Author Notes: If you're not familiar with the Australian childhood favourite called Chocolate Crackles, you're in for a treat. The original is usually made with rice crispies bound together with cocoa powder. This grown-up version uses popcorn mixed with with tart dried cherries to counter bittersweet cocoa. —SBS Food
milliliters canola or vegetable oil
grams popcorn kernels
grams coconut oil (see Notes)
tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
teaspoons icing sugar
cup dried sour cherries
grams shredded coconut
- Heat the oil in a 3-litre saucepan with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat until just before it smokes. Add a popcorn kernel to the oil to test if it is hot enough; if it spins, then the oil is ready (see Notes).
- Add all the popcorn kernels, swirl to cover the kernels with the oil, cover with the lid and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, for 1 minute 45 seconds or until the popping sounds have stopped.
- Melt the coconut oil in a heatproof bowl in the microwave for 20–30 seconds or until melted.
- Add the cocoa powder and icing sugar to the coconut oil and stir to combine.
- Place the popcorn in a large bowl, add the dried fruit, pour over the cocoa oil and toss to coat well. Spread evenly on a tray lined with baking paper and chill for 20 minutes or until slightly set. Break into clusters to serve.
- NOTES Coconut oil comes in solid form in jars from health food stores and Asian grocers. | Dried sour cherries are available from health food stores or select grocers. You can substitute unsweetened dried cranberries. | Toasting the coconut will add a lovely nuttiness. Lightly toast in a preheated 180°C (convection) oven for about 5 minutes. Remove from the tray to cool (otherwise it will continue cooking.) Don't use desiccated coconut as this will be too gritty. | The oil shouldn’t be smoking; if it is, remove from the heat until it stops smoking, then return to the heat.