Nigella’s Love Letter to Ludo: Licorice Pudding

A delicious dish for someone special!
skill level
Contributed by :
I adore liquorice, though realize it's not for everyone. Luckily, Chef Ludo is a fellow liquorice-lover, and so I dedicate this recipe to his gorgeous self for Valentine's. One serving, two spoons does it for me! And if you're wondering about the salt (obviously French fleur de sel) in the background, I must admit to a deep, almost deviant desire for salted liquorice; it is there to sprinkle on as we eat. I get a frisson just thinking about it!
  • 1⁄4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon pure Italian licorice pellets
  • such as Amarelli Rossano
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2⁄3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • soft sea salt flakes
  • to serve
step-by-step directions We've Made Cooking As Easy As 1-2-3! printer friendly version 
  • 1
    1⁄4 cup water
    1 teaspoon pure Italian licorice pellets (such as Amarelli Rossano)
    Put the water and licorice pellets in your smallest pan and bring to a boil, stirring or whisking frequently to help the liquorice melt.
  • 2
    Once it starts bubbling, turn off the heat and leave for 5 minutes, stirring or whisking every now and again. 
  • 3
    2 tablespoons light brown sugar
    2⁄3 cup heavy cream
    Turn the heat back on and whisk in the sugar, then the cream, and bring to a bubble.
  • 4
    Remove from the heat.
  • 5
    2 teaspoons cornstarch
    1 tablespoon milk
    Spoon the cornstarch into a little bowl, cup, or ramekin and whisk in the milk until you have a smooth paste.
  • 6
    Pour this, whisking as you go, into the mixture in the saucepan. Still whisking, put the pan back on the heat and bring back to a bubble, whisking all the while, for 20–30 seconds, or until thickened.
  • 7
    Divide between 2 heatproof glasses or cups and—unless you want to eat this hot—cover, touching the surface of the puddings, with plastic wrap or parchment paper that you’ve wet with cold water then wrung out (this is to prevent a skin forming, a thing I cannot tolerate), and put them in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • 8
    soft sea salt flakes (to serve)
    Let the puddings come to room temperature before serving, and remove the plastic wrap or parchment paper and smooth the tops with the back of a teaspoon. Put the soft sea salt on the table to sprinkle over as you eat, if wished. For those of us who love licorice, this pudding is a sheer, spine-tingling joy.