Carrageen Moss Blancmange
Unusual, light, delicious: a tangy sweet course from the Irish past

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Carrageen Moss Blancmange

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Adjust Servings:
1/2 ounce / 1 cup Carrageen moss Increase amount by 1/2 if the dessert will be produced in a mold
15 fluid ounces / 440 ml Milk Full fat
A few slivers Lemon rind
1/8 teaspoon Vanilla extract Or a vanilla pod
2 Large eggs
3 tablespoons Granulated sugar

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  • Gluten Free

An old-fashioned dessert gelled with a natural alternative to gelatin, delicate and digestible

  • 24 hours 30 mins
  • Serves 4
  • Easy




This delicate and subtle dessert would once have been thought of as the kind of treat best suited to invalids and people recovering from stomach troubles. But the same lightness and simplicity that made it a favorite as a “recovery food” now sets it apart as something unique among Irish traditional sweets.

The carrageen that contributes to its unusual flavor is a traditional ingredient with a centuries-long history of use in Ireland For more info about carrageenan, read this post elsewhere on our site.



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Preparing the carrageen moss

Soak the carragheen in warm water for 10-15 minutes.



Discard the water and place the moss, milk, lemon rind and vanilla in a saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20-25 minutes over the lowest possible heat. As the mixture simmers gently, it will slowly and visibly begin to thicken.


Adding egg yolks to the cooked mixture

Meanwhile separate the eggs and, in a heatproof bowl, beat the yolks and sugar together until thick and pale in color.

Strain the milk and carrageen into another heatproof bowl. Add a tablespoon of the hot mixture to the whisked egg yolks and whisk again. The egg yolks will start to thicken. Add another tablespoon of the hot mixture to the egg and whisk again. Repeat this procedure until about a third of the hot carrageen mixture has been added to the eggs. Then slowly add the remaining hot mixture and whisk until smooth. Set aside to cool and settle.

Every fifteen or twenty minutes, stir the mixture, which will continue thickening.


Finishing the blancmange

Whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold gently into the carrageen mixture. Place in the refrigerator to set. Allow to chill for at least 24 hours, especially if attempting to produce this dessert in a mold.

If you wish to use a mold to set this recipe, wet it first so that the blancmange will be easily released.



Serve chilled, with honey and a little whiskey beaten together with cream: or serve with a blackberry compote or stewed gooseberries.


I write for a living. But food is one of my favorite hobbies... learning about it, cooking it, eating it!

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