I love a good popcorn hack. I have many. Sweet popcorn, savoury popcorn, popcorn grits — I like it all! I even liked popcorn salad, the hyper-regional Midwest delicacy the internet was determined to hate. (I actually loved it, and so did Joel, and everyone owes Molly Yeh an apology.) But I have finally encountered a popcorn hack I do not like, and — as you could probably guess — it comes from TikTok.
Before we get into what the hack “is,” I’d like to take a moment to beg TikTokers to please, for the sake of food and my sanity, include some fucking measurements in your little videos. Maybe even include some instructions, or guidance — anything that would help your audience actually make your food. (I know. I know they are not listening to me, a 35-year-old lady who writes for Lifehacker, but I still had to speak my piece.)
Anyway. The original TikTok video shows a set of hands making chocolate popcorn. They add some oil, popcorn kernels, and half a bar of chopped baking chocolate to a pot, stir it until the chocolate melts and a couple of kernels pop, and then they put the lid on to let the corn finish popping. The chocolate coats the popped corn, making chocolate popcorn.
Joel and I tried it, and it was a disaster. Burnt popcorn everywhere, smoke everywhere — we hated it. I then tried it again later, by myself, when I realised we put the lid on a little too early the first time. (We had closed it up once the chocolate melted, but before any kernels had started popping. This ended up making a small difference in the outcome.)
Even with that adjustment, though, things did not go well. I’ll let you watch the video to see the disappointing final product with your own eyes, but be warned: It’s not pretty. (Joel is pretty, and my hair looks good in the first half of the video, but the popcorn is not aesthetically pleasing.)
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