Saturday night was all about soccer. Manchester United was in Sydney to play a match against a collection of A League players from the Australian premier competition. There were more than 80,000 people filling the stadium, and it was a sea of Manchester red. The devoted fans, one of whom is my son, were out in force. It was loads of fun. The crowd was hyped – and surprisingly well behaved! – and there were lots of goals scored! Although, fun as it was I have to admit I felt deeply for those brave Australian players, who were playing at ‘home’ with a team that had been cobbled together for the event, while the spectators by and large, and the commentators were SO not there to see them! Tough gig – and we really should be proud of them, if only in retrospect.
So we traipsed off to the stadium nice and early, thinking that with 5 very very excited young boys in tow, the 3 adults would have to work hard to keep them close amidst the crowds. ‘Frogs in a wheelbarrow’ springs to mind… So once we had them all seated (took a while to herd them up to the 6th tier!) we wanted to keep them settled. And for that, the key was plenty of food! Junk food is an expectation at such an event, but I had to make sure that at least some of it was homemade.
This candy corn is such an easy thing to whip up beforehand – as long as you do it early enough to give it time to set.
Try not to eat while the Mexican wave is passing through…
- 1/4 c vegetable oil
- 1/2 c popping corn
- 125 g butter
- 3/4 c sugar
- 2 T honey
Line a large baking tray (preferably with a lip around the edges) with baking paper.
Heat oil in saucepan. Test that it is hot enough by adding a couple of kernels of corn – if they start to spin, the oil is ready. Add the corn and making sure that the lid if firmly held on, gently toss as the kernels pop. I used a glass lidded pan so that I can see what’s happening – and it’s fun watching them pop. Remove from heat as soon as the popping stops and place in a large lightly oiled bowl.
Prepare the caramel. Chop butter into a saucepan and add sugar. Stir over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add the honey and bring to boil, and cook without stirring until mixture turns a light golden colour. Remove from heat and pour over popcorn. Give the popcorn a mix to even out the caramel coating. Transfer to the baking tray and spread out. You need to work very quickly because the caramel will stiffen very quickly. Leave to set.
Once the caramel has hardened, break the popcorn up and place in containers.