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October 14, 2013 | by  | in Opinion |
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The Sweet Scoop

Wow. Like, wow. I can’t believe it’s the end of the year already. In my head, it’s still very much mid-winter. I’ve got a handbag overflowing with Merino singlets, I keep making stodgy cakes, and yesterday I was so convinced I had a fever that I hunted the depths of the medicine cabinet for a thermometer. At least until someone pointed out that since it was brilliantly sunny, I might want to try taking off my jersey and thermals (I wish that wasn’t a true story).

Since it’s now officially kind of warm (especially in the Kelburn library, which is like a sauna at the moment—I mean it, take an ice pack), here’s a cool, summer-like dessert. As it’s exam-doing/beach-sitting season, and both of those are very important and time-consuming activities, this is also quick and easy. It requires planning in advance, to allow for refrigeration time, but the actual doing-things bit only takes 15 minutes. At the same time, it looks long and complicated, and will impress people you don’t know very well. All I ask for, really.

Although the ingredients of this look quite plain, the final product is anything but, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. In fact, a friend of mine described it as “a really sophisticated and delicious kind of chocolate yoghurt thing”, and, let’s be honest, compliments don’t get much better than that. It is velvety smooth, with a delicate mocha flavour. And, unprecedentedly for this column, this actually isn’t that unhealthy. Look at all the milk! I can just hear my mum saying “good for bones and teeth”.

This was adapted from a 1960s cookbook, back in the days when ladies wore skirts, took tranquilisers in the suburbs, and had jelly moulds in their cupboards. If you don’t have one, then don’t worry: just set this in a bowl. If you can borrow your grandma’s, then try it; they’re pretty cool. A few tips for use: before pouring in the mixture, wet the inside with cold water; when un-moulding the blancmange (what a wonderful phrase), sit the mould in hot water for about 20 seconds, gently press around the edges to separate it from the mould, then invert sharply onto a plate, tapping the base, and you will be left with a perfectly shaped dessert. Pics or it didn’t happen.


Mocha Blancmange

– 3 tablespoons corn flour

– 2 tablespoons cocoa powder

– 1 teaspoon instant coffee

– 4 tablespoons white sugar

– 600 mL whole milk

– 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Mix the dry ingredients with a small amount of milk to form a paste. Heat the milk and vanilla in a saucepan over a low heat, then pour slowly onto the paste, mixing it until smooth. Return all the mixture to the stove, and continue to heat. Bring it to the boil, stirring constantly to ensure it stays smooth. It will thicken rapidly. When it is boiling and very thick, pour into a jelly mould or a bowl. Leave it to cool and set, first on the bench, then in the refrigerator. This needs at least four hours, and is better left for a day or overnight. Un-mould, and serve as is.

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  1. I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme.

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    to do it for you? Plz answer back as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like to find
    out where u got this from. thank you

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