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Sunday, August 1, 2010
This one's for the kids and the kid that still lurks in the adult.
A few things came together for this. When I had to go to Manila last week for an overnight, fire-fighting session, I had the chance to prowl the supermarket near my hotel again. This time round, I found a bigger and nicer supermarket. The Landmark supermarket at Makati is, I believe where the middle class locals shop. They stock a wide variety of groceries at what I thought, were reasonable prices.
I only brought an overnight bag so that wouldn't allow me to 'load up'. I was more intent on checking out the shelves to understand what the locals eat. I was amused by the wide selection of canned corned beef on my first trip to Manila... and of course, I bought my first bottle of Tala ng Talangka. (crab fat) As I prowled the aisles this time, the most unlikely things caught my eyes - Packet popcorn and Powdered Fruit Drinks (think Tangs, that comes in handy single portion satchets and a whole spectrum of flavours...). As for the popcorn, I was amused because in Singapore, these are usually tucked in some remote corner at select supermarkets and there is almost zero chance for me to catch sight of them. However, in Manila, there is a whole section dedicated to them. In addition to the standard, no frills-box packaging, these flat paper bag versions intrigued me to no ends. There were different brands and a variety of flavours that span from Crispy n White, Butterlicious to Caramelicious. Truly interesting and at S$1 a pack, (US$0.70) , you would get enough pop corn to last you through a 2 hour movie!
Out of their cellophane bag, these packs unfold to look like a flattened sandwich paper bag. Chuck it in the microwave for 2-5mins (as indicated by the instructions on the bag) and hear the corns pop and watch the paper bag balloon up in your microwave oven - the journey to connect with the kid in you starts here!
I have to confess, I am not a big popcorn fan - I bought these just out of curiosity. I gave 2 packs to my friends and save 2 packs to play with. Now that I have popped the corns, I really don't wish to sit around clutching the bowl in front of my TV. Then came the Waitrose Mini Marshmallows I had bought 2 days ago. Once again I bought these out of emotional allure than for practicality. Combining these 2 ingredients together with dark bitter chocolate - it worked out better than I had imagined. The POPsicles would appeal to the kids and the dark chocolate will win over the adults. I made 3 POPsicles in total. I ate one and gave 2 away to my neighbour's daughter - she was squealing with delight :) .. ah kid, I hope she appreciates what she is eating - that was 70% Bitter Valrhona Chocolate! Gosh, I still have an almost full bag of popcorns - I probably should give these to her mum - yeah, good idea.
Small paper cups
Popcorn 50g (before popping)
Bitter Chocolate 90g
1. Pop popcorn according to instructions. Set aside.
2. Line 3-4 paper cups with mini marshmallows
3. Over a water bath, melt bitter chocolate with butter.
4. Toss pop corn ( you will have more than enough pop corn. I used the paper cup to measure 3 cups of popped corns and added these to the melted chocolate) in melted chocolate.
5. Spoon coated pop corn into marshmallow lined paper cups to fill 1/5 of the cup, taking care to pack the pop corn tightly.
6. Insert an ice- cream stick into the the popcorn, continue filling the cups with coated popcorn and pack tightly. (you will pack very tightly otherwise, the ice-cream may come off when you demold the POPcicles)
7. Refrigerate to set chocolate.
8. Use a paring knife, go round the rim of the cup to loosen the popcorn. Carefully ease out the POPcicles from the paper cup.
9. Additional marshmallows can be stuck onto the base using melted chocolate as the 'glue' . If you do that, return the POPcicle to the refrigerator for a few minutes to set it further.