Actually this is my little twist to the traditional blancmange, which I find a little bit bland since it’s made with only milk – and of course starch and sugar. This dessert is found under different names in several countries around the world. It is basically composed of the same ingredients but flavorings and/or serving styles vary. For example in Turkey we have one version which is made with half water-half milk and contains a very small amount of sugar. It is called “water pudding” and is served with confectioner’s sugar, a little bit of cold milk and rose water. I know some people who prefer to eat it with molasses as well.

What I did was to add some excitement to this creamy, milky pudding. First, I made a base using chocolate wafers to bring a little bit of texture, then to add some color and tang I made a pudding from sour cherry juice. Finally for the crunch I topped it with coarsely chopped blanched almonds and some dried sour cherries! Bon appétit!

Ingredients

Serves 6

For the base 
  • 150 gr chocolate wafers
  • 30-40 gr butter, softened
For the blancmange
  • 400 ml milk
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
For the sour cherry pudding
  • 400  ml sour cherry juice
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
For decoration
  • A handful of blanched almonds
  • 10-12 dried sour cherries

Step by step method

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  1. To prepare the base, put wafers in food processor and process until finely ground. Mix with softened butter and put about 2 tablespoon fulls of this crumb in each serving dish, which should preferably be a see-through glass dish. Then use a flat bottomed cup or other suitable utensil topress down the crumbs in order to obtain an even and smooth surface for the base.
  2. To make the blancmange place milk and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
  3. Meanwhile in a small bowl mix the cornstarch with a little bit of water (1 or 2 tbsp should suffice) then lower the heat and add mixture to the milk. Keep stirring quickly with a whisk to avoid lumps from forming.
  4. Take off the heat once it comes to a boil and pour equally into serving dishes about half-way up.
  5. For sour cherry pudding place the sour cherry juice and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
  6. Meanwhile in a small bowl mix cornstarch with 1-2 tbsp of water. Once the juice comes to a boil, lower heat and add cornstarch mixture. Bring to a boil while constantly stirring with a whisk. Pour into the dishes to top the blancmange.
  7. Let cool at room temperature. Then decorate with a mixture of coarsely chopped blanched almonds and dried cherries.
  8. Refrigerate at least 3-4 hours or preferably overnight before serving.