Dessert/ European/ Recipes/ Super Simple

Easy Blancmange Recipe with Blackberry Coulis

07/07/2022

Surprise your guests (and yourself) with this impressively easy blancmange drizzled with a quick homemade blackberry coulis. It’s similar to vanilla pudding or panna cotta, but set without gelatin, and you can even make it dairy free!

Blancmange on a plate drizzled with blackberry coulis, a portion has been sliced out with a spoon.

Why We Love This

Blancmange is so light and refreshing, simple to make and no fancy equipment required. You need just four basic ingredients for the blancmange, plus berries and sugar for the coulis. 

Make ahead and set overnight for a beautifully presented cold dessert after a rich meal. But did you know, it’s also amazing served warm without waiting for the mixture to set, similar to a warm dessert porridge or rice pudding.

Tweak the recipe to add your own flair through colour, flavour or different fruits to make the coulis. Dress it up as an elegant dessert for a fancy dinner party, or serve casually as a snack or treat. 

Related: Easy Vanilla Slice / Sago Pudding with Mango

Blancmange in a clear glass topped with coulis to show the beautiful layers.

What is Blancmange? 

Blancmange (pronounced bluh monj) comes from the French name blanc manger, meaning “white dish” or “white eating”. This is because the dish is usually white, although historically it was sometimes coloured through the use of ingredients like saffron or sandalwood. 

The dessert is essentially an old-fashioned cornstarch and milk pudding, usually set in a mould and served cold. It’s similar to Italian panna cotta, except panna cotta is traditionally set with gelatin, while blancmange is thickened with cornstarch. 

Blancmange is popular across Europe, especially in France and is thought to have been introduced by Middle Eastern traders sometime in the Middle Ages. Back then it was actually a savoury pudding made with cold meats like chicken or fish with milk and rice!

What You’ll Need

  • Milk – We usually use whole milk / full cream dairy milk. Sub with almond milk for a dairy free option. 
  • Cornstarch – AKA cornflour, sub with rice flour or tapioca starch.
    Sugar – Regular white sugar is fine, sub with brown sugar, coconut sugar or honey if you prefer. We used white sugar in the blanc manger and raw sugar in the coulis for a richer berry flavour.
  • Vanilla Extract – Can be labelled vanilla essence in Australia. 
  • Coulis – See the recipe card below for a simple method to simmer down blackberries with water and sugar to make homemade coulis. Feel free to use strawberries, raspberries or blueberries to make the coulis, or just serve with fresh fruit if you prefer.

Ingredients to make blanc manger laid out.

How to make Blancmange and Blackberry Coulis:

For the blanc manger:

  1. Mix the cornstarch with 100 ml / 3 fl oz of cold milk to make a slurry. 
  2. Gently heat the remaining milk in a large saucepan on low heat. Just before it boils, add in the vanilla extract, sugar and the cornstarch slurry.
  1. Keep the heat on low and stir continuously until the milk starts to thicken. This will take around 5 minutes.
  2. Once thick, remove from the heat and pour into individual moulds, serving bowls or glasses. Allow to cool naturally then pop in the fridge for a few hours to set. Note: You can also skip the waiting time and serve this dish warm if you prefer.

For the blackberry coulis:

  1. Add the blackberries, sugar and water into a small saucepan. Cook on low to medium heat for around 5 minutes until soft, stirring occasionally to stop it sticking. Leave as a chunky sauce, or pour through a strainer to remove chunks. Allow to cool then pop in the fridge until ready to serve.

To serve:

  • If set in glasses or bowls: Drizzle coulis over each portion and serve immediately.
  • If set in moulds: Dip the mould in hot water for 10-20 seconds to loosen the blancmange from the edges. Trace a knife around the inner edge of the mould if needed, then tip upside down onto a plate. Drizzle with coulis.

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Cornstarch Slurry – Always use cold milk or water when making the slurry as this stops the cornstarch clumping when poured into the rest of the warmed milk.
  • Take Your Time – Be patient while the milk thickens, and keep the heat on low to avoid a lumpy mess. It should start to thicken in around 5 minutes. 
  • Use a Whisk – Use a whisk instead of a spoon to stir the blancmange as this will reduce the risk of lumps. This also works for other milk-based puddings, custards or white sauces like bechamel.
  • Storage – Blancmange will last for around 2-3 days in the fridge. You can store separately from the coulis to stop it staining the white blancmange if you like. Keep the blancmange covered to preserve the flavour and stop the top from drying out.

FAQs

What’s the difference between blancmange / blanc manger, panna cotta and custard?

Blancmange is simmered with cornflour to thicken and set. Panna cotta is set with gelatin and usually features heavy cream in addition to the milk. Custard is quite different from both, as it is made from cream or milk thickened with eggs.

My blancmange won’t thicken, what can I do?

If your blanc manger still hasn’t thickened after 5 minutes, try adding another cornstarch slurry (1 tbsp cornstarch to 2 tbsp of cold water or milk) and stirring for a bit longer. Avoid turning up the heat to cook faster as this can affect the flavour and texture of the finished blancmange.

