Bertie's Massive Ring
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The idea of Pimping a Liquorice allsort came about quite a while back; we even bought the ingredients back on 13/05/06, but have only just got around to popping it on.

Anyway, after having the ingredients sat staring at me for so long, we finally decided that it was time to do it, especially as I am quite partial to a little Coconut Ice!

Firstly, I wanted to make my own liquorice, so I trawled the internet for a recipe. Initially some of the recipes want a little wrong and I ended up with varied lumps of liquorice looking not too dissimilar to cow pats. But I did finally crack it!

I made a liquorice mould out of a pop bottle and sealed the end with another piece of plastic and insulation tape to “try” and stop it leaking. Using the mould I measured out equal amounts of brown and caster sugar so I knew I was making enough liquorice. This was then popped into a pan with half measure of water and gradually brought to the boil. Once the mixture is boiling it is important to note that you do not answer a call from your Mum as it results in the extremely hot and sticky mixture boiling over and covering the whole of the hob whilst she is wittering away. Also note that you have to clean it straight away as it sets like stone!!

Once all cleaned up, the pan goes back on the boil and the phone gets ignored, but just to make sure pop it on a lower heat so it nicely bubbles away. This gives you enough time to get your other ingredients ready. In a blender or mortar and pestle grind up 3 star anise and a liquorice bark stick (obtained from a place called a “Health Shop”??). When doing this try not to use your brand new Braun Multiquick, as this results in the blending cup being ruined and permanently smelling of aniseed, that’s another £5 onto the cost to replace! Sigh! Add the liquorice and star anise to the sugar mixture and stir it in, take the pan off the heat and add one sachet of gelatine, some black food colouring and flour. Pour this into the mould, making sure the mould is in a bowl to catch any leaks. I was amazed at this point that the mould didn’t melt with the boiling sugar mixture, but if you don’t try these things, you will never find out! So liquorice done and in the fridge to set over night.

Day 2 and its on with the Coconut ice. This was a very difficult process for me in many ways. I have a problem you see, Condensed milk is my favourite thing in the world, so it pained me to pour two tins into the mixing bowl, however the warmth came back into my heart with the thought of, Mmmmmmmm, Coconut Ice! So after licking every drop of Condensed Milk that was left in the can, I proceeded dumping 3 bags of desiccated coconut, half a box of Icing Sugar and a tablespoon of red food colouring into the bowl.

Luckily I have a strong right arm ;-) as this is a tough mixture to mix, but I am sad to say there was one casualty as a result of this. I should have known he wouldn’t be able to take the punishment, but I still persevered and then it happened……………my favourite mixing spoon snapped. A moments silence please……..

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