The Betty Crocker team totally has their finger on the pulse of this year’s Red Hot Holiday Trends and my favorite is definitely Popcorn Reinvented. I‘m always a fan of still warm, crunchy, freshly popped corn…and secretly, I enjoy it with a tall glass of milk. It sounds weird, but it’s totally a winning combo. For a frozen twist on a favorite snack, I made this Dulce de Leche Popcorn Ice Cream with Almonds & Coconut. I love to infuse the puffed & popped kernels into the indulgent ice cream base, swirl it with dulce de leche and stud it with buttery, salted almonds, and toasted coconut. It’s almost like a nutty, coconut dusted, caramel corn…but in ice cream form!
Be sure to check out all of the festive contributions from my fellow Betty Bloggers, as well as Betty’s twist on Popcorn Reinvented with this amazing Triple-Caramel Popcorn Fudge! You can see my other contributions to the Betty site HERE.
Dulce de Leche Popcorn Ice Cream with Salted Almonds and Coconut
Adapted from THIS recipe.
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
8 cups popcorn*
5 teaspoons cornstarch
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dulce de leche
1/2 cup toasted coconut
1/2 cup salted almonds, coarsely chopped
In a medium saucepan heat the heavy cream with the popcorn (the popcorn will basically wilt away, so if it seems like a lot, it won’t be), bring to a low boil, cover, remove from heat and steep for 1 hour. Sieve the popcorn cream through a fine mesh strainer, pressing on solids to extract as much cream as possible. Discard solids, you should have about 1 cup of cream remaining, if less add cream to make 1 cup.
Mix 1/4 cup of the milk with the cornstarch to create a slurry. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan mix together the popcorn cream with the remaining 1 3/4 cups milk, add the sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Heat the mixture and bring to a low boil, quickly whisk in the slurry mixture and return to a boil, whisking until thickened–about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat.
Pour the ice cream base into a heatproof bowl and either cool, while whisking, in an ice bath, or cover the surface with plastic wrap or a parchment round (making sure the plastic or parchment comes in direct contact with the ice cream base, to prevent a skin from forming) and chill in the refrigerator for several hours until cooled, up to overnight. Churn the chilled base in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturers instructions. Spoon about 1/3 of the churned ice cream into your desired container and layer on 1/3 of the dulce de leche, coconut, and almonds, repeat with the remaining ice cream and mix-ins. Cover and freeze the ice cream for several hours, until firm, before serving.
*To pop the corn without a popcorn popper, you will need:
1/2 cup popping corn
paper lunch bag
Place the popcorn kernels in the bag, fold the bag top 2-3 times, microwave on high until the corn is popping like crazy, followed by 1-2 second pauses between pops–about 3 1/2 minutes. This may take some trial and error, just be watchful–you may have to pop it in 2 batches. This made me about 9 cups of popcorn–I used 8 and snacked on the remaining cup.
Full disclosure, I contribute regularly to BettyCrocker.com and was compensated for the development of this post. As always, all opinions are my own.