it at home.

It was disappointing. The recipe called for adding sugar to the popcorn and oil, and the sugar just caramelized and burned.

Then I had a recipephany. Why not just sprinkle sucralose (aka Spenda) on top of the freshly popped kernels? It worked. Because it is light, it sticks to the popcorn. You can sweeten to taste, and it doesn’t overpower the salt. It’s got that county-fair taste, couldn’t be easier, and adds no extra calories. Perfect for popcorn junkies like me.

Kettle Corn

I use a Theatre II stovetop popper which has a hand crank for stirring.

1. Make popcorn. (Chances are, you have a favorite way to make popcorn with oil, so skip this step. However, don’t use a hot-air popper because you need the moisture of the oil.)

  • Pour enough popcorn into the pot to cover the bottom completely.
  • Add enough oil to cover the kernels.
  • Put on lid and heat at medium high, shaking the pot (or stirring with the handle) almost constantly, and turn off heat when the popping has almost stopped (about 3 minutes).
  • Remove the lid so the steam escapes and the popcorn dries a bit.
  • After a minute, dump popcorn into a big snacking bowl.

2. Turn it into Kettle Corn.

Sprinkle with sucralose and popcorn salt to taste. Toss.

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