Movie time! Fructose-free Choc-Toffee Popcorn Clusters

I haven’t gone to the cinema much this year. I’m NOT going to count the time I took my toddler and newborn baby to see an excruciating Sunday morning Thomas the Tank Engine special. I’d thought it would be a movie-length special, but it turned out to be an hour and a half of ten minute back-to-back episodes, complete with opening songs and credits. It was like a toddler Netflix binge.

So, I was very excited when friends organised a cinema outing last night to see Gone Girl. To the LATE session no less! I was worried I’d fall asleep. I didn’t. I’m not a huge fan of cinema food though, especially the prices. I decided to be a dork and take my own movie-time treats from home.

Enter, fructose-free choc-toffee popcorn clusters! I had all the ingredients in the pantry. Making the toffee may seem tricky, but only requires a little extra organisation and attention. These clusters can be pimped any way you like – macadamias, peanuts, coconut flakes, chocolate chips…

Choc-Toffee Popcorn Clusters

  • Servings: 20 - 25
  • Difficulty: Not as tricky as it might seem!
  • Print

      • 1/4 cup plain popcorn kernels (will make about 4 cups of popcorn)
      • 1/2 cup almonds, roughly chopped
      • 2 tbsp cacao nibs
      • Large pinch salt
      • 1/2 cup rice malt syrup
      • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
      • 20g 85% dark chocolate (about 2 squares)

1. Place the popcorn in a brown paper bag, and scrunch down the top to close. Microwave for two minutes, or until the popping slows. Realise how easy it is to make microwave popcorn and never buy it prepackaged again. 😉 Note: If making microwave popcorn to eat on its own, you can add a knob of butter and a pinch of salt to the paper bag before cooking.

2. Line a large baking dish with baking paper, and combine the popcorn, almonds and cacao nibs together. Sprinkle with salt. Line a separate baking tray with baking paper, and have two metal spoons ready. It’s important to have all this done before making the toffee, as you will need to work quickly once the toffee is at the right temperature.

3. Place the rice malt syrup and butter in a saucepan over medium heat, until melted. Increase the heat slightly, and using a candy thermometer, stir constantly until the temperature reaches 130 degrees celsius, about 5 – 8 minutes. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, here is a handy guide on how to make soft-crack toffee without it, using cold water.

4. Pour the toffee evenly over the popcorn mixture, and quickly use the two spoons to combine the mixture well. Using the spoons, scoop clusters of the mixture and place them on the separate baking tray. As the toffee cools, you may be able to use your hands to roll and mold the clusters together.

5. Melt the dark chocolate. Using a teaspoon, drizzle the melted chocolate over the top of the clusters. Gently turn them over and drizzle more over the other side. Place the tray in the fridge to set. Store in a container in the fridge.

6. Sneak them into the cinema in a zip-lock bag or container. 😀


  1. Yukari says:

    I saw a photo looking so yummy and I couldn’t stop visiting your site! I’ll make this on my next movie day 😉
    From Tokyo, Japan

  2. Slice of Rei says:

    Made this on Saturday before my husband and I went to the movies!!! It was so goooddddddd! Thanks for posting this recipe!

    • Erin says:

      I did like it! I’d read the book beforehand, but thought the movie was much more intense… haha, yes we should sneak some in! Surely no one will be at *that* movie eating a choc-top!?

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