Monday 9 May 2011

Easy Vanilla Blancmange & A Winner

I am ever so sorry! Still no holiday pics! I haven't been lazy, I promise! I did do a lot of photo editing all during last week and for large chunks of Saturday and Sunday, too! But after all those hours of staring at the PC screen, I started going a bit crazy in the head. The pixels commenced to perform little dance numbers before my tired eyes, so I gave myself some rest. Right after work tonight I'll be back on it. Cross my heart!

In the meantime, let me announce the winner of the vanilla giveaway! This is what the Random Number Generator came up with:

And the winner is: Commenter No. 1!

Congratulations, Vicky! Please can you email me your contact details at, so that I can send the pods your way! Thank you, and thanks to everybody else for entering!

For some vanilla cooking inspiration, I'm sharing a recipe for a really easy vanilla blancmange today. I got this recipe from my friend Gesche, another German gal. We call blancmange simply "pudding" in Germany, and you can buy "pudding powder" in little paper sachets, ready to be mixed with boiled milk. My parents used to make vanilla pudding for dessert a lot when I was a kid, and we ate it with chocolate sauce, fresh strawberries or cherry compote.

This recipe is just as easy and quick as ripping open a dessert mix, has no artificial colourings, flavourings or other nasties, and can be made with real vanilla or vanilla extract. I usually use skimmed milk, which makes it a low fat treat, but whole, semi-skimmed or even soy milk will work just as well.

(serves 4)

Need To Have:
3 cups milk
1/3 cup golden caster sugar
1/4 cup corn flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 vanilla pod OR 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Need To Do:

Keep 1/3 of a cup of milk aside and start heating the rest in a medium saucepan over a low heat.  

Put the sugar in a small bowl. If using, half the vanilla pod and scrape the seeds into the sugar bowl. Mix thoroughly by rubbing the vanilla seeds into the sugar, until all the little clusters have come apart and are evenly dispersed.

Add the cornflour and salt to the sugar and then stir in the 1/3 cup of milk (and vanilla extract, if you are using that). Combine to make a smooth, thin paste, making sure there are no lumps.

When the milk on the stove has reached its boiling point, remove it from the heat and add the vanilla mix and the vanilla pod (if using). Return to a low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and smooth. Continue cooking the blancmange for another 5 minutes or so, to get rid of any corn flour taste.

If necessary, remove the vanilla pod (you can wash and dry it and use it again to flavour another dish, if you like) and pour the blancmange into serving dishes.

The blancmange can be eaten when still slightly warm, or cool to room temperature and let set in the fridge.

© Annika - All The Live Long Day (unless otherwise stated)

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