A Blancmange is a European dessert traditionally made with a gelatin based thickener. In the Harry Potter series, this dessert is seen in Goblet of Fire during the Triwizard feast. It might have also been made by Fleur Delacour while the trio were staying at Shell Cottage in Deathly Hallows.
This recipe has a little twist to the traditional recipe. This recipe gives a combination of Blancmange with a Creme Brulee recipe, hence the name Blancmange Brulee. It is a much denser custard with a hint of almond flavoring, and a carmelized sugar topping.
Cooking Time: 5 hours
Level Difficulty: Moderate
10 Large egg yolks
3/4 cup white sugar
4 cups heavy cream (Heavy whipping cream is same thing)
2 teaspoons of almond extract*
*For a traditional Creme Burlee, you will need 2 vanilla bean pods scrapped or 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract instead of almond extract*
2 large bowls
6 8-oz ramekins
Baking Pan (big enought o hold ramekins with at least 3-inch high walls)
Fine mesh strainer
Culinary torch (for carmelizing the sugar topping)
***SAFTEY NOTE: Do not use torch without adult supervision***
(If uncomfortable with torch, you may use Broiler in oven instead)
Step 1:In a bowl, cream the egg yolks and sugar together until the mixture turns a lighter yellow color. This takes about 2-3 minutes with a handheld electric mixer. Set aside when done.
Step 2:In the sauce pan, bring to a boil on medium high heat the Heavy Cream with the almond extract. You will need to stir occasionally so the heavy cream doesn't burn. (If using vanilla bean pods, slice pods length wise and scrape out vanilla and throw into pot along with bean pods or the vanilla extract). When bubbles begin to appear, turn off the stove and remove and set aside to stop further boiling.
Step 3:Crucial Step: With a ladle take out some of the hot heavy cream and pour about a shot glass full into the yolk mixture while whisking vigorously. You must whisk before and after pouring the hot heavy cream into the yolk mixture to avoid making scrambled eggs. Repeat this step a few more times to bring up the temperature of the egg yolk mixture. (This is called tempering).
Step 4:After you have tempered the egg mixture, pour the rest of the heavy cream mixture into the bowl and continue to whisk away until both are fully incorporated.
Step 5:Pour the completed mixture into another bowl through a fine strainer. (This removes any scambled eggs-like clumps and the vanilla bean pods if used)
Step 6:Pour the mixture into the ramekins making sure they are filled 2/3 full and equal between them all.
Step 7:Preheat oven to 325F. Fill baking pan with water about half way up walls of baking pan and place baking pan in the center of the oven to preheat prior to adding ramekins.
Step 8:After the oven and water bath is hot, place the ramekins inside the baking pan carefully. Make sure the water is no more than half way up the ramekins. If you need to add more water, do so at this time (it's easier than removing the hot water).
Step 9:Take a piece of foil and tent the baking pan. This means folding the foil in half and placing over the baking pan. This prevents the top of the custard from burning.
Step 10:Bake the Blancmange Brulee for about 45 minutes to an hour. (Depending on ramekin size - if smaller than 8-ounces then its less time, if bigger than 8-ouces then it's longer). To tell if the Blancmange Brulee is finished cooking, jiggle one of the ramekins. When there is only a slight jiggle in the center, it is finished. If it jiggles like jello it is not finished)
Step 11:CAREFULLY remove baking pan from oven when Blancmange Brulee is finished. Carefully remove ramekins from the water bath. Let ramekins cool on the counter for an hour or two before refrigerating for at least 2 hours until chilled.
Step 12:For the Blancmange Brulee topping, take 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and sprinkle evenly on top until a thin layer is equally distributed. With a culinary torch, burn the sugar top in a circular motion until carmelized evenly. (If you are using broiler instead of torch: Preheat broiler to 450F and set all ramekins underneath for an even carmelization. This should take no more than a minute. Keep a very close eye on the ramekin, or else the sugar will burn).