Pretzel and Popcorn Caramel Clusters

, from Issue #57. September, 2015
Photography by Manja Wachsmuth.
Pretzel and Popcorn Caramel Clusters

The ultimate treat – sticky, spicy and oh, so moreish!


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
¼ cup popping corn
1 teaspoon each curry powder and ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon each ground allspice, mace, cloves, ginger 
pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
150 grams butter, diced
¾ cup caster sugar
3 tablespoons golden syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups pretzel shapes, broken roughly
To finish
150 grams dark chocolate, melted


Line a large flat baking tray with baking paper.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the corn and put the lid on. Cook until the corn stops popping, shaking the pan occasionally to prevent it catching on the base. Tip into a large bowl, discarding any un-popped corn. Wipe out the saucepan with kitchen towels. Combine all the spices, baking soda and salt in a small bowl and set aside. 

Put the butter, sugar and golden syrup in the saucepan over a medium heat, stirring until the sugar is melted. Cook over a low heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly until a good golden colour. Remove from the heat and stir in the spice mixture and vanilla until well combined. The mixture will bubble up a little. 

Tip in the popcorn and pretzels and use a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula to stir until it’s all well coated in the caramel. Tip onto the tray and spread out to cool.

To finish: Put the melted chocolate in a small plastic bag and tie the top. Snip off a small corner and drizzle the chocolate over the top of the clusters. When set, break into pieces. Store in an airtight container. Makes about 8 cups.

Pantry note: Pretzels can be found in the loose bins at supermarkets.