Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Blancmange

Today's food item continues the trio's exposure to foreign delicacies (and Ron's hopes that his new Veela crush will come speak to him again!).

"When the second course arrived they noticed a number of unfamiliar desserts too. Ron examined an odd sort of pale blancmange closely, then moved it carefully a few inches to his right, so that it would be clearly visible from the Ravenclaw table"
(Goblet of Fire 253).

This French dessert comes from the words "blanc," which means "white," and "mange," which is a derivative of the verb "to eat." So basically, we're making "white food." Yep. The recipe comes from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook, so here we go!

You Will Need:
3 cups whole milk (divided)
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup ground almonds
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 pint strawberries (for the sauce)
2 Tbs granulated sugar (for the sauce)


1. Grease 8 tartlet molds or a muffin pan and set aside (I needed 10 muffin cups, so be prepared!).
2. Pour 1/2 cup of the milk in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Set aside.


3. Heat the remaining milk, cream, sugar, and almonds in a small saucepan until hot but not simmering.

4. Pour the mixture through a sieve (into another bowl) to discard the almonds.


5. Stir the gelatin mixture into the milk mixture until dissolved. You may need to heat it some more over  the stove to help the gelatin dissolve (again, don't let it simmer).
6. Stir in the almond extract.


7. Fill the prepared molds to the very top and refrigerate until form, about 2 hours.


8. Place the strawberries and 2 Tbs sugar in a blender or food processor and process until completely blended.


9. Apparently you should be able to just invert the molds onto a plate to unmold them, but I had to peel them a little bit with my fingers (it wasn't hard though; one stretch and they popped right out).
10. Serve with strawberry sauce.


This dessert not only looks really elegant, but it is SO jiggly that I pretty much giggled the whole time I was eating it. The strawberry sauce is delicious! The texture of the blancmange might be strange to some people (because really, it's milk jell-o), but I live on tofu, so textures aren't an issue for me. The blancmange's taste is super subtle, so it's almost just a vehicle for the strawberry sauce. Leave it to the French to make something super fattening that has very little taste. No wonder Fleur wasn't interested!
But all together, it's pretty tasty, and would look really impressive as a dessert at a party. Give it a try!

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