Liquorice panna cotta
Liquorice is often maligned, being associated with cheap godis (sweets/candy), but pure liquorice is a sophisticated ingredient. It has an elegant, almost herbal, flavour with notes of anise and fennel, two much-loved flavours in Sweden.
It is no wonder then that liquorice is so popular in Sweden, both in sweet and savoury dishes. Try for instance our recipe for marinerad rådjursfilé med lakritssås (marinated fillet of venison with liquorice sauce).
Elegant it might be, but this dessert is very easy to make and as it has to be prepared in advance there is no last-minute work. And it is not over-facing, so it is a nice way of finishing a meal. John Duxbury
• Don't be frightened of gelatine! It really is very easy to use in this recipe.
• Liquorice powder can be bought at good food markets, health food shops, Asian shops (where it is often sold as Jethimadh powder) and online.
• In the summer and autumn the panna cottas are nice topped with raspberries, but in the spring they go well with some slowly baked forced rhubarb and some homemade pepparkakor (ginger snaps).
|2½ tbsp||caster (superfine) sugar|
|2 tsp||liquorice powder|
|400 ml||(1⅔ cups)||whipping cream|
|icing sugar (powder sugar)|
|4||small sprigs of lemon balm or mint|
*Such as Costa (15 sheets in a 25 g (0.88 oz) packet) or Dr Oetker (6 sheets in a 10 g (0.33 oz) packet).
1. Add the sugar, liquorice powder and half the cream to a saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring all the time until all the liquorice dissolves. (The liquorice powder will form black globules initially, but they will eventually all dissolve.)
2. Add the rest of the cream and bring back to the bowl.
3. Soak the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes.
4. Pick the gelatine out of the bowl, squeeze out all the water and then add to the cream mixture. Stir to ensure that the gelatine is completely dissolved.
5. Pour into 4 serving dishes and leave to cool.
6. When cold, transfer to a fridge until set, which normally takes a couple of hours.
7. To serve, top each dish with 4 or 5 raspberries, lightly dust with icing sugar (powder sugar) and garnish with small sprigs of mint or lemon balm.
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