1 cup of water
1/2 cup brown sugar [subject to adjustment in later stages]
1+ handful [depending on personal pref] star anise pods with points snapped off
veg oil to grease tray
Completely original, cheers. I created this recipe myself.
It's really simple and you can't stuff it up. Children will most likely hate it as it has a very strong aniseed taste that you cannot hide from. My dad said it reminds him of Ouzo. Grinding up the pods will carry the aniseed flavour throughout the whole thing more, but I love hitting a big bit of seed, it's really strong and lovely.
Warning: Use too much sugar and it's going to be very hard to eat. My mum's filling came ou. Just follow the instructions and use your eyes and you will be fine.
*Cooking temp and thus cooking time will vary from stove to stove, I've cooked on both gas and electric and it was different each time
I imagine you can set these in patty pans, but I've only ever set them flat on a baking tray and broken them into shards when set. It's more "adult".
1. In a skillet, dry toast aniseed points over medium-high heat until fragrant taking care not to burn.
2. Add water and sugar to skillet [careful of the splutter] and stir to dissolve over high heat.
3. Keeping the heat, bring syrup to boil and allow it to bubble/do its thing for a couple of minutes.
4. Turn heat down to a medium-low, cover and let simmer for around 20 minutes, feel free to stir occasionally.
While syrup simmers, prepare baking tray. Cover in foil and grease with veggie oil. Don't make my mistake of setting the lollies on dry foil. You will look like an idiot.
This mix makes thin shards of lollies. If you want a thicker lolly, you'll have to up the quantities and/or find yourself a rimmed, deeper tray.
A good way to check if the syrup is ready is to get a glass of cold water and drop some mix in. If it hardens in the water it's probably ready. Alternatively you can dip a spoon into the pan, coat it in syrup and check in a minute if it has set. It's going to be liquid and very hot until you take it off the heat. It's just the nature of syrup. Don't lick the bloody spoon, you will come to regret this.
5. Pour syrup onto greased and foiled tray, spreading quickly to evenly distribute aniseed pods and chuck/place in freezer for 10 or so minutes or until set. 6. Remove from freezer and snap into shards. Or cover with plastic wrap and smash with a hammer.