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:


Pretty, yeah?


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.

22 comments:

jillbert said...

It looks lovely! I didn't make a cake base, but I bet it would be very good with one.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

When I saw the title I thought of a Strawberry Blancmange-I've never heard of a Blanc Manger so thankyou for introducing me to it :D This loks wonderously elegant. Oh and quince jelly glaze sounds amazing-be still my beating heart!

Tammy said...

this was a lot more delicious than I thought it was going to be. great job with the sponge as well!

Megan said...

It looks very pretty - too bad I passed on this one!

Mochachocolata Rita said...

your cake looks gorgeous on that plate...i am drooling over both ^_^

pinkstripes said...

It looks so pretty. I like the sponge cake layer.

Pamela said...

I skipped this one, too. But yours does look lovely!

Jules Someone said...

This looks lovely! I did not make it this round. I'm a little bummed now.

Karine said...

Your balnc-manger is indeed pretty! I love the pink color of it! :)

Arfi Binsted said...

looks creamy, Gaye! YUMMM!!!

Clivia said...

The sponge cake layer sounds like a great addition. Yours looks lovley! Mine was a total disaster, so I made it into ice cream.

Ivy said...

I've never heard of this dessert before but I love creamy desserts with gelatine and yours looks so tempting.

TeaLady said...

It was pretty easy for an elegant dessert. Maybe next time I will try the sponge bottom. I think it would add a lot of texture.

Yours is beautiful

lasinthekitchen said...

Wow, your blanc-manger is really pretty! The cake base sounds like a perfect pairing with it too! I really liked this one, a nice, light dessert.

Leslie said...

How cool that you did it with the cake base!! I'm glad you used the raspberries anyway since they're what you wanted. This was yummy, wasn't it?

Kayte said...

Oh, I just love that you did the playing around versions. I am always good just to get the one done, so it is always so wonderful to see when someone goes above and beyond the call of duty! Yours looks fantastic...and those raspberries just like nice and juicy with that bit of juice seeping out, what's not to love about that??? I learned so much from all you shared in this post, thank you. Your cake plate is gorgeous...a perfect setting for the blanc-manger. Flowers are my absolutely favorite thing, so this plate was very lovely to see. Great post!

Madam Chow said...

It IS pretty. I am so impressed that you made a sponge layer - definitely something I will keep in mind. I loved this dessert!

Teanna said...

Gorgeous! And with quince glaze and the sponge layer cake? Sounds perfect!

Engineer Baker said...

Glad I'm not the only one who held my breath while unmolding this one :) Love the quince jelly glaze on top!

Kim said...

Yum. I bet it was wonderful with the cake. My husband mentioned how much better it would be if it had cake on the bottom. Too true. Looks wonderful.

isabelle said...

Yours looks beautiful!
The sponge cake layer and the quince glaze sounds delicious.
I'm glad yours was a hit too!

Mermaid Sweets said...

Wow, you did a great job.