My mom stopped asking what I want to eat on my birthday as the answer has been the same for ages: bavarois! I totally love this and after a dinner party with this dessert, my boyfriend regularly catches me with my head in the fridge the day after, secretly getting some extra bites. If I’m not careful, I’ll eat the whole lot! I checked for the English name, but apart from “bavarian cream” I didn’t find anything else, so I’m sticking to Bavarois on this one. It’s basically cream, eggs, sugar and milk so only the good stuff! You need to make it a day ahead, but you can easily make it more than 1 day ahead, it will happily sit in your fridge for over a week, that is if nobody secretly eats it in the mean time!
Here’s how to do it: soak 16 g of gelatin leaves in cold water for later use. Mix 250 g caster sugar with 6 egg yolks until they are pale and creamy (you don’t need the egg whites for this recipe, but you don’t need to throw them away: make some meringues on the spot, or just freeze them for later. You can simply defrost them afterwards and use as needed, for example to make macaroons). You can do this in a big cooking pot as it will need to go on the hob later. In the mean time, bring 1/2 liter milk to the boil. Gently add the boiling milk in small amounts to the egg mix while mixing constantly. Now put this mix on the hob until it thickens. You don’t want it to boil, so keep an eye on it. As soon as it starts to increase in volume, you know it’s almost boiling and you can take it of the hob. Now add the gelatin leaves one by one (squeeze all the water out of them first) and stir them into the mix.
Cool the mix by putting the pot in a sink filled with cold water (au bain marie). Leave it to cool for at least half an hour. Stir it every now and then to avoid it stiffening too much. If it’s getting too stiff already, just take it out of the water and get on with the next step. If on the contrary it’s still very runny after more then half an hour, don’t panic: it will turn out just as great!
Next up is the cream: beat 1/2 liter double cream until it’s stiff. You don’t want it to be too stiff, that will make it difficult to add it to the egg mix, stop when you can see the traces of your mixer and it already thickened considerably. Add 1 tbsp icing sugar to the cream and mix again. Now add the cream to the egg mix, stirring until it’s all incorporated. Poor the mix into a mould that you lightly greased with some oil (this makes it easier to get it out again), preferably not a metal mould (don’t ask me why, my mom’s recipe just mentions this, I’m sure it’s granny wisdom that thus cannot be ignored).
Put it in the fridge overnight (or longer) until it’s firm. A good way to test it, is to poor whatever bit of mix you have left in a small bowl so you have a “testing bowl”, every good cook needs to try everything before serving! When you’re ready to serve, turn it out onto a plate and hope for the best! The easiest way to loosen it is by hitting the side of your mould on the kitchen counter (you might want to put a towel in between not to alarm your guests with the noise) and work your way round so it comes loose from the sides. As soon as you get some air in it, it will loosen all the way round. Then turn it upside down on the serving plate, hit a few more times and peak a bit to see if it did the trick!
Serve with raspberry coulis (shop bought will do just fine, you’ll find it in the fridge or in the freezer) and some fresh raspberries for that extra wow factor. Obviously, strawberries or other berries will work just s well. Enjoy!