Simple but rich and tasty. That’s how I would describe this Blanc Manger. But let’s first backtrack on how I came about this dessert.
Our class was to hold an Arabian Banquet for 80 people as part of our curriculum and of course, I was part of the Kitchen team specifically in the pastry department. Picking the right dishes for the banquet was critical seeing as food is an important part of a banquet. We started researching for Arabic Desserts and many suggestions from my partner and friend, Fi, who has knowledge of the Arabic cuisine seeing as she lives in the Middle East, was canceled out as some were to complicated or the school didn’t have enough dishes/containers.
Our teacher suggested to us the Blanc Manger, which means ‘white dish’ in French and we took on board his suggestion as we later found out that the dish actually has an Arabic background despite its name. And boy, we do not regret taking his suggestion!
It’s dense and has this mousse-y, flan and grainy texture from the almonds which I personally loved. And best of all, it’s not a heavy dessert! The recipe calls for just raspberries, but as you can see in the pictures, we included other berries with the raspberry sauce. It did not disappoint; almost all plates came back scraped clean! ;)
Note: The beautiful berry garnish was thought of by our school’s resident Pastry Chef. :)
from The New York Times website
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 3/4 cup ground almonds
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 packet powdered gelatin
- 1 to 2 tablespoons kirsch or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Fill a large bowl with ice cubes and cold water. Have ready a smaller bowl that fits into the ice-water bath.
- Whip cream until it holds soft peaks. Refrigerate.
- Bring milk, almonds and sugar to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to make certain the sugar dissolves. While milk heats, put gelatin and 3 tablespoons cold water in a microwave-safe bowl or a saucepan. When the gelatin is soft and spongy — it should take about 2 minutes — heat it in a microwave oven for 15 seconds (or cook it over low heat to dissolve). Stir the gelatin into the hot milk mixture, and remove the saucepan from heat.
- Pour the hot almond milk into the small reserved bowl, and set the bowl into the ice-water bath. Stir in kirsch or vanilla, and continue to stir until the mixture is cool but still liquid; you do not want the milk to gel in the bowl.
- Very gently fold the cold whipped cream into the almond milk with a rubber spatula, then fold in the berries. Spoon the blanc-manger into an 8-inch cake pan that is 2 inches high, and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours. The blanc-manger can be covered and kept in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
- To unmold the blanc-manger, dip the cake pan up to its rim in hot water for 5 seconds, then wipe the pan and invert the blanc-manger onto a serving plate. Serve immediately or chill until needed. Serve raspberry coulis on the side.