Bringing home the bacon

As we say goodbye to those long summer nights it’s time to cosy up with something simply wonderful this Autumn, and whilst you can’t buy happiness you can certainly buy Crispy Bacon & Maple Syrup Popcorn, which is pretty close in our opinion!

We all love a chance to indulge in our favourite snacks and what better excuse is there to scoff up some Crispy Bacon & Maple Syrup Popcorn than National Bacon Day! National Bacon Day celebrates this yummy meat in a variety of unusual ways with Bacon jokes, Bacon art and event Bacon outfits! The first ever wild pigs were said to be domesticated over 10,000 years ago in central Asia, where the process of preserving pork became popular due to it being easy to cook, delicious and inexpensive. In the modern world, bacon can be found in all kinds of tasty treats such as bacon chocolate, bacon mayonnaise and most importantly bacon popcorn!

To celebrate National bacon day, here are a few of our favourite bacon facts!

1. Bacon grease was used to make explosives in world war II.

2. The name for this delicious treat originated from Germany where it was referred to as ‘Bakko’, the name then developed in the 16th century to Bacoun before eventually receiving the name that gets our mouths watering today- Bacon.

3. The reason your craving bacon? That’ll be because bacon contains six types of umami which produces an addictive nurochemical response.

4. The phrase ‘bringing home the bacon’ is said to have originated from 12th century England where husbands were awarded a side of Bacon if they could swear before god that they had not argued with their wife for a year and were therefore seen as good citizens.

and finally to give you hope through these chilly winter days we leave you with our all time favourite bacon quote from chef Anne Burrell:

“Bacon always makes it better”

Frozen Yoghurt Popcorn Bites

 

Looking for a sweet treat but wanting it to be healthy and a light summer delight? If so, we have the recipe that you are looking for! The charming Corina, of the blog Searching for Spice, created this refreshing recipe that will tickle you taste buds and dance on your tongue!

A Little Bit About Corina

Corina loves everything to do with food- cooking, reading and writing about food! Corina started the blog Searching for Spice to keep track of all her favourite meals and to document her cooking experiments inspired from different places throughout the world.

Corina’s Guest Blog

I can’t resist a sweet treat and neither can my children. They love snacking and it’s a challenge to come up with snacks that satisfy their cravings while not being overly sugar laden. I have to say, they both love popcorn so when I received some samples from Portlebay Popcorn I was excited to create a recipe with it that we’d all love.  

So how did I come up with the idea of frozen yoghurt bark with cinnamon popcorn?

Well, the first thing that sprang to mind was to make a kind of chocolate coated popcorn snack bar. I love cake pops and I considered making popcorn pops held together with melted marshmallows and maybe a little chocolate too. I also considered a decadent ice cream sundae with popcorn to provide that all important contrasting crunchy texture.

However, although I loved these ideas and I do encourage you to try them, I am always looking for healthier snacks and ways to get my two rather picky children to eat a balanced diet. I wanted to create a recipe that really was healthy, not just arguably so.

Although I started thinking about ice cream, I ended up thinking about yoghurt. Frozen yoghurt bark to be exact. Frozen yoghurt bark makes a brilliant healthy snack or dessert. You just spread thick yogurt onto a baking tray lined with  baking paper and then press your chosen toppings into it. I’d made it before with fruit and I just wondered what it would be like with popcorn.  I’d seen recipes online that used granola or biscuit pieces so what about popcorn?

My fear was that the popcorn would go soggy in the freezer. I had to test it out so I made a very small batch first. I was nervous. Would it work? Would I be making popcorn pops after all? Could it work? Yes! It could! It did!

Now, I wouldn’t advise you to make this and then leave it in the freezer for days.   Then it will go soggy! But, if you make it in the morning, it will still be crisp and crunchy a few hours later when the yoghurt has frozen solid. And the next day, although the popcorn touching the frozen yoghurt will not be as crunchy any more, the popcorn that sticks out will be.

Overall, this recipe is great as a snack for kids or as a healthy dessert. I flavoured the yoghurt with caramel as I think it goes brilliantly with the cinnamon in the popcorn. I then added sliced bananas and pineapple for an almost tropical Caribbean flavour.

With summer on the way, why not make a few variations using the same method? I think flavouring natural Greek yoghurt with lemon curd then adding raspberries and lemon sherbet popcorn would be a brilliant alternative for summer.  

Recipe for Frozen Yoghurt Bark with Cinnamon Popcorn

300g natural Greek Yoghurt

2-3 tbsp caramel sauce

1 banana

1 slice of pineapple, skin and core removed

Handful of Portlebay Popcorn

How to Make the Frozen Yogurt Bark

1. Line a baking tray with non stick baking paper.

2. Stir the caramel sauce into the yoghurt. Don’t add it all at first and taste to make sure you’ve got the flavour just right.

3. Pour the yoghurt onto the baking tray and spread it a little.

4. Top with the fruit and popcorn.

5. Place in the freezer for 4 hours or until completely frozen.

6. Remove from the freezer and break it up.

7. Put it in a container and return the freezer until you want to eat it. Preferably within the next 24 hours.

For more healthy recipe ideas, often with a touch of spice then do visit my blog or social media.  You can find me at:

www.SearchingforSpice.com

Instagram: @SearchingforSpice

Twitter: @CorinatheCook

Facebook: @SearchingforSpice

 

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!

Portlebay Chocolate Bites

Edit

Our easy- peasy, chocolate bites are perfect for a little ‘pick me up’, to satisfy that sweet craving! The combination of delicious chocolate, our crunchy popcorn, and goji berries, makes for a heavenly nibble, with just the right amount of fruit! We’re talking sweet, crunchy, and smooth- just deeelightful!

Popcorn and BerryChocolate Bites:

Serves: 4 (ish)        Prep time: 20 mins       Free time: 1 hour        

What’cha need:

  • 150g chocolate dark or milk- whichever you prefer!
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 15g Lightly Salted Portlebay Popcorn
  • A small pack of Goji berries- we purchased a 100g pack but didn’t use all of them
  • A large sprinkle of mixed seeds

Method:

  • Add 2 inches of water into a medium sized pan and bring to simmer. Add a glass bowl into the pan, making sure that the water does not overflow into the bowl. Break the chocolate into pieces and put it in the bowl, with the coconut oil. Stir the chocolate occasionally until all is melted.
  • Once the majority of the chocolate has melted add the goji berries and seeds into the mix.
  • Line a baking tray with grease proof paper and pour your chocolate mix onto paper- ensuring that it is evenly spread. Then sprinkle the popcorn, goji berries and seeds on top.
  • Place the baking tray in the freeze for approximately 1 hour.
  • Once the chocolate has set, remove from the freezer and by hand break the chocolate into bites and enjoy!

Happy munching!