Caramelised Pineapple & Chilli Popcorn

"Chilli adds a fiery kick to this Caribbean-inspired take on a classic salted caramel topping. This tropical topping evokes the heat of a Caribbean summer by combining fragrant sweet pineapple with fiery red chilli to take your taste buds on a sub-equatorial adventure."
photo by The Popcornist photo by The Popcornist
photo by The Popcornist
Ready In:
1hr 30mins


  • 500 ml pineapple juice
  • 25 g butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 12 teaspoon dried chili
  • 12 teaspoon salt
  • 40 g popcorn, popped


  • To make the pineapple syrup, pour the pineapple juice into a frying pan or wok (the wider the base, the better). Heat on a medium temperature, swirling the pan regularly to ensure that it doesn’t burn at the bottom.
  • Do this until most of the liquid has evaporated and you’re left with about a tablespoon of intense pineapple syrup that has the consistency of honey. This might take up to an hour, so it’s worth starting early and perhaps pouring yourself a glass of wine.
  • Pop the butter in a saucepan along with the sugar, salt and chilli. Heat on a low-medium temperature, stirring regularly to help the sugar to dissolve.
  • Once the mixture has thickened to a consistency similar to lemon curd, reduce your stirring and bring it slowly to the boil until bubbles start to appear all over the surface.
  • Once it starts bubbling, leave it to caramelise for 3 minutes without stirring. The colour will start to darken.
  • While waiting for the caramel to cook, fill a tablespoon with the pineapple syrup, so that it is ready to add to the mixture. Make sure that your popcorn is also ready and waiting in a big bowl that has plenty of room for some vigorous stirring.
  • After 3 minutes, take the caramel mixture off the heat and add the tablespoon of pineapple syrup to the frying pan, stirring it inches.
  • Immediately pour the mixture over the popcorn, stirring quickly to ensure that the popcorn is evenly coated before the caramel cools and hardens.
  • Put the popcorn on a baking tray and place it in the oven at 100°C for 30 minutes to evaporate off any remaining liquid and allow it to become deliciously crisp.
  • Take the popcorn out of the oven and leave it to cool.
  • Sit back and enjoy – perhaps paired with an elegant Sauternes while dreaming of azure seas, golden beaches and palm trees swaying gently in the breeze.
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