Sweden is one of those Scandinavian countries where licorice has a very special place. Pure licorice powder is warming and herbal and it makes sense that in an area of the world where the temperatures are below freezing for months of the year that this would be a pivotal ingredient to enjoy throughout the seasons.
Licorice is definitively a divider. People either love it (this kid here! included) or hate it with a passion and will only go near ‘red’ licorice (which, spoiler alert isn’t actually licorice!). So of course, this dish which is best topped with raspberries in the summer or poached rhubarb in spring had to be made.
This recipe requires licorice powder, which is not an everyday ingredient you’d be likely to find in your supermarket if you don’t live in any Nordic country, but you will likely find this online quite easily and if you love licorice this will make you find ways to add it to recipes or even just put half a teaspoon in a cup and pour boiling water over for an easy tea.
These are best served in smaller portions and if you leave out the raspberries the flavor will be quite intense, so the addition of a fruit is kind of a must. One thing to note that pure licorice powder has to be eaten in small doses and cannot be eaten when pregnant so be aware when making for guests.
Swedish Licorice Panna Cotta
Adapted from ica.se
400 milliliters pouring cream
1 1/2 gelatin leaves/1 portion vegetarian gelatin
3 tablespoons superfine/caster sugar
2 teaspoons licorice powder
Fresh mint or lemon balm
Dash of confectioner’s/icing sugar
If you’re making the panna cotta with regular gelatin, soak the leaves in some water and set aside.
If you’re preparing with vegetarian gelatin you will likely be able to add the gelatin in the saucepan with the pouring cream, sugar and licorice powder.
Place on medium and allow to come to a rolling simmer while whisking to ensure the mixture is a smooth consistency.
Remove from the heat and add the gelatin leaves (if making this way) and whisk to combine.
Pour into serving dishes and refrigerate for three hours.
When serving, top with fresh raspberries, a sprig of mint and a sprinkle of confectioner’s sugar.