Can I use gelatin in this recipe?

Yes, if you prefer, you can swap the cornstarch for 1.5 tsp of gelatin powder.You’ll only need to heat the milk just long enough to dissolve the gelatin crystals, rather than waiting for the milk to thicken.

Variations

  • Flavour – Tweak the flavour of your blancmange with fresh vanilla beans or vanilla extract, whole cinnamon sticks (remove before setting), rose water, orange blossom water or slices of lemon peel. (Avoid juice as this can cause curdling. Discard the peel before setting). 
  • Chocolate Blancmange – Add a couple of scoops of cocoa powder into the slurry. You could also melt some finely shaved chocolate in with the mixture as it thickens. 
  • Colour – Use your favourite food dyes to make unique colours.
  • Lazy Coulis – Mix any fruit jam with a little hot water to thin it out and turn it into a quick coulis sauce.
  • Serve Hot – If you can’t wait for the pudding to cool and set in the fridge, then why not serve hot with your freshly made coulis? This makes it a perfect winter dessert!
Two blancmange servings set in clear glasses to show the white pudding and rich purple berry coulis on top.

More amazing dessert creations to try next:

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and star rating below!

Close up shot of set blancmange with blackberry coulis and an extra berry on top.

Easy Blancmange Recipe with Blackberry Coulis

Surprise your guests (and yourself) with this impressively easy blancmange drizzled with a quick homemade blackberry coulis. It’s similar to vanilla pudding or panna cotta, but set without gelatin, and you can even make it dairy free!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 134kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $5

Ingredients

Blancmange base

Blackberry coulis

  • 125 g blackberries
  • 50 g raw sugar
  • 50 ml water

Instructions

For the blancmange:

  • Mix the cornstarch with 100 ml / 3 fl oz of cold milk to make a slurry.
    80 g cornstarch / cornflour, 1 litre whole milk
  • Gently heat the remaining milk in a large saucepan on low heat. Just before it boils, add in the vanilla extract, sugar and the cornstarch slurry.
    1 litre whole milk, 1-2 tsp vanilla extract, 60 g white sugar
  • Keep the heat on low and stir continuously until the milk starts to thicken. This will take around 5 minutes.
  • Once thick, remove from the heat and pour into individual moulds, serving bowls or glasses. Allow to cool naturally then pop in the fridge for a few hours to set. Note: You can also skip the waiting time and serve this dish warm if you prefer.

For the blackberry coulis:

  • Add the blackberries, sugar and water into a small saucepan. Cook on low to medium heat for around 5 minutes until soft, stirring occasionally to stop it sticking. Leave as a chunky sauce, or pour through a strainer for a smooth coulis. Allow to cool then pop in the fridge until ready to serve.
    125 g blackberries, 50 g raw sugar, 50 ml water

To serve:

  • If set in glasses or bowls: Drizzle coulis over each portion and serve immediately.
    If set in moulds: Dip the mould in hot water for 10-20 seconds to loosen the blancmange from the edges. Trace a knife around the inner edge of the mould if needed, then tip upside down onto a plate. Drizzle with coulis.

Video

Recipe Notes

  • Milk – We usually use whole milk / full cream dairy milk. Sub with almond milk for a dairy free option.
  • Cornstarch – AKA cornflour, sub with rice flour or tapioca starch.
    Sugar – Regular white sugar is fine, sub with brown sugar, coconut sugar or honey if you prefer. We used white sugar in the blanc manger and raw sugar in the coulis for a richer berry flavour.
  • Vanilla Extract – Can be labelled vanilla essence in Australia.
  • Coulis – See the recipe card below for a simple method to simmer down blackberries with water and sugar to make homemade coulis. Feel free to use strawberries, raspberries or blueberries to make the coulis, or just serve with fresh fruit if you prefer.
  • Cornstarch Slurry – Always use cold milk or water when making the slurry as this stops the cornstarch clumping when poured into the rest of the warmed milk.
  • Take Your Time – Be patient while the milk thickens, and keep the heat on low to avoid a lumpy mess. It should start to thicken in around 5 minutes. 
  • Use a Whisk – Use a whisk instead of a spoon to stir the blancmange as this will reduce the risk of lumps. This also works for other milk-based puddings, custards or white sauces like bechamel.
  • Storage – Blancmange will last for around 2-3 days in the fridge. You can store separately from the coulis to stop it staining the white blancmange if you like. Keep the blancmange covered to preserve the flavour and stop the top from drying out.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Easy Blancmange Recipe with Blackberry Coulis
Serving Size
 
6 g
Amount per Serving
Calories
134
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
1
g
2
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Cholesterol
 
1
mg
0
%
Sodium
 
2
mg
0
%
Potassium
 
34
mg
1
%
Carbohydrates
 
33
g
11
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
19
g
21
%
Protein
 
1
g
2
%
Vitamin A
 
45
IU
1
%
Vitamin C
 
4
mg
5
%
Calcium
 
6
mg
1
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks
Easy Blancmange Recipe with Blackberry Coulis

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