Having had a packet blancmange mix go haywire, I felt it was time to go back to first principles. This was not a disappointment.
Not only is everything under personal control but one can experiment with different flavours. Enjoy!
In a heat-proof jug, mix together the sugar, corn flour and 2 tablespoons of milk (taken from the pint).
Gently heat the remaining milk in a saucepan, adding the coffee powder during the heating.
When the milk is just below boiling point and the coffee is dissolved and dispersed, tip the milk slowly into the heat-proof jug, stirring all the time.
Return mix to saucepan, and heat to simmering temperature, still stirring all the time.
Simmer for 3 minutes, stirring all the time, and then set aside to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, place one trifle sponge into the bottom of each of three individual serving dishes.
Divide the sultanas and chopped dates into three portions and sprinkle either side of the trifle sponges.
Add the vanilla essence and butter to the blancmange and stir until evenly dispersed.
Pour the blancmange into the serving dishes and add three pecan nut halves equally spaced around the perimeter of each dish.
Set aside to cool, or chill in the fridge if prepared well in advance.
Just before serving, decorate by adding a small squirt of canned cream between each pecan nut.
Note:- If at any time during the mixing and heating, of the milk and corn flour, it should go lumpy, remove from the heat and mix vigorously with a hand or power whisk to remove the lumps. Then replace on the heat and continue.