Yes, obviously you buy it in sweet shops in many forms, but liquorice is a surprisingly versatile cooking ingredient which is back at the top of every food fashionista’s must-have list.
Of course, if you’re Scandanavian, you’re almost guaranteed to drizzle liquorice syrup on your ice cream and use liquorice powder as a base for meat or fish rubs and marinades.
Liquorice can be bought as a woody root, a finely ground powder, a flavouring essence, sweet syrup, or soft sticks you find in sweet shops. It features strongly in Chinese five spice and is fantastic with game, fish, or as a flavour for panna cotta, crème brûlee, and ice cream.
To infuse woody liquorice root in hot syrups, sauces and custards, simply add a stick to the hot liquid and set aside. The longer you leave it, the stronger the flavour will be.
Powdered liquorice, or liquorice compound, can be added straight to recipes, whether that’s a pinch mixed into a meat rub, stirred into cake batter or added to brownies.
Or take any coffee-based dessert such as mousse or parfait and replace the coffee with liquorice powder.
For a different take on roast pork, mix half quantities of ground liquorice powder and salt and rub over the skin of a loin of pork. Score and roast at 200C/Gas 6 for 30 minutes per 450g in weight, plus another 15 minutes or until cooked through. Finish the crackling under the grill to crisp it up.