My Favorite Kind of Failure: Another Caramel Corn Catastrophe

If I were to move to France, study under Alain Ducasse for a year, then intern for Thomas Keller in California, getting my master chef certification the next year, I would still suck at making caramel corn. It is the bane of my existence. When it comes to caramel corn, I am cursed.

So why oh why oh why do I keep doing it? Isn’t this a psychological thing—the same sort of logic that sends the battered wife back into her husband’s arms? What makes me want to make caramel corn when I know it won’t come out?

I’ll tell you what. HOPE. A DREAM. A dream of fresh homemade caramel corn. It started well enough…


Sugar, water, boiling away. I used Gale Gand’s recipe from the Food Network site. I won’t link to it because it didn’t work, but I used it with the very best of intentions. (Which, incidentally, the road to hell is paved with…)

Then I added the homemade popcorn and toasted pecans. Stirred it around. Poured it out on my Silpat sheet:


I was buzzed with excitement. This would be it—the perfect recipe, the perfect caramel corn. Then I went to break it apart—it wouldn’t break. I flipped it over:


A giant blob of caramel and a lemon. THAT LEMON WASN’T THERE BEFORE I STARTED.

Luckily, I was able to break little pieces away and they tasted good. Maybe some day all the pieces will break away and they’ll all taste good. A man can dream, can’t he?

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