Saturday, 1 March 2008

A cheesecake for the minority: Licorice!

Although I'm ill as in really ill right now and almost can't taste a thing, here's a treat I made a month ago. So I TOO could remember what good food tastes like:)

, licorice.

There's just too little variety in Estonia. Whenever I go to Finland, I know exactly what I'm going to buy. Always the same licorice candy mix from the ship's Tax Free. Then definitely a package of licorice chewing gum. And if I'm lucky - some licorice ice cream, a tube of licorice sauce to bring home or even a licorice flavoured Tupla chocolate.

Nevertheless I've come upon very few recipes using licorice (candies) as an ingredient. I made a licorice cheesecake with gelatin for a friend mad about the candy two years ago, but at last I made my first baked licorice cheesecake that had been developing itself in my head for too long a time.

I didn't tell my parents of the origin of the cake before they had eaten their first bites. The funny thing...they both liked it. Although neither of them belongs to the licorice-loving minority...very very weird indeed. But positively surprising.

Licorice cheesecake with chocolate and lingonberry jam

180 g chocolate cookies
50 g melted butter
100 g licorice candies (regular)
1 dl heavy cream
500 g cream cheese
3 eggs
1/2 dl sugar
1 1/2 dl lingonberry jam
50 g grated dark chocolate
  1. Crush the cookies into a fine powder and add the butter to make the crust. Grease a springform pan (mine was 27 cm), press the crust onto the bottom and up the sides. Bake at 175C for 10 minutes.
  2. Chop the licorice candies into little pieces and combine with the heavy cream in a saucepan. Boil on low until the cream is quite dark (the candies don't have to be dissolved completely).
  3. Pour the mixture into a food processor and process until quite smooth.
  4. Add cream cheese, eggs, vanilla and sugar. Process until smooth and incorporated well.
  5. Warm up the jam (on the stove/in a microwave) and spread on the pre-cooked crust.
  6. Pour the filling over the jam and sprinkle the grated chocolate on top.
  7. Bake for about 40 minutes more.

The overall impression of the cake is quite chocolate-y (I already hear you shouting 'haha chocolate again - and you said you weren't a chocoholic!'). The flavours of chocolate and licorice suit each other very well and a plus side of the melting-in-your-mouth chocolate coating is also that it covers the grey-ish cheesecake (you see? there's a reason for the chocolate!).

The licorice taste isn't overpowering or anything in the final result, but moderatlely present - that explains why my parents didn't spit their mouthfuls out, but rather asked for more.
I hoped the lingonberry jam would be seen more between the layers, but it kind of melted into the crust. Nevertheless it gives it's slightly bitter accent to the cake.

When in search for licorice recipes on the web, I did notice some of them: Licorice pudding from The Well-Seasoned Cook, Licorice ice cream published in the Courier Mail and Martha Stewart's Black Licorice Creme Brulee Tarts.

Maybe you've got your own to share?
Oh, well, I'm off to tea and napkins...


Rachel said...

What a fun idea. I don't really like licorice but I do like Pernod and anise-y flavored things. So maybe I'd like this cheesecake!

linda said...

Cool idea! I love licorice, but that shouldn't be a surprise coming from licorice country no. 1 ;)
Curious about the taste of the cheese ...

Tartelette said...

Cool idea although I admit I am not a big fan of licorice. Looks tempting! Hope you feel better soon.

Evelin said...

rachel, you should! It's CHEESECAKE;)

linda, then you of all people should try it:) For me Finland will always be the licorice country no. 1 and the great thing is that a friend just brought me a box of candies some days ago:D

tartelette, thanks! And I'm working on it with all my lemons and onions;)

jess said...

I don't generally care for cheesecake, but I love licorice. This will be a great new treat to try on my cheesecake-loving friends!

Evelin said...

jess, hope you like it once you've tried it!

Kevin said...

That cheesecake looks good! The addition of the licorice sounds pretty interesting.

Chocolate said...

Hello Evelin,

I was on holiday in Estonia 8 years ago. I have enjoyed it a lot. I spent some days in Tallinn and I was very impressed of the beauty of this place. I most impressed by this hill in the centre of the city. This holiday was something very special to me.

Christine said...

This sounds like an interesting idea. I am not a huge licorice fan but my husband and daughter are so I am going to give this a try!

michelle @ TNS said...

hmm...i don't like licorice, but i *love* cheesecake. i'm the anti-jess!

Evelin said...

kevin, 'interesting' is the word I'm always afraid of when it comes to the question 'how's the cake?':) But this one definitely tastes good:D

chocolate, I'm very glad to hear that! You're always welcome to come back:)

christine, thanks! it would be great if you tried it out! be sure to let me know how it turned out;)

michelle, that cake is MEANT to be confusing;)

Sharona May said...

I like this idea! I am a licorice fan but I know that every isn't . Sounds unique and I think that is why I am interested.

Sharona May

Tiffany said...

Mmmmh. It is worth a try! I will try and make this but first I must find a spring form pan. Thanks for sharing!

Taani said...

This is AMAZING!! I've cooked it so many times and love it! So yummy!