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Vegetarian Strawberry Blancmange

Strawberry Blancmange

Dessert | 4th August 2015 | By

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.

Strawberry blancmange in mould

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.

Strawberry Blancmange

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.

Strawberry Blancmange - Vegetarian
Serves 4
An intense strawberry flavoured jellied cream which is heavy on satisfaction, but light (ish) in calories.
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Ingredients
  1. 200ml milk
  2. 100ml double cream
  3. 15g ground almonds
  4. 350g strawberries - hulled, plus more to decorate
  5. 1 tsp vanilla vinegar (or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)
  6. 50g golden caster sugar (I used vanilla sugar).
  7. 2 scant tbsp agar agar
  8. chocolate vinegar to serve
Instructions
  1. Spray a 600ml jelly mould lightly with oil.
  2. 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.
  3. Add the almonds and simmer for 2-3 minutes or until the agar agar has dissolved. Remove from the heat.
  4. Puree the strawberries, vinegar and sugar with a stick blender and sieve to remove the seeds.
  5. Mix into the milk mixture, then pour into the jelly mould, filling it right to the top.
  6. Cover and leave in a cool place to set overnight.
  7. When ready to serve, turn out onto a plate. You may need to dip the mould into hot water to aid extraction.
  8. Drizzle with chocolate vinegar, if liked and serve with strawberries.
Adapted from Delicious Magazine
Adapted from Delicious Magazine
Tin and Thyme http://tinandthyme.uk/
 Vegetable Palette LogoIt’s More Glorious Reds for the Vegetable Palette this month over at A2K – A Seasonal Veg Table, so this blancmange recipe is winging its way to Shaheen.

 

Recipe of the WeekI’m also sending this off to Emily at A Mummy Too for #RecipeOfTheWeek

Other jelly type recipes using gelatine alternatives

Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Keep Calm and Fanny On
    4th August 2015

    Looks lovely! It’s hard to get the ‘tight’ amount of agar agar isn’t it? I’ve had a few rubber bullet moments, but generally I like it! Blancmange moulds are so lovely too, you can use them for a few different things – Fanny did anyway!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      4th August 2015

      He he, it wasn’t quite as bad as a rubber bullet, but definitely needs to be a bit softer. What else did fanny use the moulds for? I’m intrigued.

  2. Leave a Reply

    Tracy
    4th August 2015

    I have a collection of vintage jelly moulds too, but I haven’t used any yet. Blancmange sounds great. My mum / Nan always made it with cornflour instead of gelatine / agar agar – have you tried that? I might give it a go as I imagine it would set more softly (but may not come out of the mould in one easy piece).

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      4th August 2015

      Ah, that’s interesting Tracy, though I quite like the idea of making a dessert that doesn’t use starch. However, it sounds like you need to give one or two or your moulds an airing, so let me know how you get on 🙂

  3. Leave a Reply

    Roz Goodgame
    4th August 2015

    I’ve never eaten blancmange! Absolutely loving the vintage mould – how fabulous!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      4th August 2015

      Thanks Roz. It’s funny how things turn around. I remember looking down my nose at such moulds when I was young – too passé!

  4. Leave a Reply

    Helen @ family-friends-food.com
    4th August 2015

    This looks so beautiful! Like Tracy, I thought blancmange was made with cornflour. Either way, you’ve inspired me to have a go at this delicious and neglected dessert. Yum!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      4th August 2015

      Thanks Helen. You’re right, this was a queen of desserts at one time and it’s a shame it’s fallen from grace as it’s rather a good one and doesn’t need to be laden with cream either.

  5. Leave a Reply

    Rachel
    4th August 2015

    This looks amazing, by too much agar agar was it like a rubber welly? I haven’t had Blancmange since I was a kid (for the same reasons). I remember my mum made the packet strawberry one and served it unset with chocolate concrete!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      4th August 2015

      Oh dear Rachel, not happy memories then. This wasn’t quite that bad, but it was definitely firmer than I’d have liked.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      4th August 2015

      Thanks Angie. The vanilla vinegar tastes of both vinegar and vanilla, but it also has a some sugar in it, so is slightly sweet too. It’s actually very nice, though I’m not convinced it needs the sugar. It’s one from Fancy Pantry at Skylark Farm.

  6. Leave a Reply

    kate @veggie desserts
    4th August 2015

    I have a few vintage moulds kicking around as well. Veggie blancmange is a great idea – I’ll have to try this out. And chocolate vinegar??? WOW! Must try!

  7. Leave a Reply

    Kat @ Eat.Love.Live
    4th August 2015

    This looks delicious! I’ve never tried anything like this. I am tempted to have a go at this myself. I’m sure it won’t look as great as your though! x

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      4th August 2015

      Oh go on Kat, give it a go. It might look even better than mine 😉

  8. Leave a Reply

    Dom
    4th August 2015

    look at that beauty! I love it. So pink and perfect. I was never a fan of blancmange but i’m sure I could be tempted by a spoonful… was it a lovely flavour?

