Saturday, February 20, 2016

Nigella's Liquorice and Blackcurrant Chocolate Cake


I am an admirer of Nigella Lawson's books and cooking shows, and having met her once at a book signing, I think she is a lovely and gracious person as well.  When she was in Melbourne again recently for a live chat, there was no question that I was going to be there:



Luckily, because I already had her autograph, I did not have to endure the book signing lines, which were absolute bedlam.  People were lined up outside the door of the Town Hall and the line was snaking down the street.

Nigella's latest book is called Simply Nigella.  Tim gave it to me for my birthday last year.  While we were waiting for Nigella to appear at Nigella in Conversation, I was intrigued by a gorgeous looking chocolate cake that came onto the screen, which I thought was topped with blueberries.  I subsequently discovered that it was actually a Liquorice and Blackcurrant Chocolate Cake, and the berries on top were blackcurrants.  Apparently, the unusual flavour combination is meant to imitate sweets that Nigella enjoyed growing up. 

Regular readers will know that  I have an affinity for cakes that are slightly off the beaten track, so I had to make this cake.  Getting liquorice powder was not easy, and I ended up having to buy it from eBay, and it was not cheap ($7 for the sachet).



The base cake is a delightful chocolate sponge-style cake, lightly flavoured with liquorice.  Two layers are sandwiched together with blackcurrant jam (which I was surprised to find in the Woolworths Select range for a song), and topped with a fudgy chocolate and liquorice flavoured icing.

Here's my cake, all cut up at work: 



This cake is so moist and delicious.  The blackcurrant adds a tart zing to the cake.  The liquorice flavour was really only barely there - it just leaves a slight heat on your palate, and is not really noticeable.  That is a bonus for liquorice haters, but  does make me wonder whether it was worth buying the liquorice powder!

I love liquorice, so now that I have the liquorice powder, I am going to tackle Linda Lomelino's  Chocolate Liquorice Cake.

14 comments:

Johanna GGG said...

wow that looks really interesting - I remember seeing a liquorice cake on bite sized thoughts too - I would have loved to see nigella talk but I am not even organised enough to have known she was in melbourne til afterwards.

just thinking wouldn't it be great to have a local bloggers caddy where when we all wanted to try something like this we could share the liquaorice powder or odd ingredient - so often I end up with a lot of an ingredient just to use a little!

Cakelaw said...

Johanna, that is a great idea. Perhaps we can band together and set up a website listing unusual or pricey ingredients that we are happy to share among members of the group. Definitely worth considering.

Cakelaw said...

Alternatively, we could set up a forum where people could ask does someone have (eg licorice powder) that they would be willing to provide some of for a baking or cooking project - then forum members could contact them direct without advertising what they have to everyone.

Cher Rockwell said...

I am trying to wrap my head around the idea of licorice powder - but I am with you, it is the odd recipes that intrigue me the most :-)
It's always nice when a public figure is enjoyable in person. When we went to see David L in NYC last year, I was truly surprised at how gracious he was in person.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I like the fact that the liquorice flavour is relatively light here. The texture looks so good too.

Kari said...

I'm really interested to learn of licquorice powder. I've made liquorice cake but used liquorice pieces boiled down and it was a bit of a process. This sounds delicious.

Andrea_TheKitchenLioness said...

Gaye, what a lovely flavor combination - I know licorice powder, I have seen in stores and at some food fairs that I attended. I was always wondering what I could use it for - I saw some Macaroons with it the other day - another great idea. But for now I am loving this moist and delicious looking treat of a cake!
Great post!

Liz Berg said...

What a fabulous cake! I have a feeling Bill would taste even a molecule of licorice flavoring, but I'm sure it's delicious even without it. Nigella has such amazing recipes!

The Caked Crusader said...

Looks lovely - I have always struggled with licorice but, given how I've thawed towards other dislikes such as lemon and mushrooms, maybe I should revisit!

2paw said...

Oh, that looks so wickedly dark and delicious. We do struggle to find unusual ingredients here. I am chuffed to know Nigella is a kind and nice person, I do so want her to be!!

TeaLady said...

What an incredible combination of flavors. And it looks absolutely delicious.

Anonymous said...

This is another place you can buy licorice powder.
http://www.herbies.com.au/shop/herbs-and-spices/spices/licorice-root-ground-20g/

Janette Bridger said...

If you live in Adelaide South Australia,Jagger Fine Foods, stall 38 in the Adelaide Central Market also sells it for $3.95 (20g).

Unknown said...

Hi all I have been trying to find the actual recipe and alas no luck does anyone have it 😀