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Liquorice Puddings

Liquorice is something I enjoy but had never really considered as an ingredient in cookery. However, inspired by a recent TV program where Nigella Lawson was waxing lyrical about the possibilities by demonstrating a liquorice and blackcurrant cake, we ordered some powdered licorice (yes, different spelling – I’m ensuring this post is search engine friendly!). I couldn’t track down the recipe and didn’t have time to rewatch the episode and trascribe it but I found a liquorice pudding recipe on her website which served very well as a testbed.

Her recipe actually calls for liquorice nibs but I whisked the powder in the water instead and followed from there. Essentially it is a flavoured, cornflour-based custard but it was very nice although, with all that cream, not quite in the health food category. I only used a teaspoon of the powder and think I could probably boost that up a bit; I’m also tempted to include a few blackcurrants or some blackcurrant jelly next time I try it as I can imagine the combination being delightful.

The other trick with this recipe is that, despite it being a dessert, it is served up with salt. One of my discoveries in recent years is the delight of chocolate and salt and this fits in the same vein. I wonder what other sweet things would benefit from a sprinkle of sodium chloride to intensify the taste? Again, an idea to test out although in carefully measured volumes!

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