Two popcorn recipes: one savoury, one sweet

Parmesan Marjoram Popcorn

Earlier this week, in an attempt to nip-in-the-bud any school holiday boredom, I purchased a bag of popping corn for my children. At eight and four these little golden kernels of maize act as entertainment as well as a snack. They love standing around the stove when the popping begins; saucepans with glass lids go far to add to excitement.

I took this opportunity to have a play about with flavours. We popped a good quantity of corn and flavoured one half savoury (Parmesan & Marjoram) and the other half sweet (Honey & Cinnamon). Both varieties got the thumbs up.

And, by no means should popcorn be just for the kids; the savoury option would work brilliantly as a salty snack alongside a glass of chilled beer or wine. Experiment with herbs and spices, tasting as you go. It takes no time at all to 'pop' a few batches, which can be stored in jars or airtight containers for a few days.

Parmesan Marjoram Popcorn

Parmesan & Marjoram Popcorn

I had Parmesan in the fridge and Marjoram growing on my balcony, but you could easily swap Parmesan for a similar hard cheese and swap the Marjoram for another herb - Rosemary or Thyme would be perfect. The melted butter, cheese and herbs mix together and form a kind of pesto that coats the popcorn. The taste reminded me a little bit of cheesy Wotsits, but without the vivid orange colour. Warning: these are very moreish.

Serves 4

2 tbsp vegetable oil

6 tbsp popping corn

3 tbsp butter

4 tbsp finely grated parmesan cheese

a good handful of chopped marjoram

salt & pepper

Heat the oil in a large pan. Tip in the popping corn and cover with a lid. Allow the corn to pop over a medium heat, giving the pan a little shake now and again. Once the popping ceases remove the pan from the heat. Take care when removing the lid - there may still be a bit of popping activity going on. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small pan.

Tip the popcorn into a large bowl and add the melted butter, grated parmesan, chopped herbs and seasoning. Mix throughly, taste and add further seasoning, more herbs or cheese depending on taste.

Honey & Cinnamon Popcorn

Here is one for all those with a sweet tooth. Using honey does make this popcorn rather sticky, so have some wipes to hand for sticky little fingers. Absolutely delicious.

Serves 4

2 tbsp vegetable oil

6 tbsp popping corn

3 tbsp butter

3 tbsp clear honey

1 - 2 tsp of cinnamon

Pinch of sea salt flakes

Heat the oil in a large pan. Tip in the popping corn and cover with a lid. Allow the corn to pop over a medium heat, giving the pan a little shake now and again. Once the popping ceases remove the pan from the heat. Take care when removing the lid - there may still be a bit of popping activity going on. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small pan.

Tip the popcorn into a large bowl and add the melted butter, honey, cinnamon and salt. Mix throughly, taste and adjust with further cinnamon or salt depending on taste.

Honey Cinnamon Popcorn