This Liquorice Ice Cream recipe is something I’ve wanted to make for a while now. In fact I must have talked about it a lot because my sister in law bought me the liquorice flavouring as a joke on holiday one day. She thought I was jesting about making liquorice ice cream and thought she’d call my bluff (belly laugh).
So I did make it, and despite half expecting the joke to be on me – I love it! Never did I think I would enjoy a liquorice flavour ice cream but lo and behold it is a wonderful flavour, not too over powering and uniquely refreshing. Every time I grab another scoop or two I’m pleasantly surprised and so too are the family.
Let’s get one thing out of the way first. If you’re in the UK it’s Liquorice and if you’re in the USA it’s Licorice.
Is Liquorice Gluten Free?
No, this is where you need to be careful. Commonly liquorice (both red and black) when made into a confectionary is not gluten free. Wheat is added to make the chewy traditional sweet. If, however, you were inclined to chew directly on a liquorice root then yes it is gluten free so chew away my dear.
That said, there are gluten free liquorice options out there. However, I had yet to find one that could match the chewy density of a Pontefract Cake which is a traditional disc of hard liquorice from Yorkshire. That is until now! If you head over to my Guide for Gluten Free small businesses that deliver across the UK you’ll find Liquorice Heaven – they have everything liquorice and a huge section dedicated to free from including gluten free.
Is Liquorice Extract Gluten Free?
As the liquorice root is a gluten free plant then it’s pretty safe to say that the extract is also gluten free. Of course you need to always check the labels as there is always a risk of cross contamination. Quick fact for you here, did you know that the liquorice root is 50 times sweeter than sugar beet? No, I hadn’t realised either.
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How do you make dairy free condensed milk?
Vegan condensed milk is integral to all my ice cream recipes. You can buy it online and now in stores as Nestle have bought out a dairy free version (although I’ve not tried it myself). However, to make your own is super simple and I tend to batch make mine, then keep what I don’t use in a jar in the fridge as it always comes in handy.
Dairy Free and Vegan Condensed Milk Recipe
What colour is Liquorice Ice Cream?
The colour of liquorice ice cream depends very much on the way you flavour it. In this recipe I’ve opted to use a good quality liquorice extract (I used Uncle Roy’s extract but it costs the same as liquid gold on Amazon!). The extract alone gives the ice cream a delicate caramel colour, as the extract is in fact dark brown.
If you choose to use a liquorice ground powder you will achieve a darker brown. Another option is to blend actual liquorice candy into the mixture. Personally I feel this is a tragic way for a piece of liquorice to go!
Should I add black food colour to my Liquorice Ice Cream?
So I have told you what liquorice ice cream looks like if left as its natural colour. What about adding black colouring to make it black? I’ve seen a few variations across the interweb and I just don’t think I could stomach an ice cream that resembles a face mask for deep pore cleansing or a mud bath similar to the one I had in Turkey once!
The colour of the ice cream you see in my photos was achieved by using a pea-sized ball of black food colour paste. To add anymore just went against my moral fibres about added colourings in food.
What do you think? Have I hit the right level of colour for this dairy free Liquorice Ice Cream?
What is the best dairy free cream to use for ice cream?
Dairy Free / Vegan Creams
Other delicious dairy free ice cream recipes you might like to try
Dairy Free Liquorice Ice Cream Recipe
Dairy Free Liquorice Ice Cream
- 300 g dairy free condensed milk [to make you own see post or notes]
- 200 ml dairy free cream on this occasion I used Elmlea Double
- 30 g butter or butter alternative (I use Flora plant butter) I used Flora Plant Butter
- 1-2 tsp liquorice extract I used 2 and this has a great flavour not too strong.
- ¼ tsp black food colouring (optional)
- If making your own condensed milk do this first and set aside to cool to room temperature.
- In a mixing bowl beat your cream and softened butter until it stiffens.
- Add the condensed milk, liquorice extract and beat again to combine.Top Tip: add 1 teaspoon first, taste test and add the second if you love liquorice.
- If adding food colouring add this now. Top Tip: I find it easier to add the pea sized black paste to a small bowl and mix with ½ a teaspoon of water to loosen in before adding to the ice cream mixture.
- Spoon the ice cream into a large enough container – this makes approx 900ml of ice cream
- Once smoothed down why not decorate with gluten free liquorice pieces (can be sourced online)
- Freeze for about 12hrs and then you're ready to serve on it's own or accompanying a dessert. This goes amazingly well with desserts that have berries in them for example Blackberry Crumble or Summer Pudding.
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*disclaimer: I use affiliate codes on my website, the vast majority are to Amazon. If you click on any of the links or images in the post and make a purchase my family will benefit from a small % of that purchase at no extra cost to you.
For full transparency, in 2020 I made my first £25, and in 2022 I reached my next £25 (Amazon don’t transfer the money until you reach £25). Recently I got paid a whopping £27.10 for 2023.
So to date I have made £78.58 since I first started the scheme in 2017. It won’t pay the bills, that’s for sure but it does help to pay for ingredients or little treats to cheer me up!