Flour based sugar confectionery containing licorice extract, made with natural ingredients
Glucose Syrup, Wheat Flour, Cane Sugar, Molasses, Treacle, Licorice Extract (3.0%), Humectant (420), Colour (150c, 153), Rice Bran Oil, Salt, Emulsifier (471), Aniseed Oil, Glazing Agent (903)
As plain licorice goes, this product is pretty good - small chunks mean you don't tend to overindulge. Smaller helpings ensure that there is no problem with the inevitable black dribbles that occur when you cram too much in your mouth at once. The adults in our family immediately started reminiscing about buying loose licorice straps at the local dairy (no fancy packaging to protect you from germs!) and comparing how black their tongues would go!
Miss Nine took charge of the review process. She began to scour the cupboard for jelly crystals so she could make her version of sherbet. Another blast from the past as the adults returned to their childhood yet again to enthuse about the virtues of sherbet dabs with licorice "straws". (Well, as one of them pointed out, the straws were edible and the sherbet came in its own designer paper bag, so it was recyclable as well.) Miss Nine assured them that her version was far more hygienic; think of those old-fashioned licorice straws sticking out of the packet!
Whatever the preference, everyone was fascinated as she mixed raspberry jelly crystals, citric acid, baking soda, and icing sugar. Like all experienced cooks, she did not measure her ingredients - just kept mixing and tasting till she had the right combination. Once she was ready, she gave each person a share of the sherbet in a small container and her brother followed with the bag of licorice so everyone could take a couple of pieces. What a success! Even my aunt, who had said we could never match the sherbet dabs of her youth, was impressed and admitted she had been wrong. In fact, she was the first to finish hers and ask for more licorice just to check it was still to her liking.
We liked the way the licorice pieces were in various shapes - flat, round, hollow, you name it, it was there! Before long the packet was empty, and we were already planning to get a new one as soon as we could get back to the shops. Once we had tried it on its own and with the sherbet, people kept coming up with other ideas for serving it. Miss Nine said she would like to make a Hallowe'en cake with lemon and licorice icing - the thin pieces would be ideal for a spiderweb pattern on top of the lemon icing, and she could cut a couple of spiders out of the wider pieces. I have some licorice and rosehip teabags and thought I might try slicing a couple of licorice pieces and including them in the next brew - they would hopefully become even softer and add a burst of flavour. And Mr 11, intrigued by his father's stories of comparing tongues after eating licorice straps, was keen to experiment on his own tongue to see if it would turn black too!
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