Licorice Root Parfait with Sweet Lime Sauce - ?

Who would ever think of combining the flavors of licorice and lime? It turns out that it comes from "down under" and the Aussies do things we don’t even imagine. This particular recipe apparently gets rave reviews except from folks who simply don’t like licorice in any form. I was looking for unique recipes to use the pound of licorice root that I bought a few months ago at www.nuts.com and sure enough, there are indeed some interesting recipes. But the website with the parfait recipe was a kind of blog for people who have purchased a particular general purpose kitchen processing machine known as the Thermomix®, which costs about $1900 in USA currency. Ignore that presumed requirement.

Licorice Root Parfait

The only real need for a machine like the Thermomix® is in grinding licorice root down to a powder. Well, we have grain processing machines here in the USA that make flour out of hard wheat so I think I don’t need a Thermomix®. Of course, I do not yet own a grain processing machine, so I will have to visit the Pleasant Hill Grains website and find one. For that matter, if I start with ground licorice root or concentrated licorice syrup, all available via the Internet, then I don't need to grind anything. All the rest of the processing steps where the recipe calls for different attachments on the Thermomix® can be done just fine with handy kitchen tools like a whisk, and a bit of cooking in a pan on the stovetop.

Well, I have to do a bit more research on grinding licorice root or obtaining concentrated licorice syrup before I will be ready to make this rather unique parfait. I promise to report back with results, and the truth is I’m anxious to try it, for I love both licorice and lime flavors.

I have first provided the recipe as I found it on the Internet (lightly edited) just for you to see it. Then I provide the recipe in a form usable for people who don't happen to own a Thermomix® machine or like to deal in metric units. So don't let the first version of the recipe put you off.

Ingredients for the Parfait: (Makes 6 to 8 servings)

300 ml of heavy cream

15-20 g of natural licorice root – Use licorice root slivers. If not available, use the very thinnest root (about half the diameter of a pencil) and snap/break these into short pieces of about 2 cm in length). Alternatively, use 30-40 g. sweetened licorice root powder available commercially or a concentrated licorice syrup.

2 eggs

1 egg yolk

10 g of corn syrup

60 g. of sugar

2 Tbsp. of Pernod® (anise liqueur)

Ingredients for the Sweet Lime Sauce:

200 g of sugar

200 g of water

3 limes, juiced and zested

Parfait Directions:

Before starting, measure your cream. Use a measuring cup for this, or weigh it into the Thermomix® ahead of time, and reserve. Make sure your Thermomix® bowl is clean and dry before beginning with the licorice root.

If using powdered licorice from a jar, skip this step and proceed to the next. If grinding your own, start with licorice root slivers. Grind at speed 8 for 1 min. Cover the lid with a tea towel, or dust will escape. After grinding wait a full minute, and tap the sides and back (exterior) of the Thermomix® bowl gently with a wooden spoon or spatula to settle the dust and powder down inside.

Add sugar to the powdered licorice root and grind for 30 seconds, speed 8.

Insert the butterfly whisk, add the eggs (2 eggs plus one yolk) and beat for 4 minutes at 50ºC, speed 3.

Add the corn syrup and the Pernod®.

Beat with the butterfly whisk for 3 minutes 80ºC, speed 3.

Allow the mixture to cool to 50ºC, leaving the butterfly whisk in place. (takes about 3 minutes)

Set the Thermomix® time to 1 minute, speed 2 and slowly add cream so it is all included and blended at the end of one minute.

Pour the parfait mixture into silicone cupcake or jelly molds for freezing individual portions. Alternatively, freeze the mixture into a long brick shape and slice or cube once frozen for ease of serving.

Sweet Lime Sauce Directions:

Add sugar and water to a bowl and cook for 9 minutes, Varoma temp., speed 2.

Add the juice of the three limes, plus zest. Allow the sauce to cool and then refrigerate it. (this makes a thin sauce)

To serve the Parfait:

Un-mold individual parfait portions by warming the bottoms of the molds with warm water to loosen. Serve immediately, drizzled with lime sauce, lime zest and trimmed lime sections to suite your taste.

Americanized Recipe Version:

The original recipe for this stunning dessert was created by Luke Mangan, an Australian chef. It looked so good and sounded so good I decided to make it. I found variations of the recipe at different websites, some that used licorice root, which I have, and some that use a concentrated licorice syrup. Mangan didn’t specify what kind of licorice he uses other than the fact that it has to be some type of black licorice candy based on his directions for using it.

In one other recipe licorice root was ground to a fine powder using a machine called a Thermomix®. But I found a recipe for extracting the licorice from the root, so as not to have to grind it, as follows:

Fill a glass or enamel container with pieces of fresh or dried licorice root . Cover the roots with water and simmer for three to four hours. Strain and discard the roots. Add 2 tablespoons honey for each cup of syrup. (The honey acts as a preservative.) Pour the syrup into a sterilized bottle with a tight lid. Note: As an aside, this preparation can actually be used as a very effective and soothing cough syrup.

I later looked online for a source of concentrated licorice syrup to make the entire process easier. The KoldKiss® company in Baltimore, MD makes all the syrups for snowcones and they also sell the concentrates. Thus, I just bought a one liter bottle of concentrated licorice syrup to use instead of processing licorice roots. It cost a total of $22 and that included shipping.

My plan is to read the instructions KoldKiss® provides for using the concentrated licorice syrup, so that will determine my final recommended amount of concentrate for the licorice parfait recipe.

Ingredients:

Lime syrup:

1 1/4 cups of sugar

1 1/8 cups of water

juice and rind of 1 lime

lime segments from one lime, pith and pips and skin removed

Licorice parfait:

1 1/8 cups of heavy cream

1 3/4 ounces of licorice candy or 3/4 ounce of ground licorice root or ? tsp. of concentrated licorice syrup or ? ounces of homemade licorice syrup

2 extra large eggs

1 egg yolk

2 teaspoons of glucose or corn syrup

1/4 cup of sugar

2 tablespoons of Pernod® liquor

Directions:

For the lime syrup, bring the sugar and water to a boil, stirring to ensure the sugar is dissolved. Remove the syrup from the heat and add the lime juice and the rind to taste. Stir well and refrigerate, covered.

For the licorice parfait, combine the cream and licorice in a small saucepan and heat gently for a few minutes, without boiling.

If you used soft licorice candy, heat the mixture until the licorice is very soft. Then blend the mixture in a food processor until it is well combined and pour it through a fine sieve to strain out the tiny pieces of licorice.

If you used ground licorice or licorice syrup concentrate or licorice syrup you made from licorice roots there is no need to process the mixture in a food processor.

Set the mixture aside to cool.

In a stainless steel bowl over a large saucepan of gently simmering water, make a sabayon by whisking together the eggs, yolk, glucose or corn syrup, sugar and Pernod® until the mixture turns pale and fluffy. Remove the sabayon from the heat and continue whisking until it cools a little. Fold half of the sabayon into the cream and licorice mixture. Once combined, fold in the remaining sabayon until well combined. Pour the parfait mixture into individual molds or into a log-shaped container and put the product into a deep freeze, covered with plastic wrap.

To serve, lower the frozen molds or the larger frozen container into hot water for a few seconds just before turning out the parfait onto individual bowls or dessert saucers. If you used a single container instead of molds then slice individual portions and put them on dessert saucers.

You can either pour the lime syrup on the parfait or serve it on the table in a small pitcher.

Garnish the parfait with the lime segments.

Serve.