Vanilla blancmanges with orange caramel

  • Serves 8
  • Hands-on time 40 min, plus infusing and setting
  • Medium
Debbie Major uses Jersey milk to make this old-school dessert recipe extra creamy before topping it with a boozy orange liqueur caramel.

Nutritional info per serving

  • Calories532kcals
  • Fat38.4g (16.8g saturated)
  • Protein11.1g
  • Carbohydrates34.2g (33.7g sugars)
  • Fibreno fibre
  • Salt0.1g
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  • 150g blanched almonds
  • 600ml Jersey, Guernsey or full-cream milk, plus extra to top up
  • 6 large free-range egg yolks
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste or extract
  • 8 sheets leaf gelatine (we used Costa Fine Leaf – if using another brand, follow the instructions)
  • 300ml double cream
  • Vegetable oil for greasing

For the orange caramel

  • 75g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp orange flavoured liqueur, such as Cointreau or Triple Sec


You’ll also need…

  • 8 x 180ml jelly moulds
  • Ice (optional) and muslin to strain


  1. Finely grind the almonds in a food processor. Bring the milk to boiling point in a pan over a medium heat. Pour half onto the almonds and whizz to a thick mixture. Slowly blend in the rest of the hot milk, then pour into a large bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to infuse for 2 hours.
  2. Pour a third of the almondy milk into a muslin-lined sieve set over a measuring jug, gather up the muslin and squeeze out all the milk. Tip the almonds into a bowl and repeat twice. Top the strained milk up to 600ml with more milk.
  3. In a heatproof bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla until pale and thick. Return the almond milk to a clean pan and, over a low heat, bring almost to the boil, stirring to prevent it catching on the base.
  4. Put the gelatine in a small bowl of cold water and soak for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, gradually whisk the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture, return it to the pan, then cook gently, stirring, until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Don’t let it boil. Lift out the gelatine and squeeze out any excess water. Stir the gelatine into the custard until dissolved, then pour into a mixing bowl and cool. To speed up the cooling, sit the bowl in a larger bowl half-filled with ice and water, then stir gently until cool.
  5. Using an electric hand whisk, whip the cream in a separate bowl until it just begins to thicken. Gently fold the cream into the cooled custard.
  6. Lightly oil the jelly moulds, then evenly pour in the blancmange mixture. Chill for 4 hours or until set.
  7. For the caramel, put the sugar and 1½ tbsp cold water in a small pan and heat gently until the sugar has completely dissolved. Boil rapidly, swirling the pan now and then as the syrup browns around the edges, until it becomes a brick-red caramel. Remove from the heat and plunge the base of the pan into a larger pan of cold water to stop the caramel cooking (it will sputter). Add the liqueur and another 1½ tbsp water. Return the pan to a low heat and stir until smooth, then cool. Pour into a small jug and cover.
  8. To serve, dip each mould briefly into warm water, then invert onto a plate, hold the two together and shake to release the blancmange. Serve drizzled with the caramel.
  • Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt, then freeze. Defrost for savoury recipes.
    You could use a 1.5 litre jelly mould or dessert bowl, or individual glasses. Use a silver pan to make the caramel so you can see the caramel colour.
  • Make the blancmanges up to 48 hours ahead and chill, covered. Bring to room temperature to serve.

From April 2016

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