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June 27, 2012 / mintcustard

Popcorn balls

How sad today to find out that cinema has lost a wonderful writer. Nora Ephron passed away in New York on Tuesday evening. I love cinema and I love food. I once combined the two to write my book Movie Dinners. One of the first recipes on my list to include in the book was THAT sandwich from When Harry met Sally. Who can forget the fake orgasm scene, or the immortal line, “I’ll have what she’s having” from the old lady in the next booth!

Nora also almost read my mind, the question at the end of this clip from Julie and Julia is quite possibly one that every food blogger would answer in an identical fashion!

Thank you Nora, you made going to the cinema fun. The writing was witty and the movies made me happy. I don’t go to the pictures to be scared, tittilated or to look a fool in 3D glasses, I go to be entertained, oh, and to eat popcorn. I think Nora may have approved of the eating part especially. These popcorn balls are just right for a movie night at home or smuggled into the cinema as a treat.

I realise salted caramels, chili chocolate and vanilla mayonnaise are all flavours du jour but I think I have always been ahead of the game in that respect. Ever since I became savvy enough to notice that all the other kids at the pictures had a bag of popcorn and a fizzy drink instead of a bag of Woolworth’s pic ‘n’ mix and a panda pop I have loved popcorn. Never one to make a decision easily I asked for a scoop of both sweet and salty into my bag of popcorn. Serendipity lent a hand and the combination of sweet and salty meant that the bottom of the box was reached pretty quickly.
Now with children of my own, and a reluctance to pay £7 for a box of hot air I resolved to find a solution. The kids when they were little would fight over the box of popcorn and most went on the floor and not in their mouths, a complete waste of money and cinema popcorn.
A leftover bag of marshmallows from my previous dalliance with s’mores and I had the answer. I had melted marshmallows before and made rice krispie treats why not do the same but with sweet and salty popcorn?
If you do insist on watching a scary movie then these salty and sweet popcorn balls should hit the spot.
Mise en scene

1 pack microwave butter popcorn
15 marshmallows
knob of butter
parchment paper
It’s all in the edit
  • Lay out a sheet of parchment on your work surface.
  • Cook the popcorn according to the manufacturers instructions. Open the pack and allow to cool slightly.
  • In a double boiler or in a bowl over a pan of simmering water melt the marshmallows.
  • When completely melted, tip the popped corn into the marshmallow slurry and mix well to combine.
  • Liberally smear your hands with butter. (I think I ought to send Nigella this recipe, can you imagine the resulting TV viewing figures!)
  • Take a cricket or base ball sized lump of corn and fashion it into a sphere.
  • Place on baking parchment and repeat with the rest of the mixture. (makes 10 balls approx)
  • Take to the cinema and save yourself at least £7!


This is ideal for eating during a scary movie because if you do happen to scare yourself s**tless and jump in the air at the slightest noise at least the popcorn won’t go all over the floor.

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