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Liquorice Pudding

by . Featured in NIGELLISSIMA
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Introduction

Liquorice is one of the signature tastes of Italy. As this is an ingredient that divides people viscerally, I've made it just for 2, or possibly 1 very greedy liquorice eater...

I use the tiny liquorice pellets that come, usually, from Calabria and are seen everywhere in Italy. Outside of Italy, you can find them in Italian delis and via the internet: for those who share my love for this almost vicious aniseed flavour, there is a whole world online for you.

I have expressed my passion for salted caramel elsewhere, but here I must declare my deep, almost deviant, love for salted liquorice. I don't want the two wholly mixed in here, but prefer to have some soft, sea salt flakes (the French fleur de sel is my choice here) to sprinkle on as I eat. I get a frisson just thinking of it.

Liquorice is one of the signature tastes of Italy. As this is an ingredient that divides people viscerally, I've made it just for 2, or possibly 1 very greedy liquorice eater...

I use the tiny liquorice pellets that come, usually, from Calabria and are seen everywhere in Italy. Outside of Italy, you can find them in Italian delis and via the internet: for those who share my love for this almost vicious aniseed flavour, there is a whole world online for you.

I have expressed my passion for salted caramel elsewhere, but here I must declare my deep, almost deviant, love for salted liquorice. I don't want the two wholly mixed in here, but prefer to have some soft, sea salt flakes (the French fleur de sel is my choice here) to sprinkle on as I eat. I get a frisson just thinking of it.

Liquorice Pudding
Photo by Petrina Tinslay

Ingredients

Serves: 2

Metric Cups
  • 60 millilitres water
  • 1 teaspoon pure italian liquorice pellets (such as Amarelli Rossano)
  • 2 tablespoons light brown muscovado sugar
  • 175 millilitres double cream
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • soft sea salt flakes (to serve)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon pure italian liquorice pellets (such as Amarelli Rossano)
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • ⅔ cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • soft sea salt flakes (to serve)

Method

  1. Put the water and liquorice pellets in your smallest pan and bring to the boil, stirring or whisking frequently to help the liquorice melt. Once it starts bubbling, turn off the heat and leave for 5 minutes, stirring or whisking every now and again.
  2. Turn the heat back on and whisk in the sugar, then the cream, and bring to a bubble. Remove from the heat.
  3. Spoon the cornflour into a little bowl, cup or ramekin and slake it with the milk: which is to say, whisk in the milk until you have a smooth paste.
  4. Pour this, whisking as you go, into the mixture in the saucepan. Still whisking, put the pan back on the heat and bring back to a bubble, whisking all the while, for 20-30 seconds, or until thickened.
  5. Divide between 2 heatproof glasses or cups and - unless you want to eat this hot - cover, touching the surface of the puddings, with clingfilm or baking parchment that you've wet with cold water then wrung out (this is to prevent a skin forming, a thing I cannot tolerate), and put them in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  6. Let the puddings come to room temperature before serving, and remove the clingfilm or baking parchment and smooth the tops with the back of a teaspoon. Put the soft sea salt on the table to sprinkle over as you eat, if wished. For those of us who love liquorice, this pudding is a sheer, spine-tingling joy.
  1. Put the water and liquorice pellets in your smallest pan and bring to the boil, stirring or whisking frequently to help the liquorice melt. Once it starts bubbling, turn off the heat and leave for 5 minutes, stirring or whisking every now and again.
  2. Turn the heat back on and whisk in the sugar, then the cream, and bring to a bubble. Remove from the heat.
  3. Spoon the cornstarch into a little bowl, cup or ramekin and slake it with the milk: which is to say, whisk in the milk until you have a smooth paste.
  4. Pour this, whisking as you go, into the mixture in the saucepan. Still whisking, put the pan back on the heat and bring back to a bubble, whisking all the while, for 20-30 seconds, or until thickened.
  5. Divide between 2 heatproof glasses or cups and - unless you want to eat this hot - cover, touching the surface of the puddings, with clingfilm or baking parchment that you've wet with cold water then wrung out (this is to prevent a skin forming, a thing I cannot tolerate), and put them in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  6. Let the puddings come to room temperature before serving, and remove the clingfilm or baking parchment and smooth the tops with the back of a teaspoon. Put the soft sea salt on the table to sprinkle over as you eat, if wished. For those of us who love liquorice, this pudding is a sheer, spine-tingling joy.

Additional Information

For stockists of Italian liquorice see the Nigellissima Ingredients Stockists list.

For stockists of Italian liquorice see the Nigellissima Ingredients Stockists list.

Tell us what you think

What 11 Others have said

  • Could you splash a little Ouzo in this??? Also what about gluten free licorice??? Has anyone tried?

    Posted by kitchen_vixen on 17th February 2016
  • This pudding is delicious, I added a bit more cream when I went to eat it because the licorice is so strong rather like raw coffee beans. I'm am sure this would also go nicely over some ice cream! Thank you Nigella!

    Posted by carlissima on 18th June 2015
  • I have just made this and...oh wow. I have been meaning to make this for so long and it didn't disappoint. I was a little skeptical during the process as I could still smell the bitterness of the liquorice pellets but once poured into glasses and topped with sea salt (which I think you really need to have to give it that salted caramel taste) it was incredible. I ate it warm but the other glass is chilling in the fridge so looking forward to trying that.

    Posted by CUDDIS on 1st May 2015
  • I wouldn't know where the find the liquorice pellets here in France. Can one use powder or else the black liquorice sweets instead? I use them for my liquorice ice cream and it is delicious! I don't actually like the sweets but in the ice cream they work really well!

    Posted by Francisca57 on 10th March 2013
  • I saw the episode in which this recipe was featured. I was immediately in envy of the beautiful black box in which Nigella kept her black liquorice. Anyways...I just made this pudding with my 12 year old daughter. What a deliciously decatant pudding. The soft sea salt flakes...in my opinion should not be overlooked. So lovely when the two mix in your mouth...yummy!!! Thank you Nigella for this receipe. <3

    Posted by aquarian on 26th September 2014
  • I would not have labeled myself a licorice lover, but this recipe intrigued me. I do love anise, so I thought about it, and decided to try it. I had to order the licorice online, and made it. FAB! It is very rich, complex, and comforting. Thank you, Nigella, for expanding my licorice horizons!

    Posted by lamr on 17th August 2014
  • I just made this pudding. A word of warning, I used a very small whisk, a rounded "bouncy" one, and thought I had melted all the liquorice nibs. BUT, after filling little pots, I started doing the washing up and found half the nibs stuck to the bottom! The mix tasted good though, albeit a little sweet! I doubled the quantity, ( I made it for four) I put it into cleaned mini kilner jars, which previously contained pate (Heston Blumenthal at Waitrose) perfect size for the puddings.

    Posted by Greengage on 23rd November 2013
  • Nigella's done it again. Unbelievably decadent, delicious, and unpredictable. If you love dark, intense black licorice like I do, you NEED to make this pudding immediately. Love the salt suggestion at the end. Hoping she comes up with more licorice recipes....!

    Posted by Dryas211 on 1st August 2013
  • I've made this twice, once with double cream and the other with evaporated milk. However I prepare it, I simply love it!

    Posted by riayala on 23rd April 2013
  • I hate liquorice, but I just made this with Werther's Originals instead, and it was flippin' delicious.

    Posted by sarahfm on 2nd November 2012
  • unbelievable. make it and see.

    Posted by yourfriendsfriend on 28th October 2012
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