This came about by accident; I couldn’t decide between peanut butter and Marmite popcorn, or peanut butter and honey, so on a whim I decided to amalgamate all three. And good lord, I have no regrets about it at all. The tang of Marmite, earthiness of the peanut butter and the sweet stickiness of the honey are a triumvirate of absolute bliss – my friend Caroline and I polished off the bowl faster than I could say, ‘How many should this serve? Four? Oh. Us.’ To make this vegan, replace the honey with golden syrup or another thick liquid sweetener of your choice.
First measure your peanut butter, butter or oil, honey and Marmite into a microwave-proof small bowl. Microwave on High for 45 seconds, until everything starts to melt. Remove carefully and stir vigorously to combine and melt any stubborn ingredients. Set to one side.
Grab a large nonstick pan with a lid and place it on the large hob ring over medium heat. Pour in the corn kernels – I like to spray the pan with Frylight or similar, but it doesn’t need it, I’m just obsessed with keeping my pans unscathed as it’s kind of my job. Pop the lid on and wait, jostling the pan every now and then to distribute the heat and prevent any kernels from burning in the hot spot.
When the corn starts to pop, shake the pan vigorously, keeping a good handle on the lid to stop it flying off and all the popcorn escaping! When the final ‘pop’ has popped, remove the pan from the heat, but leave the lid on for 5 more minutes, as some of the kernels take their time to wake up and realize their true potential – and babe, same.
When you’re fairly confident that no popcorn is going to come flying out of the pan (I can tell you now, this confidence is misplaced, and 99% of the time a rogue piece of popcorn will make a bid for freedom), drench it in the sticky sauce and replace the lid, shaking vigorously to evenly coat it. Leave it to stand for a minute for the sauce to set, then tuck in while it’s still warm.
Will keep for 2 days max in an airtight bag or container, but it’s best eaten immediately.
© Jack Monroe, 2020