Photography by John Paul Urizar
Roll up, roll up, the circus is in town - and it's full of exciting and delicious treats!
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup popping corn
- 1 1/2 tablespoons golden syrup
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 45g butter
- 1/2 cup (75g) white chocolate melts
- 2 x 34g packets peppermint Lifesavers
- 16 red Smarties
- 9 x 4cm-long pieces licorice strap
- 50g tube black writing icing
Line eight holes of a 1/3 cup-capacity muffin pan with paper cases.
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 pieces of corn. Oil is hot enough when corn turns slowly in a circle. Add remaining corn. Cover with a tight-fitting lid. Shake saucepan gently when corn starts to pop. Remove from heat when corn stops popping. Pour into a large heatproof bowl. Discard unpopped corn.
Place golden syrup, sugar and butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes or until sugar dissolves (don’t boil). Bring to the boil. Boil for 4 minutes or until golden.
Working quickly, pour caramel mixture over popcorn. Stir to coat. Divide mixture between paper cases. Using the back of a spoon, press down to flatten tops slightly. Set aside to cool.
Reserve 8 chocolate melts. Place remaining melts in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high (100%) for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, or until melted and smooth. Spread a little melted chocolate on 1 side of 2 Lifesavers. Using picture above as a guide, position Lifesavers on 1 popcorn mixture to form eyes. Top Lifesavers with a little chocolate and position Smarties on top. Spread flat side of 1 reserved melt with a little chocolate. Position in the centre below eyes.
Cut 1 piece of licorice into 8 x 5mm triangles for noses. Cut remaining licorice pieces in half lengthways. Leaving 5mm at 1 end of 1 piece, cut lengthways into 3 even strips. Repeat with remaining licorice pieces. Spread 2 uncut ends with a little melted chocolate. Slide under chocolate melt to form whiskers. Spread 1 triangle with a little remaining chocolate. Position triangle on chocolate melt to form a nose.
Draw eyes on Smarties and mouth on melt. Repeat with remaining popcorn mixtures, melted chocolate, Lifesavers, Smarties, melts, licorice and icing. Set aside to set. Serve.