Debbie’s Salted Caramel Popcorn Cake

The rather wonderful and very talented Debbie, is an amazing, chef, baker, nutritionist and owner of the blog Proper Foodie. Debbie has a great range of recipes from healthy dinners to mouthwatering desserts, and even some traditional Italian recipes if you’re looking for something a little different, so make sure you have a gander at her blog!

We were lucky enough to collaborate with this lovely lady, who created this heavenly Salted Caramel Popcorn Cake! If you fancy have a go at baking this yummy cake the recipe is below!

 

Ingredients

For the cake:

-180g pitted dates roughly chopped

-150ml boiling water

-85g softened unsalted butter (ambient temp)

-140g soft brown sugar

-2 large eggs whisked together

-180g self raising flour

-1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

-Pinch of sea salt

-1 tsp vanilla bean extract

For the filling and salted caramel sauce:

-2 bags of Portlebay sweet and salty popcorn

-600ml double cream

-100g coconut sugar/soft brown sugar

-50g unsalted butter

-1-2 tsp sea salt

Method

To make the cake:

-Place the chopped dates in a small bowl and pour over 150ml of boiling. Leave to soak for around 20 minutes. 

-Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees C and line an 8 inch (20cm) round cake tin with greaseproof paper. For guidance on lining your tin see: http://properfoodie.com/properfoodies-christmas-cake/ 

-To mix the cake use a food processor, stand mixer or whisk by hand. If using a stand mixer use the beater attachment. Cube the softened butter and add to your bowl, processor or stand mixer. Next add the brown sugar and then cream together (start the stand mixer on a low speed and gradually increase to high). When fully mixed together the creamed butter and sugar will appear light and fluffy.

-Continue to whisk or beat the butter mix and gradually add in the 2 whisked eggs. Add the eggs slowly to stop the mixture from splitting. Once all the egg is combined, stop whisking or turn off the mixer, remove the bowl and set to one side.

-In a separate bowl mix together the dry ingredients: self raising flour, bicarb of soda and pinch of salt. Sieve the dry ingredients into the butter and egg mixture and then fold together gently with a spatula.

-Next add the vanilla bean extract, the soaked dates and half of the liquid from the soaked dates (save the remaining half of the date liquid for the caramel sauce). Continue to fold the cake mixture with a spatula to fully mix with the dates and vanilla. The mixture will appear quite wet and be of a pourable consistency.

-Transfer the cake mix to the lined cake tin and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. 

-Once baked, remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling wire. Once fully cooled use a sharp serrated knife to divide the cake into three equal layers – take your time and move the knife around the cake as you cut.

To make the filling and salted caramel sauce:

Whip the double cream until soft peaks just about form. Do not over whisk! The cream should hold together but not be over clotted. Place the whipped cream in the fridge whilst the salted caramel sauce is prepared.

For the caramel sauce, place 100g coconut sugar (or soft brown sugar if preferred) and 50g butter into a small sauce pan. Place the pan on a low heat and stir until melted. Continue to heat the sugar and butter mixture until it just about boils and turns to a runny caramel, then remove from the heat. Take 1 tablespoon of the whipped double cream and stir this into the caramel. Next add one or two pinches of sea salt to taste. Set to one side – the caramel will slightly thicken as it cools but should remain of a pourable consistency for at least an hour. 

Build the cake

Finally put together the cake. This doesn’t have to be perfect and will probably look better with drizzles and blobs of cream and caramel here and there.

First, place the bottom layer of your cake on a serving plate or cake stand. If you like, secure underneath with a small blob of cream. Use a spatula to spread an even layer of cream on the top of the first cake layer (use around 1/3 of the cream). Next scatter the Portlebay Popcorn over the cream and then drizzle over the salted caramel. Carefully position the middle layer of the cake over the cream and popcorn and continue to layer with more cream, popcorn and salted caramel. Position the top layer of the cake and finish off with the remaining cream, popcorn and a good final drizzle of salted caramel.

Present and serve your masterpiece! YUM!

If you enjoyed this tasty creation do check out these Chocolate and Lemon Biscuit Bites!

Banana Oat Pancakes

Bored of your regular smashed avocado on toast? Fancy kicking your pancake game up a notch? Using no flour and no sugar, these banana oat pancakes are a barely naughty alternative to your regular Sunday brunch!

