Blancmange is either ignored or despised: here’s how to make one that’s neither slimy nor bland

Blancmange. Poor, maligned blancmange. The slimy, over-set staple of children’s birthday parties and school dinners, destined to be pushed around a plate and loathed for life. Blancmange has become shorthand for an age of blandness: the dessert equivalent of Chris de Burgh. Even its name sounds heavy on the English tongue. But we do the blancmange a grave disservice. It is, after all, essentially a panna cotta. Shouldn’t a milk jelly by any other name taste as sweet? It is slightly lighter than its Italian counterpart, yes, but that’s all to its credit. So why the bad reputation? The culprit, I think, is packet blancmange. No amount of careful preparation