Elderflower and almond blancmange, by Madalene Bonvini-Hamel

08 May 2012
Elderflower and almond blancmange, by Madalene Bonvini-Hamel

(Serves 10)

For the elderflower sorbet
500ml water
50g glucose
500ml elderflower cordial

For the almond biscuits
2 egg whites
225g caster sugar
1tsp almond extract (flavouring)
300g ground almonds
Zest of one lemon and 50ml lemon juice

For the almond blancmange
2 leaves of gelatine
200ml almond milk (Alpro sells this product either chilled or ambient)
100ml whipping cream
Zest of one lemon
50g caster sugar
2 tablespoon elderflower cordial
30g ground almonds

For the elderflower Jelly
125ml elderflower cordial
125ml water
1½ leaves gelatine

First prepare the elderflower sorbet: Using 200ml of the water, add the glucose and bring to the boil. Simmer for one minute and then add the remaining ingredients. Stir and chill for one hour before churning the sorbet using an ice-cream machine. Keep frozen till needed.

Prepare the almond biscuits: whisk the egg whites, sugar, lemon juice and almond flavouring until a glossy and thick meringue mixture is formed. Fold in the ground almonds and lemon zest. Pipe the mixture out on to lined baking sheets into the shape of the diameter of a 20 pence coin. Refrigerate overnight (uncovered). The following day preheat the oven to 140°C and bake the biscuits for 20 minutes. Let them cool on the tray until completely cold. The biscuits should be lightly golden in colour and crispy. Keep them in a dry airtight container until needed. These biscuits can be prepared three days in advance.

Prepare the almond blancmange: soak the gelatine in cold water until bloomed and softened. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the almond milk, cream, lemon zest, sugar, cordial and almonds to the boil. Simmer for one minute and remove the pan from the heat. Drain the gelatine, squeeze to remove any access liquid and add to the hot mix. Whisk to dissolve and pass the mix through a sieve. Pour the mix into suitable serving bowls or glasses holding approximately 125ml volume, leave 1cm gap for the elderflower jelly. Transfer the bowls to the fridge to set for at least four hours. Keep chilled till needed.

Prepare the elderflower jelly: soak the gelatine in cold water till softened and bloomed. In a small saucepan over high heat, bring the cordial, water to the boil. Drain the bloomed gelatine and whisk it into the cordial mix, pass the jelly through a fine sieve and leave to cool till about 10°C at room temperature. Pour the jelly on top of the set blancmange and return to the fridge to set for about two hours.

To serve each serving: crush two biscuits per serving portion into fine crumbs and scatter the crumbs in a line on to the set elderflower jelly, scoop a quenelle of sorbet on top and garnish with suitable edible flowers

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