Raspberry Blanc-Manger

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It’s hot and it’s berry season, so what better dessert than a light, fluffy raspberry blanc-manger?  This is a delicate, almond-flavored, mousse-like cake studded with raspberries, then topped with more raspberries and drenched with raspberry coulis.

 

Raspberry Blanc-Manger
From Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours

Yield: 6 servings

For the blanc-manger:

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup ground almonds OR super-fine almond flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 (1/4-oz) packet powdered gelatin
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup raspberries

For topping:

 

  1. Set aside an 8-inch cake pan that is 2 inches high.
  2. Fill a large bowl with ice cubes and cold water. Have ready a smaller bowl that fits into the ice-water bath.
  3. Whip cream until it holds soft peaks.  Cover and refrigerate.
  4. Bring milk, almonds, and sugar to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to make certain the sugar dissolves.
  5. While milk heats, put gelatin and 3 tablespoons cold water in a microwave-safe bowl or a saucepan.  When the gelatin is soft and spongy — it should take about 2 minutes — heat it in a microwave oven for 15 seconds (or cook it over low heat to dissolve).
  6. Stir the gelatin into the hot milk mixture, and remove the saucepan from heat.
  7. Pour the hot almond milk into the small reserved bowl, and set the bowl into the ice-water bath.
  8. Stir in vanilla, and continue to stir until the mixture is cool but still liquid; you do not want the milk to gel in the bowl.
  9. Very gently fold the cold whipped cream into the almond milk with a rubber spatula, then fold in the raspberries.
  10. Spoon the blanc-manger into cake pan, and refrigerate until set, about 2-3 hours.
  11. To unmold the blanc-manger, dip the cake pan up to its rim in hot water for 5 seconds, then wipe the pan and invert the blanc-manger onto a serving plate.
  12. Serve immediately or chill until needed.  Top with raspberries and serve raspberry coulis on the side.
  13. The blanc-manger can be covered and kept in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
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Raspberry Coulis

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Raspberry coulis is a delicious sauce made from fresh raspberries that you can drizzle over cakes (for example, golden pound cake or lemon pound cake).  You can even dunk cookies into it.

 

Raspberry Coulis
From Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours

  • 1 pint (2 cups) red raspberries, fresh or frozen (partially thawed if frozen)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar, or more to taste

 

  1. Put berries and sugar in a blender or food processor and blend until pureed.
  2. Taste and mix in more sugar if needed.
  3. Press coulis through a strainer or food mill to eliminate seeds.

Papaya Bowl

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In case you are still trying to lose your holiday weight gain (like me) or need to serve dessert to health-conscious friends, this is a great compromise between healthiness and sweetness.  All the colors from the papaya and berries also make it a pretty dish.

Papaya Bowl

Yield: 2 servings

1 ripe papaya
Mix of berries (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, sliced strawberries…)

  1. Slice the papaya in half and scoop out the seeds.  If you want to be fancy, you can slice off the tip of the papaya (where the stem used to be).
  2. Fill the indentation in each half with a mix of your favorite berries.