Sicilian Jasmine Blancmange & Book Raffle

July 28, 2011

It’s the Season of Jasmine. Take in a lungful and you get high. I don’t know how many Sicilians perfume their family altar with jasmine like Santina does, but I do know many use it in their cooking.

The bush I planted on the balcony two years ago has finally exploded into bloom. So I couldn’t pass up the chance to try the Jasmine Blancmange recipe from a little book called Sicily’s Favorite Recipes by Russotto and Sichel. Below is a slight adaptation.


20 jasmine flowers

500 ml (2 cups) whole milk

50 g (2 oz) white chocolate

50 g (3-4 Tbsp) cornflour/cornstarch

100 g (1/2 cup) sugar (I used more like 1/4 cup)


1. Pour the milk in a saucepan and add the jasmine. (I let the jasmine steep in milk  for a while before step 2.)

Sicilian Jasmine Blancmange, copyright Jann Huizenga

2. Bring just to the boil and turn off immediately. Allow to cool and then strain, squeezing the flowers gently to extract the flavor.

3. Add the cornflour to the sugar and mix thoroughly to avoid lumps.

4. Add the grated white chocolate. (I didn’t bother to grate it–just broke it into chunks and it melted just fine.)

5. Place on the stove and stir continuously until thick. Stir briskly for one more minute after the liquid boils and then turn off.

Mixing Sicilian Jasmine Blancmange, copyright Jann Huizenga

6. Pour the mixture into molds, allow to cool, and refrigerate for 2 hours. Decorate.

Sicilian Jasmine Blancmange, copyright Jann Huizenga

YOU CAN WIN SICILY’S FAVORITE RECIPES. It’s the English translation, but recipes are in grams & liters–finding conversions on the web isn’t hard. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post or a previous one and your name will be entered in the drawing to take place at midnight EST on August 1. You need an address either in Italy or North America. Buona fortuna!


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26 comments to Sicilian Jasmine Blancmange & Book Raffle

  • That sounds delicious! I can’t wait to try it! What a beautiful presentation too!

  • Jann, while the smell of jazmine tantalizes the senses, your captures in this post are breathtaking! Absolutely lovely! I’ve never cooked with flowers before but this recipe looks quite appealing. Lets just say you had me at chocolate.

  • That sounds very interesting. I’ve never used flowers to cook before, but now I’m going to have to rethink this. Yum!

  • What a wonderful recipe – Thank you for sharing and hopefully Lady Luck will grant me a chance to see the book in my kitchen!

  • sweet in every way!

  • Dear Jann,

    I recently stumbled on your website as I’ve been doing research for my upcoming trip to Sicily next month. Will be in Cianciana & Agrigento, and who knows might make it to Ragusto. If so, love to take you out for a coffee and find out more about ‘creative poverty’ in Sicily. best regards, Susan ‘the baker’ Savage

    • Jann

      Have a great trip Susan the Baker–good luck making your plans and let me know if you make it to this part of the island.

  • Jill Barone

    Is this the same plant that they call confederate jasmine in the states or is it something different entirely?

    • Jann

      Hi Jill,
      Thanks for asking this question because it made me Google jasmine. It turns out there are 200 varieties! The kind that’s growing around town here looks pretty similar to confederate jasmine. But i also found out that there’s a “fake” jasmine that’s poisonous! Eek! I hope nobody uses that in their cooking. I’ve copied the stuff below from the web:

      There exists a true Jasmine and a false Jasmine, and the two are commonly mistaken for each other because of the fragrance the plants release. The true Jasmine belongs to the family Oleaceae, is primarily a bushy shrub or climbing vine, and is non-poisonous. True Jasmine has oval, shiny leaves and tubular, waxy-white flowers. The false Jasmine, on the other hand, is in a completely different genus, Gelsemium, and family, Loganiaceae, is considered too poisonous for human consumption.

  • I wish I had know about this recipe sooner. My jasmine is finished blooming and the flowers are gone-but maybe next year. Grazie!

  • Dear Jann,

    There’s nothing that I miss more that the scent of the beautiful white jasmine flowers!

    I add a spiral of lemon peel to Biancomangiare as my mother did. When the lemon peel was removed after cooking and before pouring into a mold, my brother and I each got a piece of the lemon to lick off the sweet flavor of the creamy biancomangiare.

    I layer hot biancomangiare with slices of Pan di Spagna soaked with sweetened espresso coffee in my mother’s Tupperware fluted mold (which unmolds perfectly every time) so that when the dolce is served you see the black and white layers. My mother made this in Ragusa and then in the Bronx long before tiramisu’ was even invented.

  • Cathy

    Well I’ve never cooked with flowers but DO love to cook (and EAT, unfortunately that part shows too much! :)) So, I would LOVE to win this cookbook Jann!

    Am still procratinating with making the Watermelon Gelo, actually was going to try it with cantalope, figuring its along the same lines?

    • Jann

      The cantelope gelo idea makes me smile–I have no idea how it would work! Would it be sweet enough? Do let me know if it happens! (You sound like a creative person, Cathy!!!!)

  • Jasmine K

    Sicilian recipe and uses jasmine? I really need to try this. Mom and Dad brought me up on Sicilian and Italian cooking, and I love my namesake. Thanks for this recipe!

    • Jann

      You have the BEST name ever!!! Full of such wonderful connotations. Do you wear jasmine perfume, etc etc?


    This is a keeper recipe for my files. My jasmine in Perugia is already bloomed for the season—I’ll have to wait til next year, or make a trip to Sicily.

  • I can smell the mix of jasmine and white chocolate all the way over here (Chicago). Brava for another great post. Blancmange is the same as biancomangiare, or is it different? Susan

  • I’ve never been a fan of white chocolate, but this recipe could make me a convert!

  • Michelle Relae

    These are some of the nicest photos I have ever seen. Brava, Jann!

  • Bill

    Your blog is on my daily visit list. Enjoy the photographs and accompanying words to each entry.

    The pictures take me on a visual and mental visit to the enchanting island that is Sicily…even though the trip there has never happened.


    • Jann

      Hi Bill–thanks so much for reading and commenting. I appreciate it, and I hope your trip happens in the not-too-distant future!

  • Cheyenne

    How fun! Have been sharing your blog with the rest of the family, we are trying so hard to hold on to our Sicilian roots and your blog makes us all feel a little closer. Thanks for holding the giveaway!

  • Ashleigh

    I would love to win this cookbook!

  • I’ve been enjoying your blog for some time. And I’d love to win the cookbook. And I wish I could win a course in photography from you. Your photos are exceptional.

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