Pierre Roelofs’ Popcorn Soup

Traditionally, we know soup to be served for lunch with crunchy bread, or piping hot for dinner on a cold winter’s night, but today our dessert king Pierre Roelofs flips this convention with his amazing dessert soup! This dish combines the sweet creaminess of dulce de leche with popcorn to create an unexpected culinary masterpiece!

This November, Pierre is hosting his popular ‘Dessert Evenings’, featuring his famous dessert degustation, in collaboration with local creative and weaver Maryanne Moodie! Bookings can be made here.

Pierre Roelofs

Popcorn soup by Pierre Roelofs. Illustration by Alice Oehr for The Design Files.

Pierre Roelofs
15th of November 2016

When you think of soup, popcorn probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Rest assured, this recipe is here to change your mind.

This is one of my favourite desserts to make, and especially serve at my Dessert Evenings. For the first two years I ran these evenings I made a promise to myself to serve three new recipes a week. After a year I had over 100 new recipes, it was a good excercise but I always felt a particular allegiance to one dessert in particular, and this is that one. I’d always bring back my Popcorn Soup for my ‘Best Of’ evenings, which was reserved for the dishes that packed the biggest punch during the year. I can’t get enough of this soup.

Pierre Roelofs
15th of November 2016


For the dulce de leche

Bring a large pot of water to the boil.

Remove the label from the tin of sweetened condensed milk and place in the pot. Cover with a lid and simmer for 4 hours, checking the water level regularly. Top up with water as required.

Remove the tin and leave to cool overnight before opening.

I usually boil plenty of tins at the same time to make the most of the time it takes to cook the condensed milk. It keeps for a long, long time.

I recommend 4 hours cooking time because I prefer a darker dulce de leche.

For the popcorn

Heat a large pot with a tablespoon of canola oil then drop in five popcorn kernels.

When the kernels pop add the rest of the popcorn kernels in an even layer. Cover with a lid and remove from heat for 30 seconds.

Return the pan to the heat. The popcorn should begin popping soon, all at once. Once the popping starts in earnest, gently shake the pan by moving it back and forth over the burner. Try to keep the lid slightly ajar to let the steam from the popcorn release (the popcorn will be drier and crisper).

Once the popping slows to several seconds between pops, take the pan from the heat, remove the lid, and dump the popcorn immediately into a wide bowl.

With this technique nearly all of the kernels pop and none will burn.

For the popcorn soup

Bring the milk, butter, sugar and salt to the boil. Add the popcorn then leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Blend in a jug blender then pass through a fine sieve. Serve hot!

For the popcorn

Mix ingredients together then blend in a food processor. Don’t blend too finely, it’s nice to have some texture.

To assemble

Preheat your serving bowls. Place a dollop of dulce de leche at the bottom of each bowl. Pour in the hot popcorn soup then cover with the popcorn topping. Serve immediately!

Pierre Roelofs in his kitchen. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

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