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Sometimes I have a hard time motivating myself to make certain things. Or, what I should really say is, I’m going through a cookies and cupcakes phase. Blancmanger is neither of those.

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So what is it? Basically fancy whipped cream. First, you heat milk, ground almonds, sugar, and in my case, a ridiculous amount of vanilla seeds, and then you add gelatin to the mixture. Chill it a bit and stir in some whipped cream and fruit. Chill it some more. Unmold. Eat. Really, I thought it was going to be much more time-consuming than it was.

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It tasted pretty good too. You can maybe see that I went overboard with the vanilla – I had half a bean leftover from something else, so I used all of that, but I only made a third of the recipe. My blancmanger isn’t quite as pristinely white as Dorie’s, but it did taste nicely of vanilla.

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The only thing I wasn’t completely sold on with this recipe was the ground almonds, whose texture didn’t seem to complement the perfectly smooth cream base. In the future, I’ll probably keep my sweetened gelatinized cream without ground nuts – in other words, as panna cotta.

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Susan chose the blancmanger for Tuesdays with Dorie and has the recipe posted.

One year ago: Soba Salad with Feta and Peas

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  1. Your blancmanger looks great, and I bet all of that vanilla made it taste incredible! I hesitated on making this as well, but I was glad I did it!!

  2. Ha! I could never every make one of those because of the Monty Python sketch where gigantic alien blancmanges turn millions of English people into Scots in an attempt to win Wimbledon. I wouldn’t be able to make the custard because I wouldn’t be able to stop giggling.

    But then, I’m a geek.

  3. This is beautiful! I just love how the raspberries are suspended in the vanilla. Also, in my opinion, I’m not sure it’s possible to go “overboard” with vanilla 🙂

  4. I would sacrifice perfect whiteness for the vanilla taste! (I did after all sacrifice my white to the pistachios…)

  5. Love the photo with the sliced raspberry! Well done.

  6. Oooh, I’ll bet it was tasty with all of that vanilla.

    Way to see it through, in spite of it not being on the list of chosen desserts.

  7. I didn’t make it this week because ground almonds are really expensive, and my budget is very, very tight right now (read: lost job). I’m glad to see you thought you could leave the almonds out; I have some gorgeous strawberries in my fridge, so I might try it without the almonds.

  8. I looked up Escoffier’s old recipes for Blancmange.
    1) Classic blancmange is almond milk set with gelatin, so I imagine none of the almonds ever reach the final dish.
    2) Modern blancmange purees almonds, cream and sugar to a paste, which is passed through a fine sieve, then cream is folded in and it is frozen.
    3) English blancmange is a mixture of cream and cornstarch, with almond flavor added.
    Those French chefs sure know how to be thorough, don’t they?! 😛 I guess this would be a fusion of the first two. I think what we can take away is to puree the almonds so that they don’t have any more texture, or to sieve the cream so only the essence is remaining. In any case, I would gladly have a slice of this one– I’m a sucker for jelly desserts 🙂

  9. I was on the fence about this week’s recipe too but I’m glad I made it. At least I can say I know what it is now! Yours looks awesome – I actually love the specks from the vanilla bean throughout – they’re so pretty!

  10. I’ve spent my whole life in a cookies/cupcake phase…which may be why I skipped this one. Nice pictures, though. Very pretty.

  11. Look creamy and very vanilla-y. I wonder how it would taste if you added cardamom.

  12. Mmm, vanilla bean specks… I did without the almonds, and loved the creamy texture. But I’m with you – I’m in a cake phase right now, so I’m hoping next month’s selections contain muffins and cakes (not celebration cakes though!!!)

  13. I was unsure about this one too- but I’m glad I went ahead and made it. Using a real vanilla bean instead of extract sounds like a great idea- I bet it really pumped up the flavor!

  14. Your mini looks perfect. I don’t think you can EVER use too much vanilla bean. It is so flavorful.

  15. It looks great with all the vanilla bean flecks!

  16. Your blanc-manger looks just perfect!

  17. Gorgeous! Absolutely perfect.

  18. Love your Blanc-Manger! It looks just perfect! Well done!

  19. Yummy! My mouth really wants a bite right now:)