Monday, July 1, 2013

No-cook Manjar Branco - Coconut Pudding with Red Wine reduction

Today is Canada day and I'm celebrating it with a delicious family dessert. Manjar Branco is a Brazilian variation of the Blancmange (Europe) or the Tembleque (Porto Rico) and it's typically served in Brazil with a sauce made of pitted prunes.

My mom however, makes it with a red wine reduction with sugar, cloves, cinnamon and star anise that is to die for. This pudding has a velvety texture similar to flan, it massages your tongue as you eat it.

Originally Manjar is made with cornstarch and you have to cook it like a custard. This is a no-cook recipe that is ready in literally 5 minutes. By adding gelatin you eliminate cooking time while keeping the same texture and result. While gelatin is setting in the fridge you can make the sauce and it will be ready to eat in about 3 hours or so. It doesn't get easier than that!

* Gelatin is a complicated matter though, believe it or not. First of all, leaf gelatin tastes much better than powdered gelatin, so use it if you can. Second of all, leaf gelatin comes in different types with different weight variations, so make sure you are using the gold ones for this recipe or please make the right adjustments with a gelatin converter online. I normally use the ones from Gelita, which is a German brand. If you find other brands, check how many grams are in one leaf to make sure it will work. Gelita gold is 2g per leaf. In this recipe we use 12 leaves which equals 24g. That is for a 9 inch round bundt cake mold.


Coconut Pudding with Red wine reduction


For the pudding

1 can condensed milk
1 can coconut milk
1 can milk (use the condensed milk can for measuring)
1 can cream - 35% (use the condensed milk can for measuring)
2 packages of powdered gelatin or 12 leaves of gold gelatin

For the sauce

1 bottle of table red wine
1/2 the bottle of water
2 cups of sugar
cloves (about 10 whole cloves), cinnamon sticks (1 or 2) and star anise (about 3)


For the pudding

Using a blender mix condensed milk with coconut milk.
Bloom the gelatin (hydrate it) - if using leaves just submerge them in cold water until soft and squeeze them with your hands. Reserve. If using powdered, just add water (according to package instructions) and wait 5 minutes.
Heat milk up to 50 degrees Celsius, don't boil it. Take it off the heat before adding the gelatin.
Add gelatin to milk and mix well with a whisk until completely dissolved.
Add milk to blender. Add cream.
Blend it all very well.
Pour the mix into a wet mold. Use a wet 9 inch round mold such as a bundt cake mold for this recipe. Silicon and plastic molds work better.
Place the mold in the fridge for at least 2 hours or until completely set.
Unmold it and decorate it as desired. Keep it in the fridge until serving time.

For the sauce

Pour the wine into a sauce pan. Add sugar and spices. Let it boil until it's reduced by half (about 1 hour to 1h and a half) over medium high heat.
Remove from pan and let it cool down until time to serve. Keep it in the fridge in a glass container for conservation.