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Hi Bold Bakers!
“And for dessert, we’ll be having blancmange.“
Just imagine the “oohs” from your guests! Little do they know that while blancmange may have a fancy French name, it’s actually a simple, no-special-equipment, 4-ingredient recipe that’s just as easy to whip up for a fancy dinner party as it is an afterschool snack!
In fact, when you translate it to English, it sounds a lot less fancy. Blancmange means “white eating,” which is fitting since it is white. However, you can dress it up with some delicious fresh, seasonal fruits!
If you’ve never had blancmange before, you could compare it to a panna cotta. It’s thick and smooth like a custard, but it holds its structure. This delicious blancmange has a beautiful subtle vanilla flavor, and it comes together in no time. The toughest part is waiting for this delicious treat to chill!
What Is Blancmange?
Blancmange is a subtle dessert that is custard-like in texture, lightly flavored with vanilla, and either eaten alone or topped with berries. And can you believe you can make it with just some milk, cornstarch, sugar, and vanilla?
This humble dish can be traced all the way back to the Middle Ages. Back then, chicken was added to milk, sugar, and rice, and even though it has a French name, it more likely came into existence when traders from Arabic areas gave rice to Europeans. There are similar dishes in Iran, Spain, England, and France.
The oldest recipe that can be found is written in Danish, which may have been translated from a German cookbook.
You can see the confusion.
In the 17th century, however, chicken and other meats were taken out of the recipe, and by the 19th century, blancmange became the dessert we know today.
What You Need To Make Blancmange
How To Make Blancmange
This seemingly fancy dessert is simply delicious and simply easy to make! Here is how you make blancmange:
- Place 6 small teacups on a tray and set them aside. These will be the molds for your blancmange.
- Whisk 1 cup (8oz/225ml) milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to form a slurry. Then, whisk in the sugar and vanilla paste or extract. Set aside.
- In a saucepan, heat the remaining 3½ cups (28oz/790ml) of milk over medium-low heat until it starts to steam.
- Once it starts steaming, reduce the heat to low and whisk the cornstarch mixture into the warm milk. Continue to heat while stirring constantly until it thickens and is just under boiling. This will take around 5-7 minutes.
- Divide the mixture evenly into your teacups and let them cool on the counter for an hour.
- Once cool, refrigerate the blancmange for at least 4 hours until it is cold and set.
- Serve with the fruit in the teacups or carefully unmold the blancmange onto plates by dipping the cup in hot water and then running a thin knife, carefully, around the rim.
Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Blancmange
- Don’t skip making the slurry—otherwise, you make end up with an uneven mix of cornstarch, and you’ll end up with lumpy blancmange.
- Serve this with macerated berries: mix 4 cups (20oz/568g) fresh or frozen berries (sliced if large) with ½ cup (4oz/115g) granulated sugar. Let sit on the counter for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the berries have released some liquid and a sweet sauce is formed.
- You can make a chocolate blancmange as well! Whisk 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder and 2/3 cup finely chopped dark chocolate into your slurry and proceed as directed!
- You can make one large blancmange instead of six small individual blancmanges if you prefer. Simply pour it into a mold or pan of your choice and let set.
- If this becomes a favorite, you can find blancmange molds online and use them instead of teacups!
How Do I Store Blancmange?
You can store any leftover blancmange in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Be sure to cover it well!
Make More Fine Desserts
And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking cookbook for more desserts!
Full (and printable) recipe below the video!
Elegant Vanilla Blancmange Recipe
- 1 cup (8floz/225ml) plus 3½ cups (28oz/790ml) whole milk (divided)
- ⅔ cup (2⅔oz/76g) cornstarch
- ⅔ cup (5oz/142g) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla paste or extract
- fresh fruit to serve
- Place six small individual teacups on a tray and set them aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk 1 cup (8oz/225ml) milk with the cornstarch to form a slurry. Whisk in the sugar and vanilla paste or extract. Set aside.
- In a saucepan, heat the remaining 3½ cups (28oz/790ml) of milk over medium-low heat until it starts steaming.
- Reduce the heat to low and whisk the cornstarch mixture into the warm milk. Continue to heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens and is just under boiling. This will take about 5-7 minutes.
- Divide evenly among your teacups and let cool on the counter for an hour.
- Once cool, refrigerate for at least 4 hours, until cold and set.
- Serve with fruit either in the bowls or carefully unmold onto plates by dipping the cup in hot water and then running a thin knife carefully around the rim. Store, well covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.