- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Lightly oil the jelly moulds, then evenly pour in the blancmange mixture. Chill for 4 hours or until set.
- 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.
- 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.