In a quest to end my repeated laziness regarding Shan's What's Cooking Wednesday, for which I have been a long participant but have been lax lately, I've stockpiled a few new recipes I've made over the past week or two so that I have no excuses any more, damn it!
I have to admit that I've been making too many desserts lately and eating too many of them too. This falls into the former part of that admission but not the latter because I did not like this dessert. John, on the other hand, went gangbusters all over this cake. He kicked this cake's ass! Hah, take that cake! I rule you, he exclaimed!
The reason I didn't like it is because I don't like the texture of soft popcorn. To me, it is like chewing on styrofoam, or what I imagine that would be like. However, I did really like the combination of the salty almonds and sweet Smarties kept together with marshmallowy goodness. Are you intrigued yet?
This recipe was overseen by Emily out of one of her library cookbooks: Emeril's There's a chef in my Family! by Emeril Lagasse. We've had a lot of fun browsing and making a few of his recipes and as a rule, they pretty much rock but you're not going to be losing any weight making any of these. They're darn tasty though.
Miss Hilda's Popcorn Cake
- 2 teaspoons plus 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 12 cups popped popcorn (plain, unsalted and unbuttered) [I used 8 instead and that was more than enough]
- 2 cups M & M candies [I used one bag of Smarties because, hey, I'm Canadian, eh?]
- 1 cup lightly salted cocktail peanuts [I used roasted salted almonds, and OMG were there good. I would definitely do that again. Made it taste like Crunch N' Munch.]
- 1 stick unsalted butter [half a cup for those of us who don't use sticks]
- 1 pound marshmallows [equal to one 454g bag]
Grease a large tube or bundt cake pan with 2 teaspoons of the oil, and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix the popped corn with the M & M candies and the peanuts. [And he means LARGE.]
In a small saucepan, melt the butter, remaining 1/4 cup of oil, and marshmallows over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. When melted, pour over the popcorn mixture, and stir to combine. Pour into the prepared cake pan, pressing down to fit. [Use a large metal spoon dipped in cold water to prevent sticking. Really press on that sucker! Otherwise it'll never fit.] Cover with aluminum foil to keep moist and let rest until firm, 3 to 4 hours.
To serve, invert the cake pan onto a large cake plate or platter. Shake gently to release. Serve at room temperature. [Shake gently.... yeah, right! I had to pry and shake hard. It came out eventually and still looked very pretty.]
As I said, this was not my favourite to say the least. Emily, John and Hope loved it. Especially John who loves anything marshmallow. That was my other issue. I like marshmallows roasted over a campfire or baked into certain kinds of squares. Beyond that I'm not a big marshmallow fan. I liked the combination of marshmallow here with the almonds but I didn't like it with the squishy popcorn. Too marshmallowy. To be honest, my idea of a cruel death would be having my mouth filled with marshmallows out of the bag. The texture immediately makes me gag. Ugh.
Still, it was gone in about a day with no help by me. Although I may have picked out a few almonds and Smarties along the way. John will not be thrilled with me telling the blogosphere that he went nutso all over this cake. Usually that's my job in this house in regards to baked goods.
I was happy to let him have that role for one day anyway. And then came the Maple Sugar Apple Pie and all was back to normal.