Vegetarian Strawberry Blancmange
On our last trip to the New Forest to visit CT’s mother, I was given a family heirloom to take home with me: a vintage glass jelly mould. Well, I have to confess I’m not much of a jelly maker and the mould has been sitting in the cupboard in a rather unloved way. But when I got my hands on a mass of cheap strawberries last month, it occurred to me to try making a strawberry blancmange.
I remember strawberry blancmange coming out of a packet when I was young and given that gelatine is a principle ingredient, this particular dish faded into the not-worth-bothering-with corner of my mind. Making a real blancmange from scratch is, however, a different thing entirely. I used agar agar as a vegetarian substitute for gelatine and the flavour of strawberries was intense.
Recipes for strawberry blancmange are rare, it seems and I didn’t have a single one in any of my books. I trawled around on the internet and ended up basing mine on one from Delicious. Intriguingly it listed ground almonds as one of the ingredients. I went with the almonds, but reduced the cream to milk ratio quite considerably. I was looking for a creamy dessert without an overload of calories.
I was rather concerned about the mould coming out properly and overdid the agar agar a little, but hey, this was my first attempt at using this interesting seaweed product. The result did not quite have the melt in the mouth quality I was hoping for, but the blancmange did come out of the mould easily. I have given a reduced amount of agar agar in the recipe below, which should give a better result. The other thing I would do differently next time is to sieve the strawberry purée, the texture was a little seedy and not nearly as smooth as it should have been. But for all that I was exceedingly pleased with my first ever homemade blancmange. I served it with strawberries and what I hoped would be a complimentary drizzle of spiced chocolate balsamic vinegar over the top – it was.
- 200ml milk
- 100ml double cream
- 15g ground almonds
- 350g strawberries - hulled, plus more to decorate
- 1 tsp vanilla vinegar (or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)
- 50g golden caster sugar (I used vanilla sugar).
- 2 scant tbsp agar agar
- chocolate vinegar to serve
- Spray a 600ml jelly mould lightly with oil.
- Mix the agar agar in with the milk and cream and bring to a simmer in a medium sized pan over moderate heat stirring all the while.
- Add the almonds and simmer for 2-3 minutes or until the agar agar has dissolved. Remove from the heat.
- Puree the strawberries, vinegar and sugar with a stick blender and sieve to remove the seeds.
- Mix into the milk mixture, then pour into the jelly mould, filling it right to the top.
- Cover and leave in a cool place to set overnight.
- When ready to serve, turn out onto a plate. You may need to dip the mould into hot water to aid extraction.
- Drizzle with chocolate vinegar, if liked and serve with strawberries.
I’m also sending this off to Emily at A Mummy Too for #RecipeOfTheWeek
Other jelly type recipes using gelatine alternatives
- Ginger & mango jelly with mango Shrikand from Citrus Spice
- Strawberry panna cotta from Simply Food
- Vegan apple & pomegranate jelly from Family Friends Food
- Vegan gin & gooseberry jelly from Family Friends Food