400g can of condensed milk
300g of desiccated coconut
300g of icing sugar
Australian soft eating liquorice = about ¼ of the pack shown
Pack of Bertie Bassets for comparison
Cost – £3.73
My glamorous assistant and I had the idea long before the other allsorts appeared, but we were always going to be less ambitious and just do the pink coconut ones.
After some thought about the maximum comfortable size of a pink coconut allsort to still make it at least reasonably edible, a Tupperware dish was pressed into service. As it’s not too flexible, decided to line it with non-stick baking parchment (note to fellow pimpers – this is good stuff, almost nothing sticks to it, its tough and heatproof, perfect liner for any mould you care to choose).
Choice of liquorice was a tough one – couldn’t think of any way to melt and munge a quantity together, nor any readily available large liquorice products. Eventually, the liquorice connesoir suggested using these – short strips of soft-ish liquorice. A bunch of the strips were put together and squished and rolled to try to make them stick to one another producing a pretty flower-like design – slightly too tall for the dish, but it could be trimmed down later.
Following extensive research on the WWW, found a recipe for coconut ice which didn’t involve boiling anything, and which I was assured by my glamorous assistant was similar to stuff he made as a child which was very edible. Condensed milk, icing sugar and coconut – nice and easy…
As it was all going to be one colour, decided to add this at the start (as my GA remembered it being really hard work to add later as the recipe advised). Half a teaspoon of cochineal seemed to turn the milk the right colour (taking into account the lightening effects of the sugar and coconut coming later)
Next step, add the icing sugar. Due to the powdery nature of this, most of the kitchen ended up covered in a light dusting, thrown into the air by the stirring motion.
At this point, realised the bowl wasn’t going to be big enough to stir in the coconut (and that we were going to end up with more coconut ice than the dish would take). Decanted the mixture into a bigger bowl…
Next step – stir in the coconut. This is harder than you think – the whole mixture stiffens and its like stirring putty. We did this in shifts, taking around 15 mins to amalgamate it all.
Then I held the bundle of liquorice roughly in the centre of the dish, while my GA spooned in the coconut mixture and packed it down with a fork. We soon realised we’d have enough for two medium sized allsorts, made in the sort of cooking rings you see on Ready Steady Cook and other posh cooking shows. The liquorice bundles for these were only half height, so just bundled the same amount of liquorice and chopped it in half, then repeated the hold in place and pack down.
After an overnight rest in the fridge (as recommended in the recipe), the allsorts were turned out. The little ones were released by running a knife round the inside of the ring, the bigger one came out of the mould like a dream and the paper peeled off with no problem.
Et voila! The obligatory picture with “normal” size for comparison. The bigger one is a little out of proportion (if we did it again, would add another layer of liquorice), but looks more like they used to be when I were a lass and the coconut layer was thicker.
Finally a stack of allsorts. I’m told they tasted quite good (personally I hate liquorice and so I’m just nibbling the coconut ice off the big one)