Toot Toot, It’s Choo Choo Ice-Cream!!
Do you like liquorice? It’s one of those things that you either love it or hate it! As a kid I could never understand how anybody liked it! Black and hard, chewy, too chewy and bitter – it reminded me of medicine! As a 9 year old, walks to the corner shop would result in my sister buying a choo choo bar and I would arm myself with musk sticks – and I could get 4 musk sticks for her 1 bar, which seemed much better value to me!
In my early teens, I first began to enjoy liquorice in the guise of chocolate bullets – but then anything robed in chocolate is an improvement! And then I graduated to Darrell Lea Liquorice – it was softer and sweet and tender.
As a herb, the liquorice plant is native to southern Europe and parts of Asia. Contrary to belief, it is not related to anise, star anise, or fennel which have similar flavour compounds. Glycyrrhizin, one of the active components in licorice root, is 50 times sweeter than sugar and gives licorice its characteristic taste. Pure licorice root is a herbal medicine that is known to be anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial. It is also a gentle laxative and good adaptogen tonic. Liquorice tea is good to drink to quell sugar cravings or a funny tummy.
As a confectionery, liquorice is made with extract from the root of the plant, sugar, molasses, flour and gum arabic as a binder. Some liquorice has anise oil to add flavour. Needless to say, it’s something that I don’t eat very much anymore! But my husband loves it and often has it in the cupboard – chocolate coated, of course!
I used to serve liquorice ice-cream at dinner parties because it was always unexpected AND so easy to do. I was reminded of this when I recently had a beautiful restaurant dinner and was served pumpkin ice-cream for dessert! What a treat!
This recipe is so easy and quick – to keep it wheat free I use spelt liquorice, which you can get at the health food store. You can also get gluten free liquorice in the supermarket. Serve this ice-cream on its own with some pizzelle wafers, or in the theme of chocolate bullets, serve it with some chocolate sauce! Stay tuned for another special recipe using this ice-cream soon!60g spelt liquorice – (70g if you really really love liquorice!) 50g rapadura sugar (I used Natvia) pinch salt 200g coconut milk (or other nut milk) 250g coconut cream 2 egg yolks 20g sambuca liqueur (optional) 1 egg white In the TM add the liquorice, sugar & salt and chop finely on SP 8 for 10 – 15 seconds, depending on how hard it is. Add the coconut cream, milk & egg yolks and cook on SP 3 at 90ºC for 6 minutes. Add the sambuca if using and whip on SP 8 for 10 seconds to ensure the mix is totally smooth. Pour into ice-block trays and freeze overnight. On the day of serving, add the liquorice blocks and the egg white to the TM and blend on SP 9 for 1 minute, using the spatula to assist, until smooth. Transfer ice-cream to a sealed container and chill for at least 1 hour before serving. The mix will freeze quite hard after 24 hours so you will need to put it into the fridge to soften about an hour before serving on another day. (If you happen to accidentally spill the sambuca and add maybe 50g, the ice-cream won’t freeze so hard as alcohol doesn’t freeze!)