Biancomangiare alle Mandorle

Set puddings made of sweetened almond milk, covering a layer of tart raspberry jam.

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This is the first recipe I tried out of my new cookbook; Sweet Sicily. I bought the cookbook as soon as I got back off holiday as I loved the food in Sicily so much, and there were loads of things I didn’t get to try!

One of the desserts I missed out on when I was on holiday was a Biancancomangerie, which is basically like a pana cota, but made using almond milk rather than cream.

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The recipe was really really easy, and it worked really well first time round, so hopefully that will be the case will all the recipes in my new book!

These desserts have a really unusual taste, I don’t think I’ve ever had almond milk before so it was a completely new flavour for me! But it has a really nice light but nutty and flavourful finish. It’s also gluten and dairy free, so a great one to have in your repertoire!

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My only disappointment in how this dessert turned out is the colour. I should have splashed out and bought a better quality of almond milk, as the one I used had a light brown colour,meaning the dessert is not the pure white colour it should be, but at least I know for next time!

I don’t own any pana cota moulds so I made them in ramekins with some lemon curd or raspberry jam at the bottom, but to my surprise I could actually tip them out of the ramekins and they kept their shape beautifully.

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Variations: I think this would taste really good with some chocolate chips or caramelised nuts on top. You could also a try a mixture of cream and almond milk for a richer finish.

Ingredients: Makes 6-8 puddings

  • 1 litre of almond milk
  • 200g sugar
  • 90g cornflour
  • 1tsp vanilla essence

optional:

  • raspberry jam
  • lemon curd

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To Make:

In a small bowl combine the cornflour with a few tbsp of the almond milk. Whisk into a smooth paste.

Transfer the rest of the almond milk into a large pan and slowly bring to the boil.

Pour in the cornflour mixture, along with the sugar, lemon zest and vanilla extract, and whisk continuously untill the mixture thickens. This took about 10 minutes when I made it!

Meanwhile place a tsp of jam in the bottom of some small ramekins.
Once the mixture has started to thicken, immediately remove from the heat and continue to whisk until it has stopped thickening.

Pour into the prepared ramekins and leave in the fridge for a few hours or overnight to set.

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Dark Chocolate, Amaretto and Raspberry Mouse

Rich, creamy, dark chocolate mousse, made with a dash of Amaretto sweetness, covering a layer of sharp, fresh raspberries.

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If you love chocolate as much as me, then this recipe is one you NEED to try! I am not very experienced in making mousses, but they are really easy to put together. There is no cooking involved, just melting and whisking, so it’s quite difficult to go wrong!

Another big plus of this recipe is that it is gluten free, which is the main reason I came up with it! My sister is gluten intolerant, so I wanted to make something she would be able to eat.

I have spiced up my chocolate mouse recipe by putting some fresh raspberries in the bottom of the pots, which provide a welcome sharp note, and I have added a swig of Amaretto, which gives an extra hint of sweetness.

One thing I would say about this recipe is that it is very rich. I  made very generous portions, (I was really full after eating one!), so you could easily make this into about 10 smaller portions, if you aren’t as greedy as me! I served mine after a beef fondue dinner, and they finished it off perfectly, so if your cooking for guests who love chocolate, then this recipe is for you!

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Variations: The dark chocolate could be exchanged for white, to make a white chocolate and raspberry mouse, and the raspberries could be swapped for another fruit such as strawberries or orange.

Ingredients: Makes Seven Large Pots

  • 300g Dark Chocolate
  • 3 Eggs, separated
  • 300ml Double Cream
  • 100g Butter
  • 2tbsp Caster Sugar
  • 2tbsp Amaretto
  • 50ml Milk

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To Make:

Make sure you have 7-8 dishes or wine glasses ready to spoon your mousse into.

Weigh out the chocolate, butter and milk into a heatproof bowl, place over a pan of simmering water, until the chocolate melts.

Whisk the egg yolks and amaretto into the chocolate.

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Meanwhile, whisk the double cream until it forms soft peaks.

Whisk the egg whites until they form stuff peaks, then add the caster sugar. Continue to whisk for a few minutes until glossy.

Fold the cream and chocolate into the egg whites, bit at a time, with a large metal spoon, until fully incorporated. Make sure not to knock out all the air!

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Put five raspberries into the bottom of each dish, mask up with a fork to form a kind-of purée.

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Spoon the chocolate mousse mixture over the top of the raspberries, until each dish is almost full.

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Chill the mousses in the fridge for at least four hours before serving.

Dust the top of each mousse with cocoa powder and decorate with fresh raspberries.

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Serve after dinner, straight out of the fridge, delicious!

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