Tuesday, July 21, 2009
TWD - Raspberry blanc-manger
This week's very elegant TWD recipe is for Raspberry Blanc-manger, and was chosen by Susan of Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy. This blancmanger is not at all like the pudding that I grew up with knowing as "blancmange", which is more like a thick, smooth custard. Rather, this is a creamy, moulded dessert containing almond meal and raspberries.
I chose to add both touches in the "Playing Around" section of the recipe, in that I placed the blancmanger on a sponge base, and topped it with a quince jelly glaze. For the cake base, I used half the recipe for the sponge portion of Nigella Lawson's Strawberry Meringue Layer Cake from Forever Summer. You can find the recipe at Not Quite Nigella's site here.
I chose this because I knew it would only result in a small layer of cake without the need to cut it or waste any. However, the challenge was that the batter is so thick that I had difficulty spreading it over the base of my very deep 8" pan, so the disc of sponge did not quite reach to the edges of the pan. What I did like about it was that it turned out almost biscuity in texture, making it a solid base and a perfect foil for the softer blancmanger topping.
Unfortunately, as it is mid winter in the Southern hemisphere, raspberries are not in season. I could have used strawberries, but I absolutely adore raspberries, so I took the risk of "bleeding" and used frozen raspberries, which I thawed and patted dry as best I could. I was happy with the result, as the raspberries gave the sweet creamy backdrop some much needed tang.
I also ground my own almonds. The little flecks in the dessert are because I used almonds with the skin on; as some TWD members said, this gives it the "rustic" look, and I am happy with that.
Here is my blancmanger before I brushed it with the quince glaze and sliced it:
I was relieved that the blancmanger set, and that it didn't have big rogue globs of gelatin through it (as gelatin was used as the setting agent).
This blancmanger tasted delicious - it was smooth and creamy, with a wonderful tang from the raspberries and nuttiness and texture from the almond meal. It is a truly elegant dessert that would not look out of place at a dinner party.
I liked having the cake base, but if I made this again, I would probably make a full size sponge layer and cut it to size to ensure complete coverage of the base.
Thanks to Susan for being our host this week. You can check out the interpretations of this dessert by the other TWD members by checking out the TWD blogroll.