Italian Milk Pudding with Orange Sponge & Toasted Cinnamon Almonds
You can’t get simpler than this dessert. This is a milky dessert quite often made with almond milk sugar and set with corn flour. It is a little more extravagant infused with orange and cinnamon and a fool proof addition of gelatin will ensure that you have the perfect consistency. You will find this on many dessert menus and also in many of the pasticceria in Sicily. No fancy technique, no expensive ingredients just a memory of childhood when you taste the first mouthful. My mum was always making blancmange for us as a quick dessert and as I child I loved it. Even now I still order it in restaurants just to relive the sensation.
Commonly known as Biancomangiare in Sicily. It is a sort of and Italian Pudding with Orange Sponge and Toasted Cinnamon Almonds. A delicious dessert so popular in Sicilian pasticcerias. Dating back to the Middle Ages and also of Arab decent, biancomangiare, meaning ‘white dish’, is a simple cooked dessert, of milk infused with spices and thickened with either corn starch or flour to form a thick custard. Originally it was thickend with rice and origins were of a savoury dish of a milky spiced chicken casserole.
The dish eventually evolved into a dessert thickend with eggs and cream during the 17th century and became a lighter style of dessert with the use of almond milk, sugar and cornflour. Then once chilled it becomes a kind of pudding not unlike its more well known Italian cousin the panna cotta, which is more sublime in texture due to the addition of thickened cream. The Pudding or Biancomangiare is usually topped with cinnamon or ground nuts, this can certainly be substituted with flavourings of vanilla like the recipe below and garnish of grated chocolate or ground pistachios.
The pudding can be simply served in a bowl or moulded into decorative shapes either for individual servings or larger moulds for more of a statement piece at the end of a meal.
- 750ml almond milk available from health shops or supermarkets
- Zest of 1 orange
- 5 drops of vanilla
- 20g of powdered gelatin for vegans use recommended quantity of agar agar
- 250ml Orzata almond milk or similar, this is available at most European delicatessens or good fruit shops
- 100g sponge cake
- 1 tbsp. marmalade
- 1 cup of flaked almonds
- 2 tbsps. egg white
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
- ¼ cup white sugar
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- 2 punnets of raspberries
- 1 tbsp. orange marmalade mixed with 2 tbsps. hot water
- Icing sugar