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Author Notes: Ok, it's a bit more of a panna cotta, but when you top it off crisp caramel who's going to argue? Using carrageenan rather than gelatin or egg yolks to set this dish results in a creamy and silky smooth textures that sets up in 30 minutes with no baking. You can also try this popcorn infused milk in any of other favorite recipes- ice cream, pancakes, bread pudding- go nuts and let me know what you make. —Chef James
piece fresh corn
teaspoon kosher salt
cups popped popcorn
cup granulated sugar
teaspoon vanilla extract
grams Carrageenan Iota
grams Carrageenan Kappa
- Shuck the corn and cut the kernels from the cob. Cut the cob into pieces and reserve.
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat and cook until lightly browned. Add the corn kernels and the salt, saute 1 minute. Add the popcorn and cook 1 minute more.
- Pour the milk over the popcorn in the sauce pan and stir in the sugar and vanilla. Bring the mixture to simmer, then remove from the heat and cover. Set aside to steep, 1 hour or longer.
- Strain the mixture thought a fine mesh sieve, pressing the popcorn to extract as much liquid as possible.
- Measure 500 grams (2 cups, plus 2 tablespoons) of the popcorn infused milk. Whisk in the iota and kappa carrageenan and return the milk to a saucepan. Place the pan over medium heat. Stir constantly as you bring the milk to a boil. As soon as the milk comes to transfer to ramekins or molds and place in the refrigerator until set.
- Sprinkle the top of the set mixture with sugar and brûlée or pour caramel into thin sheets on a nonstick baking sheet and sprinkle with chopped peanuts. Let the caramel cool and break into pieces for topping.