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Prue Leith’s Raspberry Blancmange

Based on a retro classic, this blancmange is a far cry from its wobbly 1970s’ reputation – it’s a light and creamy raspberry and almond dessert, here served with buttery langues de chat biscuits. 

Serves: 12 

Hands-on time: 30 minutes, plus setting 

Baking time: 10 minutes 

Skill level: Easy 

For the blancmange: 

8 gelatine leaves  

750g raspberries 

50ml raspberry liqueur  

25g cornflour 

300ml whole milk 

150g caster sugar 

40g ground almonds 

1 tsp almond extract 

450ml double cream 

crystallised rose petals, to decorate  

For the langues de chat: 

40g unsalted butter, softened  

40g icing sugar  

1/4 tsp almond extract 

1 large egg white 

40g plain flour 

pinch of salt 

150g good-quality white chocolate, melted 

green cocoa butter  

You will also need: 

1.4-litre ring or jelly mould 

Medium piping bag 

9mm round nozzle 

Baking sheet lined with baking paper 

Small disposable piping bag; medium star nozzle 

Step 1 – Soak the gelatine leaves in a small bowl of chilled water for 5 minutes.  

Step 2 – Tip the raspberries into the bowl of a food processor and blitz to a fine purée. Pass through a sieve into a clean bowl, discarding the pips, then stir in the raspberry liqueur. 

Step 3 – Mix the cornflour with a little of the milk in a medium pan. Add the remaining milk, along with the sugar and ground almonds. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 3–5 minutes, to thicken. Remove the pan from the heat. 

Step 4 – Squeeze out any excess water from the gelatine leaves, then add them to the pan, stirring continuously until dissolved. Add the almond extract.  

Step 5 – Stir in 300ml of the double cream and all the raspberry purée, combine thoroughly, then pour into the mould. Leave to set for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.  

Step 6 – To make the langues de chat, beat the butter and icing sugar until pale and smooth. Stir in the almond extract. Whisk the egg white with a fork to break it up, then gradually beat it into the mixture.  

Step 7 – Sift the flour with the salt over the top of the mixture, then fold in. Place the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 9mm round nozzle. Pipe 12 fingers, each 8cm long, onto the baking sheet, leaving a 3.5cm space between each biscuit. 

Step 8 – Tap the baking sheet on the underside to release any air bubbles in the dough, then chill for 15 minutes, until the dough is firm to the touch. Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/Gas 4.  

Step 9 – Bake the biscuits for 8–10 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges and pale in the middle. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.  

Step 10 – Spoon about 50g of the melted white chocolate into a small disposable piping bag and set aside. 

Step 11 – Gently melt the green cocoa butter in the microwave or by placing it in a bowl stood in a jug of hot water. Add a small amount of green cocoa butter to the remaining melted chocolate to colour it mint green.  

Step 12 – Dip 1 cooled langue de chat into the chocolate, lengthways on the diagonal. Allow the excess to run off, then place on a sheet of baking paper to set. Repeat with the remaining biscuits, until all 12 biscuits are half-coated in chocolate.  

Step 13 – Snip the end of the piping bag and drizzle the white chocolate in lines from side to side across the langues de chat. Leave to set.   

Step 14 – To serve, lightly whip the remaining 150ml of cream to soft peaks, then spoon into a medium piping bag fitted with a medium star nozzle.  

Step 15 – Remove the mould from the fridge and quickly dip it into a bowl of hot water to loosen the blancmange. Invert the mould onto a serving plate to turn out the blancmange.  

Step 16 – Pipe the cream around the base of the blancmange, then decorate with crystallised rose petals. Serve immediately with the langues de chat on the side.

This is a recipe from The Great British Bake Off: Get Baking for Friends and Family. For more like it, buy the book.