Our recipe this week was chosen by Susan from Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy (if the name of the blog alone doesn't send you over, just trust me on her yummy food and photos!). From our groups baking book, Dorie Greenspan's Baking From My Home To Yours, Susan chose Raspberry Blanc-Manger. (No, it's not like the thing Jesus was laid in the stable after he was born!) Blanc-Manger is pronounced "blah-mahn-jhay" and it must be pronounced with a strong French accent. ;)
Dorie was right when she told us that this dessert and recipe is so simple it's "positively foolproof". It was easy, I just wasn't sure anyone in our household would like it, including me--since the main ingredient is whipped heavy cream. So I set out to change things up a bit to what I thought would get eaten here. And so, you can get the raspberry recipe for this on Susan's blog. I followed the directions completely, EXCEPT instead of ground almonds, I used ground hazelnuts. I also used 4 1/2 teaspoons of Torani Chocolate Flavoring Syrup and 1 1/2 teaspoons Torani Hazelnut Flavoring Syrup instead of the 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract the recipe suggests. I didn't use raspberries at all. I also put these into three 3-inch round cake pans and an 8x5 inch bread pan instead of the suggested 8 inch round cake pan. Why? I felt like it.
Everything went very smoothly--literally, ha! Tonight we got the dessert out and I did the simple little trick of setting the pan(s) in a sink of hot water (not too deep). They came right out. Then I had the delicious idea of drizzling Nutella on the top. (BE CAREFUL--if you stick the Nutella jar in the microwave just to soften it up a bit--it could start to blow because of the remnants of foil lining from the safety seal that was on the jar. I'm just saying--that COULD happen after only like 4 seconds in the microwave. Or so I've been told. ;)
Here's what my Blanc-Manger came to be.
I was worried it would be a bit too much like gelled whipped cream (with good flavor though) and well, I was kind of right. Everyone dug in.
I think the boys had more fun just destroying the thing than really eating it. Never you mind, I still had two more 3 inch ones and the 8x5 one.
I thought it really looked nice and yummy!
I wanted to see what it was like with a little fruit and the other day after buying a big bag of cherries and getting a nice cherry pitter, I decided to make jam when I realized the boys weren't eating the cherries as fast as I'd thought they would. The jam was so simple and I think it's really good. (Kevin won't even try it, he thinks he only likes Smucker's raspberry preserves.)
All I did was plop some jam on the third 3 inch Nutella-manger. Not very pretty, but I actually thought it tasted really good with the jam.
Katrina's Totally Made Up Really Good Cherry Jam
1 lb. sweet cherries, pitted and chopped
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon (at first I thought it was too much, but I really like the lemon in it!)
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes. It will thicken up beautifully. Makes about 12 oz.
Yes, that is a washed Smucker's raspberry preserves jar! The Cherry Jam is good stuff. You can definitely taste the lemon and I really like it.
Okay, back to the Blanc-Manger. Well, what are we going to do with it since no one really liked it. I really thought it was way to whipped creamy. And while I was trying to make the big one pretty for a picture, my Nutella piping bag exploded on it.
I finished the "drizzle" job and then had a little light bulb moment. ICE CREAM! I scraped all of it into a bowl, added 1/2 cup half and half and poured it into the ice cream maker and it churned away. THIS is some darn good Nutella Hazelnut Ice Cream, People!
Fresh out of the ice cream maker.
After freezing for a few hours.
All I know is I will make Nutella ice cream again sometime (but I'd go a lot lighter on the ground hazelnuts--like maybe even just save some just for sprinkling on top. However, the Nutella flavor is awesome!
Puh-leeese go buy Dorie's book or I supposed you could get her Raspberry Blanc-Manger recipe on Susan's blog today. Ooh, go check out what all the other TWD groupies have done with this on the Tuesday's With Dorie blog.
And just for something fun--check out these carrots I got at the farmer's market this week!
I said to the vendor--"Boy, these carrots are really showing some love." hehe The boys got a kick out of them.