Last night I experimented on my family and poor guest. After my insightful internship at ‘delicious’ food magazine this summer, I was carted away with pantry filling samples of new, free and excitingly original products, sent ambitiously to the editorial team. In this treasure trove of goodies was a small pot of liquorice powder….yes you heard correctly! I like liquorice but what was I supposed to do with this? My first thoughts turned to ice cream (naturally, if you know me well).
However, this week I was watching Nigella strut her gastronomic stuff on TV and there it was…….liquorice pudding! Now,a heads up, these are not like Marmite in their ‘love it or hate it’ sense, but they certainly hold a similar gauntlet. After knocking up this creamy mixture in a matter of minutes, I chilled them in the fridge ready to devour after diner. However………however…
As I announced that ‘tonight you are my guinea pigs’ to my guests, I sampled a thimbleful of this deceiving mixture and declared that I was sorry but they were too horrendous to serve. But to the cries of my guests that they at least try them anyway, I served them up. And, after each smooth mouthful, they became better and better and better until our glasses were empty and we sat amazed at how delightful they were! I’m still surprised! So don’t blame me if you hate them but after a few mouthfuls, I hope you’ll see…. If not, stick to chocolate mousse.
This is the powder. Yes it looks like dirt, and just tipping it into this bowl set me off on a marathon worthy sneezing fit but if you love liquorice, this is like gold dust. I used 2 tsp of powder per 300ml of double cream, whereas Nigella used equivalent quantities of liquorice pellets. I think it could do with slightly less powder as they were fairly strong, however, it still works so do as you like.
- 120ml water
- 1 ½ – 2 tsp liquorice powder OR 2 tsp liquorice pellets
- 4 tbsp light muscovado sugar (it is not a sweet dessert so add more if you like)
- 350ml double cream (I used 300ml and it was fine)
- 4 tsp cornflour
- 2 tbsp milk
- Combine the liquorice and water in a saucepan and heat until dissolved. Bring to the simmer.
- Whisk in the sugar and cream and bring back to the simmer and then remove from the heat.
- Mix the cornflour and milk in a little bowl to a smooth paste.
- Place the pan on a low heat and whisking all the time, pour in the cornflour paste and whisk until thickened for a minute or so.
- Divide it between 4 glasses or serving ramekins. They can be eaten warm which I didn’t try but maybe this is nicer!?
- If not, cover with cling film or baking paper that has been soaked in water and rung out, to prevent a skin forming on the top and place in the fridge for about 2 hours.
- Eat at room temperature, sprinkled with some sea salt if you like!
Nigella says, I quote- ‘For those of us who love liquorice, this pudding is sheer, spine-tingling joy’! Hmmmm…..persevere!