Liquorice Pudding

The making of this has been a long time coming.
I was lured ever since Nigella made it, slinkily, to the backdrop of a Nina Simone remix (which I was also lured by) on Nigellissima.
And I finally splashed out on the beautiful little tin of liquorice pellets (which I was able to get in a shop called Studio One in Edinburgh) you need for this.
Making the pudding has also inadvertently become all about childhood.
I was taken back to the days of primary school, when, as homework, we were given little old tobacco tins full of words which we had to make sentences with (I suspect this wouldn't be allowed now, neither, I'm sure would the chocolate cigarettes you could buy from the sweetie shop down the road).
But the pudding itself (link to recipe is below) also reminded me of growing up. There was a Proustian moment with the first spoonful - nothing to do with liquorice but more to do with a hit of butterscotch Angel Delight, which I loved when I was little and would make with one of those old-fashioned whisks with the little crank on the side (I'm also pretty sure I ate the whole bowl myself).
The intense butterscotch flavour (which I think comes from the muscovado sugar used) mingled with that of salted caramel that has become so popular now, and it immediately put aside any skeptical worries I had when I was in the process of making the pudding (I had foolishly tried one of the liquorice pellets 'raw' before and the intense bitterness lingered and also seemed to waft up from the pan before I poured the mix into waiting dishes).
It's delicious both just-made and warm, and more moussily, firmly set after chilling. And I think you really need sea salt to go with it, sprinkled on as you eat, to evoke that salted caramel flavour.
The bitterness was still there in the end result but it didn't overwhelm. Instead it just gave the pudding another, deeper dimension: a more, appropriately enough, grown-up dimension -  but one that can still make you feel like a child.



Popular Posts