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!
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
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.
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.