Almond blancmange with blackcurrant sauce
- June 2012
- Serves 6
- Hands-on 15 min, oven time 3 min, plus soaking and cooling, at least 4 hours setting
Creamy almond blancmange with a tart blackcurrant sauce is a classic English dessert that will certainly bring feelings of nostalgia. An excellent way to use up a glut of homegrown fresh blackcurrants.
- Gluten-free recipes
- 37g (11.7g saturated)
- 40.4g (39.4g sugars)
- Vegetable oil for greasing
- 225g blanched almonds
- 250ml single cream
- 8 x 12cm x 7cm gelatine leaves
- 125g caster sugar
- 125ml whipping cream
For the blackcurrant sauce
- 225g blackcurrants
- 75g golden caster sugar
- Lightly oil 6 x 100-120ml (or 1 x 600-700ml) jelly moulds and set aside. Put the almonds into a liquidiser with 4 tbsp cold water and the single cream, then blend to produce a thick, gruel-like mixture.
- Line a large sieve with a single piece of damp muslin. Spoon in a quarter of the mixture, gather up the edges and gradually squeeze out as much of the almond ‘milk’ as you can into a bowl. Discard the leftover nut paste and repeat with the remaining mixture. You should be left with 300ml almond milk.
- Soak the gelatine leaves in a small bowl of cold water for 5 minutes. Put 4 tbsp water into a small pan with the 125g caster sugar and a pinch of salt, then heat gently until the sugar has dissolved and the liquid is clear. Lift the soaked gelatine leaves out of the bowl, squeeze out the excess water, then stir the leaves into the sugar syrup until they have dissolved. Stir this mixture into the almond milk and leave to cool.
- Pour the whipping cream into a bowl and whip gently until it has thickened but isn’t quite forming soft peaks. Fill a large bowl two- thirds full with cold water and add plenty of ice. Sit the bowl of almond milk mixture in the iced water and stir constantly with a rubber spatula until it has thickened and coats the back of the spatula. The cream and the almond mixture should be about the same consistency. Quickly remove the bowl from the iced water and fold in the whipped cream.
- Quickly pour the mixture into the prepared mould(s). Chill for at least 4 hours or until the mixture has set.
- For the blackcurrant sauce, destalk the blackcurrants and put them in a pan with the 75g caster sugar. Bring to a simmer, stirring, and cook over a medium heat until the berries collapse and release their juice (about 3 minutes). Rub the mixture through a fine sieve into a clean bowl, then cover and chill.
- To serve, loosen the edge of each blancmange with a knife, then dip the moulds briefly into a bowl of hot water. Turn them out on plates and spoon some of the sauce over and around each one.
Some health food shops sell almond ‘cream’ as a dairy-free alternative to ordinary cream. You could replace the almond, water and single cream mixture with 300ml of this, if you prefer, or are short of time, but it won’t have such a nutty flavour.
Use metal or plastic jelly moulds, such as the pantry jelly mounds, rather than thick crockery or glass moulds. The blancmanges will pop out of thin metal and plastic more easily (after a brief dip in hot water).
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