  9. Leave a Reply

    Laura @ KneadWhine
    4th August 2015

    I love love love strawberry based desserts and this looks delicious. I haven’t had blancmange in years and I haven’t tried to use agar agar before – perhaps time to give it a go!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      5th August 2015

      Oh yes, do give it a go Laura. Time to bring back blancmange I reckon and one that veggies can eat too 🙂

  10. Leave a Reply

    Ness
    5th August 2015

    I listened to piece on the radio last week about retro food and the interviewee was on a mission to bring back blancmange! Apparently the first recipes for it were savoury. I’ve never tried it myself but I remember there used to be a packet in our larder for years after my brother had to make it at school!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      5th August 2015

      Never eaten blancmange Ness? What is the world coming too? I didn’t know about the savoury nature of blancmange, but I’ve just checked in my Sugar and Sweets encyclopaedia and it said it was originally a Persian dish of shredded chicken, ground rice, milk and sugar – hmmmm! It seems I made a French version, which includes almonds and gelatine but the Italian version is now known as Panna Cotta!!! Thank you for getting me to look it up.

  11. Leave a Reply

    Janice
    5th August 2015

    So impressed by your blancmange. I too have memories of the packet kind, not something I was ever very keen on to slippery a texture by half! Bet yours is much nicer with almonds and cream and strawberries you could hardly go wrong. Love the mould too, mine doesn’t have such a nice pattern on the base/top and I’ve never successfully got a jelly out of it!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      6th August 2015

      Thanks Janice. The proportion of strawberries to milk & cream is quite high Janice, so the texture isn’t “slippery”. I don’t know if you’re meant to or not, but I sprayed the mould with oil, which seemed to do the trick.

  12. Leave a Reply

    Karen
    6th August 2015

    How VERY pretty and I have some of those old moulds that I use for jelly but have to say your blancmange looks so pretty when turned out from it! Karen

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      6th August 2015

      Thanks Karen, I impressed myself. Though I expect you’ve turned out many a pretty jelly in your time 🙂

  13. Leave a Reply

    Leisel S
    6th August 2015

    Oh. Oh my gosh, yes! This looks amazing! I’d make this in a heartbeat. Why almonds, though? Is it a requirement for the dish? I’m not familiar at all.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      6th August 2015

      Thanks Leisel. According to my encyclopaedia, Sugar and Sweets, the original French blancmange was made with almonds. The English version uses cornflour.

  14. Leave a Reply

    Sarah
    6th August 2015

    That looks fantastic! I love the jelly mould – what a great family heirloom to inherit ! I also really like that you use the agar agar to make a vegetarian option. I’m not vegetarian, but it’s nice to try new things like that every now and then.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      6th August 2015

      Thanks Sarah. It’s always useful to know how to make vegetarian versions of things – just in case 😉

  15. Leave a Reply

    Heidi Roberts
    6th August 2015

    I love those glass jelly molds – I have quite a collection. Your blancmange looks beautiful in yours.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      7th August 2015

      Thanks Heidi. It seems we all have them hiding away somewhere – out with them and get them used I say.

  16. Leave a Reply

    Rachel Lucas
    7th August 2015

    I’ve just made this, as it looked so beautiful and I was desperate to try it! Currently setting, but I did scrape the bowl out and it was absolutely essence of strawberry! I have a couple of similar moulds, so I used one of those and fingers crossed it will turn out. Thanks so much for the inspiration! Hope your summer is going well x

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      7th August 2015

      Oh, crossing fingers it turns out well for you Rachel – do let me know. I’m not quite sure why the strawberry flavour is enhanced, but it is.

      • Leave a Reply

        Rachel Lucas
        8th August 2015

        It was beautiful…thanks so much! I left the almonds out (by accident!) but it was fine…so full of pure strawberry flavour. May try with raspberries next time. I did sieve the strawbs too. Having a bit now for breakfast in the sun!! Thanks for the lovely recipe x

        • Leave a Reply

          Choclette
          8th August 2015

          Phew, I’m glad it worked out well Rachel. I will definitely be sieving next time, although like you, next time might be raspberries. Thanks for letting me know.

  17. Leave a Reply

    shaheen
    27th August 2015

    The colour is amazing. I’ve been meaning to make blancmange for a while and have a recipe bookmarked but never get round to making it. Yours is rather stunning, even if it was bitty from the seeds. Thanks for sharing with #VegetablePalette.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      28th August 2015

      Well it was a first time Shaheen and a learning curve. Next time I will definitely sieve out the seeds.

  18. Leave a Reply

    Sammie
    17th June 2016

    I was looking for a creamy dessert with an overload of calories – how a blamange or any dessert should be described. My hubby is going to love me so much blamange is his favourite-again from years back out of s packet. Pinned with the intention of making in the next few days as I have a kilo of strawbs in the fridge. Love your jelly mould, I don’t have one but I do have a silicone bundt style mould that I think would work. Am also going to pass this to a friend who loves comfort food unashamedly. As I’m not a veggie I will experiment with some leaf gelatin that I have. Love that your recipes are always so inviting. X

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      19th June 2016

      Thanks so much for the kind words Sammie. If I made this again, I would definitely sieve the strawberries so you don’t get any gritty seedy bits. It was my first attempt and I have now learnt my lesson. Gelatin is the classic ingredient, so it should be fine. Hope your hubby is appreciative.

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