Everyone loves a good strapping…

Family is very important to me, and so are Birthdays, who doesn’t love a day dedicated solely to them?!

Growing up my Mother has made sure that we are always surrounded by Family, and Birthdays always had a big deal made about them, a party for friends and then a gathering of the Family, this is definitely something I want to carry on with, with Mr Lid.

The other day was my Mums Birthday, and it broke my heart to know how much she misses her Family, with only a Brother left who now lives in Australia with his lovely wife and Awesome kids, we miss them so much. It kinda makes special occasions bitter sweet, but with a little extra effort the day can be wonderful.

My mother has never been much of a foodie, she loves wine and cigarettes leaving food to take a back seat… In saying that she loves to graze, crackers here, gherkin with cheese there, salad, toast, eggs she loves eggs!

So when it came to mums birthday having brunch followed by afternoon tea was obviously the right decision.

So that is what we did, afternoon tea full of her favourite things- cheese scones, a selection of egg and cheese and onion finger sandwiches, peanut brownies, cupcakes for the kids and a black liquorice toffee for the adults all washed down with a glass of bubbles- perfect!

I looked long and hard for ages to find a home made recipe for liquorice- surprisingly it is not a thing many people make at home- it is a bit of an effort but for the last week I have been unable to walk past the container without breaking off a piece of tooth shattering salty black beauty…

Black Liquorice straps

120g Unsalted Butter
1 cup Sugar
½ cup Dark corn syrup
½ cup Sweetened condensed milk
¼ cup Blackstrap molasses
⅛ tsp Salt
¾ cup Plain flour
1½ tbs Anise extract
1½ tsp Black food coloring

Line a square baking dish with parchment- I lightly sprayed mine with cooking spray.

Bring butter, sugar, syrup, milk, molasses, and salt to a boil over high heat in a large saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer until temperature reaches 130c.

Remove from heat and stir in flour, extract, and coloring; pour into pan. Chill until firm, 30–45 minutes.

Invert onto a cutting board, peel of paper, and cut into thin ropes; twist to shape. Place on baking sheets; chill 20–30 minutes until set.

http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Homemade-Black-Licorice

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