For 1 person you will need:

 

• 1 banana

• 1 egg

• 65g of rolled oats

• ½ a teaspoon of baking powder

• A pinch of salt

• A pinch of cinnamon (depending on your cinnamon taste levels)

• Whatever you would like to serve! We used maple syrup, fresh raspberries and cherries, and a sprinkling of Cinnamon Swirl Popcorn.

Method:

 

• Use either a blender or tonnes of elbow grease to mush up the banana and egg, and then use your remaining strength to mix in the oats, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

• It can be as smooth as you like it – we used a blender so it was silky smooth, but I’m sure it would be just as nice with a few chunks of banana inside!

• Let the batter have a little time out for 10-20 minutes so it can thicken.

• Heat a frying pan over a medium heat, and plop in a blob of coconut oil (or any oil you prefer).

• Fry generous spoonful’s of batter on both sides until golden brown, and good enough to wolf down in one bite.

• Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup and lashing of popcorn and fruit!

Easy peasey lemon squeezy!

Marshmallow Popcorn Balls

Makes | 8-10 popcorn balls (depending on if you’d like them bite-sized, or if “gob-smacker” is more your style) 

Prep | 10 minutes 

Cooking time | 10 minutes

Ready in | 30 minutes 

Over Easter we showed you some of our beautifully sculpted and oh so easy to make popcorn balls! They could not be simpler to recreate, and you can let your imagination run wild with any littles extras you’d like to top them with.

Ingredients

  • 75g of butter
  • 75g bag of Portlebay Popcorn
  • 120g of mini marshmallows (plus extra for nibbling)
  • Food colouring of your choice, and any extras you desire

Method

  1. Melt the butter gently in a large saucepan under a medium heat, and then add the mini marshmallows.
  2. Keep stirring marshmallows as they mix with the butter, until they’ve fully mixed together. If you think the mixture is still too oily, add a few more marshmallows to the mix (provided you haven’t gobbled them up already).
  3. Take the mixture off the heat, and pour into a mixing bowl. Now’s the time to get creative! Add your favourite food colouring, dried fruit, chopped buts, rainbow drops, whatever! The world is your oyster…but not seafood, pretty sure that would be horrible.
  4. Once that is mixed together, bundle in your popcorn and make sure to coat every last kernel with your glorious concoction. The mixture should be slightly hardening by now, so this is an excellent time to start working on your Michelle Obama arms.
  5. Once it is fully coated, use some of the butter to rub on your hands, and start moulding into balls.
  6. Place on to greaseproof paper, and chill in the fridge for 30 mins. Once they are keeping their shape, they are ready to enjoy!

 

 

 

The Bake is on!: Week 3

As soon as Autumn tumbles around it seems all of our internal tummy clocks start craving the gentle warmth of cinnamon; whether it be sprinkled over hot chocolate or dusted over pancakes, nothing quite beats the humble cinnamon cookie.

We had Lucy Rocks Paleo’s glorious popcorn and granola cheesecake last week, but for week 3 we’re heading back to biscuits, or more importantly cinnamon swirl and blush granola cookies (yay!).

For this recipe you’ll need to get yours paws on:

  • 225g of soft salted butter
  • 250g of demerara sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 300g of self raising flour 
  • 1/2 tsp on baking powder 
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon 
  • 75g of Portlebay Cinnamon Swirl popcorn 
  • 40g of Lucy Rocks Paleo Blush Granola 
  • Chocolate or toffee sauce (or both) for decorating

Start off by preheating your oven to 180 °C, and lining a baking tin with baking paper. If you don’t have any, lining it with butter and flour works just as well.

Next, you’ve got to beat the butter and sugar together with an electric whisk; once it’s combined, whisk in the egg as well. This isn’t going to be you’re smoother-than-smooth cake batter; it looks a bit like sugary quinoa, so not the best for whisk licking based on personal experience…

sugar-and-butter-mix
From quinoa…

pou-pourri
…to edible pop-pourri!
Next, tip the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, Cinnamon Swirl Popcorn and Blush Granola in the bowl, and get your guns out because I would NOT recommend mixing this with an electric whisk. Popcorn and granola will fly everywhere, and you’ll end up with more of a popcorn dust than a popcorn crunch; that isn’t personal experience, but pure bakers intuition… and common sense.

