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To pickle the chard, put 400ml water in a large saucepan or sauté pan with the star anise, sugar and vinegar. Put the remaining spices in a cloth bag tied with string, add to the pan, bring to the boil, then drop in the chard, stalk first. Press the chard down in the pan and simmer for 3-4 mins – don’t worry if you can’t cover the leaves completely in the liquid, as they will wilt and become submerged while cooking. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool.
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Once cooled, remove the chard from the pickle mix and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel. Lay the chard in an A4-sized baking dish. In a bowl, whisk the cream and garlic together with some seasoning, then pour over the chard. Sprinkle over the cheese and cayenne pepper, and bake for 30 mins.