My first question this week was "What the heck is a blanc-manger??" It is reminiscent of a coeur a la creme, but has whipping cream and milk with gelatin to stabilize it. This was such an easy recipe to put together. I made it the night before I served it and parked it in the refrigerator overnight.
I went back and forth on whether I should grind blanched almonds or just use my Trader Joe's ground almonds (which are ground with the skins on). It was obvious from the photo that Dorie used blanched almonds, but I was feeling lazy and decided to go for that rustic look.
The recipe came together very quickly and easily. It took longer to pick through the two baskets of raspberries to trash the ones that were mushy than it did to make the blanc-manger. I smoothed the top diligently, wrapped it with plastic wrap and put it in a drawer of the fridge, away from strong odors. When it was time to unmold it, I soaked it in hot (OK, boiling hot) water, and it popped right out, but the top was very shiny. In the future, I'd use hot tap water and I think I'd get the effect the picture in the book shows.
The raspberry coulis was easier than the blanc-manger (picking through the raspberries again took more time). I forgot to reserve some berries to decorate the top, so I decided to make an amoeba-like design on the top with the coulis. Well, I decided to make a design, but my design skills are pathetic.
This was a hit at work. Once people got over the "What is it?" and had a slice, it disappeared in record time.
This is a not a dessert for anyone watching their weight as its predominant ingredient is whipping cream, but it's an impressive and refreshing summer dessert. I used the suggested raspberries, but peaches, apricots, strawberries or cantaloupe would all work.
Thanks go to Susan of Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy. She picked this dessert for us to make this week, and she's something of a visionary in my mind. If you'd like the recipe, please visit Susan, or better yet, buy the book and join us in our odyssey to bake our way through it, one recipe at a time.