Salted Caramel Popcorn and Ice Cream Parfait

, from Issue #75. November, 2017
Photography by Josh Griggs.
Salted Caramel Popcorn and Ice Cream Parfait

Kids and adults alike will all enjoy this popcorn and ice cream combo. A great make-ahead dessert that will happily keep in the freezer for 2 weeks. I used a walnut praline ice cream but most flavours will work.

Serves: 9–12


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ cup popping corn
¼ cup sesame seeds
¼ teaspoon each ground cinnamon, ginger and mixed spice
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
150 grams butter
¾ cup caster sugar
3 tablespoons golden syrup
To finish
500 grams ice cream, softened a little
200 grams chocolate (I used a caramel flavour)
40ml rice bran oil
freeze-dried mandarins, to garnish (optional)


Grease 2 x 20cm square cake tins.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the corn and put the lid on.

Cook until the corn stops popping, shaking the pan occasionally. Transfer to a large bowl, discarding all the unpopped corn kernels. Wipe out the saucepan.

Combine the sesame seeds, spices, baking soda and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

Put the butter, sugar and golden syrup in the same saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cook over a low heat for 4 minutes, stirring constantly until it turns a couple of shades darker to a golden caramel.

Remove from the heat and stir in the sesame seed mixture until well combined. It will foam up.

Tip in the popcorn and using a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula, keep stirring until it’s all well coated in the caramel.

Divide evenly between the tins and press down with the back of a spoon to make a firm, even layer in each tin. Set aside until cold.

Remove the popcorn sheets from the tins. Fully line one tin with a double layer of plastic wrap, leaving a long overhang down the sides of the tin. Place one popcorn sheet in the base of the tin. Spoon the ice cream over the top and spread to an even layer. Place the second popcorn sheet on top and press down. Pull the plastic wrap up and over to cover tightly. Freeze for several hours until frozen.

To assemble: Lift out the parfait using the plastic wrap as handles and place on a cutting board. Using a large, very sharp knife, cut into 9 or 12 pieces, depending on the size you want. Freeze again until ready to drizzle with chocolate.

Place the chocolate and oil in a small saucepan and melt over a low heat until smooth. Don’t overheat or it will become grainy. Leave at room temperature until thicker put pourable. Use a teaspoon to drizzle the chocolate over the parfait then garnish, if desired. Cover and keep in the freezer until ready to serve.