My favorite sweet is licorice; sweet, salty or both. Unfortunately its hard to find my favorites outside Scandinavia. This has made me dream of making my own licorice treats.
This winter I finally got my hands on some licorice powder. I was so totally happy that I wanted to tell the whole world about my treasure. One person I told was a sale’s women in my favorite candy shop in Malmö (Sweden). She was impressed (or rather amused) and offered me a taste of some of their exclusive chocolate bars. One of them was a dark chocolate with a touch of licorice. I was sold…
for the Chocolate Cake
1 cup (250 ml) sucanat
4-6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 pinch of salt (only if you’re using unsalted butter)
2/3 cup (150 ml) pastry flour
4 oz (a little more than 100g) butter, melted
Whisk eggs and sucanat in a bowl. In a separate bowl sift flour together with cocoa powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to the eggs and stir until combined. Pour in the butter and stir until smooth.
Pour the mixture into a greased 9” pie form. Bake the cake in the oven at 350 F (150°C) for about 15-20 minutes. The cake should be sticky inside. Let the cake cool off.
Ganache with Licorice
2/3 cup (150 ml) cream
½ cup (100 ml) sucanat (use no sugar if chocolate is sweetened)
3.5 oz dark chopped chocolate (I used Lindt Excellence 85% Cocoa)
1 teaspoon licorice powder*
two table spoons butter
Bring the cream and the sucanat to a boil. Lower the heat and add the chocolate and the licorice powder. When chocolate is melted take the pan aside and add the butter. Stir until smooth.
Spread the ganache over the cooled chocolate cake and let it cool for at least an hour.
At last I have to say that I got very inspired by the lovely recipes in the new Swedish cook book, Lakrits, Mint & Choklad (Licorice, Mint & Chocolate) by Elisabeth Johansson.
*licorice powder is a licorice flavoring in powder form. Unfortunate I haven’t found this product in the USA. However it may be possible to buy it online from Panduro Hobby (folow this link if you are in the UK)
You can also find licorice flavoring at Essence Fabriken in Stockholm. They take orders by phone or fax. Hopefully they take orders from other countries than Sweden.
I while ago I had a Pistachio cake from a neighborhood bakery. It was very buttery and creamy. The butter cream was flavored with matcha (Japanese green tea). I thought the pistachio and the green tea was a great combination so I decided to do my own version that ended up totally different…
butter cream with matcha
100 ml (½ cup) sucanat
20 ml (0.125 cup) water
100 g (a little less than 1 stick) butter
about 1 tablespoon matcha (green tea powder)
Heat up the water with the sucanat. Let it cook, stirring constantly, until you can form soft balls. In the mean time beat the eggs in an electric mixer. When the sucanat mixture is done, add it very slowly to the eggs to avoid scrambled eggs in the butter cream. When the mixture is cooler carefully add the softened butter. Use low speed and add the butter carefully. It’s very easy to make the mixture coagulate. If that happens take new butter and add the coagulated mixture carefully into the new mixed butter. At last you add the matcha carefully. Take more matcha for a stronger tea taste.
50 ml (0.60 cup) almonds
50 ml (0.75 cup) pistachios
20 ml (½ cup) flour
300 ml (1.2 cup) sucanat
50 g (0.11 lbs) butter
Mill the almonds and pistachios and blend with the flour and the sucanat. Beat the eggs and add the nut mixture. At last add the melted butter. Spread the nut mixture into two round cakes, about 20 cm (8 inches) diameter and 2 mm (1/8”) thick, on buttered baking paper. Bake in the oven 200°C (392 F) for 8-10 minutes until they are darker or more golden brown if you use regular white sugar.
(I had only salty pistachio at home. It worked out fine as a nice contrast to the sweeter almonds.)
80 g (0.18 lbs) bittersweet dark chocolate
100 ml (0.4 cup) cream
Melt the chocolate with the cream. I added some sucanat to make it a little sweeter.
Spread the butter cream over one pistachio cake. Place the other cake layer above the butter cream. Lastly spread the chocolate on top of everything. Let it cool before serving.
I took the cake with me on a barbeque and everybody thought it was really delicious. The cake looked a little bit funny as I had some problems – it was a hot summer day. I had to put the cake in the freezer so it didn’t melt totally. Even if I was satisfied I will try to improve the recipe next time. I will do that when the autumn comes.