Pop the popcorn. I like to use a hot-air popper but you can pop it any way you like.
To make the caramel: Place the sugar, corn syrup, and water in a 2-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat and cook until light golden brown. We use a large pan so that there will be room to add the popcorn. Use a wooden spoon to stir the popcorn into the caramel until it is evenly coated. Pour the caramelized popcorn onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and allow it to cool. When cool, use your hands to break up any clumps.
Place the cool popcorn in a large bowl. Use a ladle to drizzle the chocolate over the popcorn, stirring with a wooden spoon as you go. Keep adding chocolate until the popcorn is evenly coated. Pour the chocolate-coated popcorn onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and allow it to cool. When it is cool, place it in decorative bags to give as gifts.
Tip: You can also use milk chocolate and/or white chocolate to coat the popcorn. The process is always the same.
Be careful when you work with the caramel. It is very hot and can burn! As always, when working with caramel, have a bowl of ice-cold water next to you in case you get caramel on your hands.
Recipe courtesy of Jacques Torres