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24 March 2010 @ 11:16 pm
The making of blancmange or mould from carrageen moss  
I typed this up for a mailing list I'm on, and thought a couple of you foodies might be interested.

Wild and Free: 100 Recipes & Folklore of Natures Harvest - Cooking
From Nature by Cyril & Kit O'Céirín
ISBN 0 905140 44 3 (hardback), 0 905140 47 8 (paperback). First
published 1978. O'Brien Press (address then was 11 Clare St, Dublin 2)
p 68 of the hardback

The making of blancmange or mould from carrageen moss is simple. Take about a 1/4 oz. (6g.) or half-cup weed to a pint (1/2 litre) of milk. First, steep the dried moss in cod water for about fifteen minutes, drain and trim off any of the root or dark discoloured parts. Simmer in the milk for a half hour or until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Stir in a dessertspoon of sugar and serve hot, perhaps with stewed fruit, or pour into a wetted mould and leave in a cool place to set. Either way, milk or cream go well with the dish. We have found carrageen to be something of an acquired taste and many people would like additional flavouring, such as chopped ginger, grated lemon rind or vanilla which is added when the mixture is to be simmered. A pinch or two of salt is also recommended and "sweet teeth" may call for more sugar. A jelly is made in the same way, using water instead of milk and with the addition of a beaten egg or egg-white just before the mixture is ready to be poured.
You may like to be imaginative and use carrageen moss in other desserts, in a soufflé or pudding flan, for instance; in all cases, the basic simmering must be carried out but there is no reason why more milk may not be used if required.
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Siljasilja on March 25th, 2010 12:00 am (UTC)
Sounds like a great book, but I cannot find it on amazon (.com or .co.uk). Do you know if it is out of print?
a very caring potato: readingmollydot on March 25th, 2010 12:04 am (UTC)
I don't know. This copy is from 1978. I don't know if there were reprints.

Try leaving out the "100 Recipes & Folklore of Natures Harvest". It's on the cover, but not inside.
a very caring potatomollydot on March 25th, 2010 12:07 am (UTC)
Or ask these guys: http://www.obrien.ie/
wyvernfriendwyvernfriend on June 26th, 2010 07:48 pm (UTC)
or http://www.kennys.ie who often supply rare stuff to amazon anyway.
unavunav on March 25th, 2010 11:28 am (UTC)
"We have found carrageen to be something of an acquired taste"

Very true. It's always surprising when your dessert tastes like muck and seaweed.
a very caring potato: afraidmollydot on March 27th, 2010 11:14 pm (UTC)
Yeah. I can't say I'm inclined to try it myself.