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Vegetarian Strawberry Blancmange aka Old-Fashioned Jelly Cream

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 vegetarian 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.

Vegetarian Strawberry Blancmange

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.

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4.75 from 4 votes

Strawberry Blancmange - Vegetarian

An intense strawberry flavoured jellied cream which is heavy on satisfaction, but light (ish) in calories.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Setting Time8 hrs
Total Time35 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: agar agar, blancmange, jelly mould, strawberries
Servings: 4
Author: Choclette

Ingredients

  • 200 ml milk
  • 100 ml double cream
  • 15 g ground almonds
  • 350 g strawberries - hulled plus more to decorate
  • 1 tsp vanilla vinegar or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 50 g golden caster sugar I used vanilla sugar.
  • 2 scant tbsp agar agar
  • chocolate vinegar to serve

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

Adapted from Delicious Magazine

Linkies

It’s More Glorious Reds for the Vegetable Palette this month over at A2K – A Seasonal Veg Table, so this vegetarian strawberry blancmange recipe is winging its way to Shaheen. I’m also sending this wobbly jelly cream off to Emily at A Mummy Too for #RecipeOfTheWeek.

Other jelly type recipes using gelatine alternatives

Vegetarian Strawberry Blancmange. PIN IT.

Vegetarian Strawberry Blancmange - a creamy & fruity summer dessert. A sort of cross between a jelly and a mousse. #blancmange #vegetarian #recipe #strawberries #agaragar

48 Comments

  1. Keep Calm and Fanny On

    4th August 2015 at 8:58 am

    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!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      4th August 2015 at 3:51 pm

      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.

      Reply
  2. Tracy

    4th August 2015 at 10:39 am

    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).

    Reply
    • Choclette

      4th August 2015 at 3:49 pm

      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 🙂

      Reply
  3. Roz Goodgame

    4th August 2015 at 10:41 am

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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      4th August 2015 at 3:47 pm

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

      Reply
  4. Helen @ family-friends-food.com

    4th August 2015 at 11:10 am

    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!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      4th August 2015 at 3:45 pm

      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.

      Reply
  5. Rachel

    4th August 2015 at 11:49 am

    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!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      4th August 2015 at 3:44 pm

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

      Reply
  6. Angie@Angie's Recipes

    4th August 2015 at 1:18 pm

    This looks wonderful! I am so intrigued with that vanilla vinegar. Does it taste like vinegar or vanilla?

    Reply
    • Choclette

      4th August 2015 at 3:42 pm

      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.

      Reply
  7. kate @veggie desserts

    4th August 2015 at 1:50 pm

    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!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      4th August 2015 at 3:35 pm

      Now I’ve given it a whirl Kate, I shall try again. The vinegar, both the chocolate and vanilla, I got from Fancy Pantry at Skylark Farm and will feature in a future round-up. However, I have also made my own chocolate balsamic which is rather good too. /2012/09/honeyed-fig-goats-cheese-tarts-with/

      Reply
  8. Kat @ Eat.Love.Live

    4th August 2015 at 4:28 pm

    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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      4th August 2015 at 5:17 pm

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

      Reply
  9. Dom

    4th August 2015 at 6:04 pm

    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?

    Reply
    • Choclette

      5th August 2015 at 8:20 am

      The flavour was amaaaaazzzzing Dom. Worth revisiting maybe?

      Reply
  10. Anna,Dont Cramp My Style

    4th August 2015 at 9:31 pm

    Oh that looks yummy! and proper veggie! Yay! I must try it!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      5th August 2015 at 8:22 am

      Thank you Anna. Do let me know how you get on if you do try it.

      Reply
  11. Laura @ KneadWhine

    4th August 2015 at 10:03 pm

    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!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      5th August 2015 at 8:23 am

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

      Reply
  12. Ness

    5th August 2015 at 10:14 am

    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!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      5th August 2015 at 10:39 am

      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.

      Reply
  13. Janice

    5th August 2015 at 7:08 pm

    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!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      6th August 2015 at 4:28 pm

      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.

      Reply
  14. Karen

    6th August 2015 at 11:54 am

    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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      6th August 2015 at 4:30 pm

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

      Reply
  15. Leisel S

    6th August 2015 at 2:45 pm

    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.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      6th August 2015 at 4:33 pm

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

      Reply
  16. Sarah

    6th August 2015 at 3:58 pm

    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.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      6th August 2015 at 4:34 pm

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

      Reply
  17. Heidi Roberts

    6th August 2015 at 9:55 pm

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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      7th August 2015 at 11:59 am

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

      Reply
  18. Rachel Lucas

    7th August 2015 at 11:05 am

    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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      7th August 2015 at 11:58 am

      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.

      Reply
      • Rachel Lucas

        8th August 2015 at 9:07 am

        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

        Reply
        • Choclette

          8th August 2015 at 9:44 am

          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.

          Reply
  19. the caked crusader

    9th August 2015 at 3:06 pm

    What a great use of a lovely old mould – strawberries make everything such a wonderful colour

    Reply
    • Choclette

      9th August 2015 at 5:15 pm

      Thanks CC. You are so right strawberries are a wonderful fruit 🙂

      Reply
  20. shaheen

    27th August 2015 at 7:22 pm

    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.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      28th August 2015 at 8:36 pm

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

      Reply
  21. Sammie

    17th June 2016 at 7:31 pm

    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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      19th June 2016 at 12:57 pm

      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.

      Reply
  22. Olga

    16th March 2019 at 6:43 am

    Choclette, it looks perfect and tasty! Can’t wait to have this anytime of the day, love it!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      18th March 2019 at 10:35 am

      Thank you. I’m not sure I’d want it any time of the day, but it’s good to have once in a while.

      Reply
  23. Alina

    30th March 2019 at 4:44 pm

    Choclette, it looks so yummy! I love the step-by-step instructions, making it an easy recipe to follow!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      30th March 2019 at 5:08 pm

      Not sure about the step-by-step instructions, but that’s a thought for another time.

      Reply

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