Once that’s all combined and you have a stiff mixture of cookie dough, start rolling the dough into golfball sized balls, and put out on to your beautifully lined tray from earlier. Make sure there is a bit of a gap in between them, as they do tend to spread. Leave them there for 12-13 minutes, or until they’re golden brown; if they’re still a little bit soft on top not to worry, they will harden as they cool.

cookie-balls
From balls of dough…

freshly-baked
…too fully fledged cookies!
And they you have it! Decorate them as you like them; we drizzled ours with toffee and chocolate sauce, because we just couldn’t decide between them, and serve with a tall glass of milk or a nice cup of tea. The perfect little Autumn treat!

As with last week, show us your bakes on Facebook or Twitter, using our recipe or your favourite, and win some lovely samples from us and Lucy Rocks Paleo!

cookies-choc-toff-and-milk

 

The Bake is On!

To celebrate the glorious return of one the best loved baking programmes on the British television, we’ve teamed up with the lovely people at Lucy Rocks Paleo to bring you a baking competition you can do without stepping inside that fabled Bake Off tent.

You can try out our recipes, or make up your own, they just have to be delicious I’m afraid. How difficult can that be when you’re smothering everything in chocolate?

Week 1 kicks off with a classic tray bake (just without the bake): Rocky Road! You may remember we featured our Popcorn Rocky Roads online a while ago, well now they’re back with the delicious addition of Lucy Rocks Paleo Golden Granola.

If you’d like to try out the recipe yourself, you will need:

  • 1 smallish, deep baking tray, greased and lined 
  • 75g of Cappuccino Portlebay Popcorn (although other flavours will work just as well) 
  • 200g of Golden Granola from Lucy Rocks Paleo
  • 50g of Mini Marshmallows 
  • 300g of Dark Chocolate (or whatever chocolate is your favourite)
  • 50g of Salted Butter 
  • A dash of whatever you would like to decorate your masterpiece with 

For you Rocky Road purists out there, I’m sure you’ll be crying out “Where’s the raisins?! Where’s the cherries?! What is this sham of a Rocky Road recipe about!”. Do not fear cake lovers, as Golden Granola has all of these elements and more! With mulberries, goldenberries, coconut chips and tonnes of other healthy bits and bobs, it’s a wonderful alternative to give your bakes that extra crunch!   lucy-rocks-ingredients-better

Get ready for a picture heavy post, with tonnes of craving inducing images of melted chocolate, because that’s going to feature a lot! First of all, melt the chocolate and the butter together in a heat proof bowl, over a shallow pan of simmering water. Make sure the water doesn’t touch the bowl, and the chocolate doesn’t get too hot! Chocolate cement is great for tiling a ginger bread house, but not for much else.

butter-and-choc
This is what chocolate and butter looks like in a bowl
melting-choc-better
Just keep on stirring…
melted-choc
…until it’s glossy and smooth

Right now you’re going to be fighting back urges to plonk yourself on the sofa and tuck into that bowl of chocolate heaven with a teaspoon and a sense of reckless abandon. Hold yourself together! The next bit is a piece of cake…sorry. 

All your tiny marshmallows (bar a few for decoration), Portlebay Popcorn and Lucy Rocks Golden Granola need to be mixed in with a lot of added elbow grease, to make sure every grain and popcorn piece is thoroughly coated in your butter and chocolate mixture. If you can’t quite get everything covered, melt a little bit more chocolate in the microwave to cover those last few patches. It should look a little something like this:

It will get messy, but where’s the fun in keeping everything tidy, eh? Once it’s all mixed together and coated as much as you can get it, you need to start piling the mixture into the baking tray, making sure to get it into as many nooks and crannies that you can. A little like this:

rocky-road-tray

You can decorate yours in any way your chocolate loving heart desires; we’ve used sugar sprinkles you can find in any supermarket or baking shop, and of course more mini marshmallows.

Place in the fridge to chill for a couple of hours until the chocolate is firm and holds it’s shape, or put it in the freezer for about an hour if you just can’t wait to tuck in! At the end of it all, you will end up with some beautiful popcorn-y granola-ry goodness.

rocky-road-final

And there you have it! A simple treat to try at home, and loved by all.

Share your own fantastical tray bakes on The Portlebay Popcorn or the Lucy Rocks Paleo Facebook, for your chance to win some scrumptious popcorn and granola!