Make this hassle free chocolate blancmange recipe
There are certain foods that we eat as children which we never see again. And rightly so in some instances. But there are others which are classics which might go out of fashion in foodie circles, but are perfect to serve up to your children. After all if we ate them as kids and enjoyed them then why won’t our children.
Ok so children of today have much more eclectic choice of foods and cuisines than many of us did as children. For instance we didn’t eat much pasta as a child spaghetti bolognese was a treat. But nowadays pretty much every baby has pasta on the menu even when they are weaning and add to that plentiful Italian restaurants down every High Street. So sometimes going back to 1970s and 80s retro dishes is a bit of a treat as well as serving as a memory of some of the nice dishes of yesteryear.
For me the best dishes of my childhood were probably the puddings. Who could forget Black Forest gateau, trifle ( which always gets made for Christmas Day tea at the farm), and chocolate blancmange. You might turn up your nose at the last of these but I was generally happy with any type of dessert put in front of me including semolina and tapioca at school. But chocolate blancmange is something that I probably did have quite a bit as a child.. The mother-in-law taught the OH to make it so he will sometimes make it.
If you’re in the US, then chocolate blancmange is quite close to what you’d call chocolate pudding, but without the eggs. It’s also quite intense chocolate so if you prefer a sweeter pudding, then you’ll need to add more sugar. Or just top it with cream to offset the more bitter rich flavour.
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It’s has to be chocolate flavour for us. Never strawberry or vanilla. It’s a brilliant way to use up a glut of milk milk getting close to its use-by date and once you get the hang of it it’s fairly hassle-free to make. When you only need a few ingredients out of the larder it’s also a handy staple to be able to pull out when a pudding is needed at short notice.
I have to admit that the last time I tried to make it to use up some milk, I did have a bit of a burnt pan disaster. Slightly worrying when it’s the good AGA pans, but thankfully the vinegar and bicarb solution sorted it out and restored the pans to perfect condition.
To avoid the same happening again (because I do have a tendency to repeat the same cooking issues over and over again) I had a look in our old 1980s microwave cookbook that came with the OH’s ancient microwave when I first moved in. And found a blancmange recipe. It was vanilla flavour rather than chocolate, but combining this recipe with another non microwavable chocolate version worked pretty well. So like my cheese sauce recipe, I now have an easier recipe to use with no risk of burnt pans.
It wouldn’t be a recipe if I had a bit of a disaster with it though. What you do have to watch out for heating milk in a microwave, is how fast it will all of a sudden bubble up and boil over. Mine had been pretty calm and only needed what I thought was the last two or 3 minutes but I went off to put some cutlery away and returned to see it overflowing onto the microwave plate. Oops. There was plenty left though so just something to watch out for when you’re making it yourself and keep checking it.
Tips for this chocolate blancmange recipe
* Add more or less sugar, and the same for cocoa depending on whether you prefer it sweet or bitter or more chocolatey.
* You can add some melted chocolate as well as cocoa if you want more depth.
* Some recipes add vanilla extract. You don’t really need this, although you could add a few drops of mint or orange extract for a slightly different flavour.
* Use a big jug and make sure you watch it like a hawk, and stir regularly. It will bubble over really easily.
* You can make this and pour into a jelly mould. Just wait longer for it to set, slightly loosen by dipping the bottom of the mould it for a few seconds in hot water, put a plate on top then flip over to turn out. We tend to make a big batch in a large bowl, or you can put into 4 ramekins or small bowls to set.
* If you don’t want a skin (it’s the best bit though), cover with cling film on the surface before it sets.
Useful equipment I like
Microwave chocolate blancmange
A no fuss way to make smooth velvety chocolate blancmange, that retro dessert from the 70s and 80s.
- 3 tbsp cornflower (cornstarch)
- 2 1/4 cups of milk semi skimmed or full fat
- 1 tbsp cocoa add another tablespoon for more chocolatey taste
- 3 tbsp caster sugar
In a large microwavable bowl or jug mix a small bit of milk and the cornflower
Add the sugar and cocoa and stir
Add the rest of the milk and mix until all is smooth and mixed in
Put in the microwave on medium high for 9-11 minutes (mine took just under 9 minutes at 850W microwave), stirring every couple of minutes until it starts to thicken.
Pour into the bowl, ramekins or mould and leave to set in the fridge or a cold place.
Turn out from the mould if using, serve with pouring cream
Are you a retro desserts fan? What’s your favourite?
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