Friday, 17 August 2007

Blanc Mange

This is Blancmange playing tennis in a Monty Python movie.
(Monty Python is too bizarre for me, but I will never forget this very random scene...but then, the entire movie is random!)

My daughter asked me for this recipe so it is posted for her. She ate a lot of this when growing up. I seldom bought boxed puddings and made this instead with a number of variations.

Blanc Mange is a traditional European dish that started as a bland, milky meal with chicken that was served to invalids. It then evolved onto a dessert like flan, made with milk and egg that was set in a molded dish. It now refers to a pudding made with cornstarch or flour. It could be made stiff enough to be molded, but we like ours to be creamier. Here is the basic idea for a modern version using a microwave oven.

In a microwave proof dish combine

3 tbsp cornstarch (or flour)
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup sugar or sweetener

Add 2-1/2 cups milk (regular or soy)
It is easier to blend if the milk has been warmed, but I don't do this.
You can thin the pudding with extra milk after it has cooked to reach the desired consistency

Cook in microwave. I set it at 50% power for about 3-5 minutes.
Stir the pudding every minute. Remove after it thickens.
Add 1 tbsp butter (optional) and 1/2 tsp vanilla to the thickened pudding.


Chocolate: Add 2-3 tbsp cocoa to sugar and cornstarch mixture. Use the greater amount of sugar.

Maple: Add 1/2 cup maple syrup instead of the sugar

Rice pudding: Add 1-2 cups cooked rice to thickened pudding. Add raisins and cinnamon if desired.

For a richer pudding with a custardy flavour, add one well beaten egg to the hot mixture. Stir a little of the hot pudding into the egg before adding the egg to the dish. You may have to return the pudding to the microwave for 15-30 seconds to set the egg.

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