Saturday, September 12, 2009

Recipe for Bavarois

In Rune Factory Frontier, Bianca speaks longingly of 'Bavarois', asking you to bring her some if ever you should find it anywhere.

'Bavarois' is another name for Bavarian Cream, an old-fashioned sweet made with milk. It is not that different from Blancmange, a simple cornstarch pudding that I made often, except that the thickening agent for traditional Bavarois is gelatin rather than cornstarch.

Chef Tallyrand describes Bavarois as follows:

Bavarois is the French name for Bavarian cream, it is a delicate cream dessert with a crème Anglaise base made from either milk, cream or a fruit puree and then aerated with whipped cream and whipped egg whites before being set in the refrigerator with gelatine. It may be a straight vanilla or combined with additional flavourings; such as chocolate, coffee or liqueurs, served on its own as an individual dessert or as a filling for a variety of charlottes, tortes, cakes etc.

In fact, I have seen Recipes for Bavarois that use cornstarch and to a purist, should be classified as Blancmange rather than Bavarois. Nonetheless, a 'real' Bavaroise is made with gelatin.

Here is a very simple contemporary French Recipe for Bavarois that uses flavoured gelatin instead of the traditional unflavoured variety.

Ingredients for Lemon Bavarois :
100 g lemon gel (aka 'lemon jello' in the States)
150 g warm water
1/2 litre liquid cream (aka whipping cream or Heavy Cream in the States)
100 g sugar
Fruits in season

Making Lemon Bavarois:
Dilute the lemon gel in warm water using a whisk.
Beat the liquid cream into whipped cream.
Add the sugar to the whipped cream.
Mix 1/4 whipped cream to the lemon preparation using a whisk.
Gently add the rest using a rubber spatula.
Place mixture in a bowl or decorative mould. Place in the fridge to harden, one hour minimum.
When serving, unmould onto a serving dish and decorate the centre with seasonal fruits.

Rather ironically perhaps, the most traditional simple recipe for Bavarois that I could find was published on a site from Pakistan. It looks like it may be the best recipe of all:

Traditional (Vanilla) Bavarois


- 500 ml Milk
- 400 ml liquid whip cream
- 1 vanilla pod, split, or few drops of vanilla essence.
- 1 Cinnamon stick
- 6 egg yolks
- 125 gm sugar
- 20 ml (4 tsp) powder gelatine (plain gelatin powder)
- 300 ml whip cream

Fruit Puree
- 225 gm Strawberries
- 225 gm Cherries
- 75 gm Sugar

To Finish
- Selection of soft fruits such as strawberries, Kiwi, cherries, Banana

1. Lightly oil a 1.4 ltr ring mould. Put the milk and cream in a sauce pan with vanilla pod and cinnamon stick. Heat gently until almost boiling, then remove from the heat. Cover and leave to infuse for 30 minutes, and then strain.
2. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolk with sugar until thick and pale. Stir in the milk add vanilla essence if using. Return to the pan. Cook gently, stirring all the time, until thickened enough to coat the back of the spoon, this will take about 12 - 15 minutes. Do not boil. Cover the bowl with a damp grease proof paper and allow to cool. (Note from Freyashawk: You can use an inverted plate as well. This prevents a 'skin' from forming, I imagine.)
3. Put 4 tbs warm water in a small bowl and sprinkle over the gelatine. Leave to soak for 3-4 minutes until sponge-like in texture. Stand over a pan of simmering water until the gelatine is dissolved or microwave 15-20 seconds. Stir into the cooled custard set bowl in a roasting tin of iced water and stir until the custard thickens to resemble lightly whipped cream, about 15 minutes Remove from iced water.
4. Working quickly whip the cream until it is the same consistency as the custard then light fold in.
5. Pour the custard into the prepared mould and chill for at least 4 hours until set.
6. Meanwhile, to make the fruit puree, place the fruit in a sauce pan with sugar and 300 ml water. Heat gently until the sugar has devolved and then bring to boil. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Cool, then puree in a blender or food processor sieve into a bowl.
7. To turn out the Bavarois, ease the edges away from the tin. Place a dampened plate over the tin, invert and shake gently to release the Bavarois. Spoon the fruit into the center of the Bavarois, moistening with a little fruit puree. Pour puree around the Bavarois and decorate with some fresh mint.

A very classical recipe for Bavarois:

3 teaspoons unflavored gelatin (from two 1/4-oz envelopes)
2 cups whole milk
5 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup chilled heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

To the plain custard, one can add fruits, fruit purees or chocolate.

For Bavarois with Apricot Puree

Apricot purée:
1 3/4 lb firm-ripe apricots (9 large), chopped
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1 cup sugar

To make the custard:

Sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup milk in a cup and allow it to soften. Bring remaining 1 3/4 cups milk to a boil in a heavy saucepan, then remove
from heat. Use a whisk to combine yolks and sugar in a bowl, then add hot milk in a slow stream while continuing to stir briskly. Pour custard into heavy saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened. Caution: Bring ALMOST to boiling but DO NOT ALLOW MIXTURE TO BOIL!

Add softened gelatin to hot custard mixture now and whisk until dissolved. Still using a whisk, add the Apricot puree, then cool for about an hour to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

Beat cream with salt in a bowl until it holds soft peaks. Gently fold cream and lemon juice into custard. Chill bavarois, covered with a large inverted plate, until set, at least 10 hours.

Note: Often Bavarois, like Blancmange or English Custard Sauce is combined with cake or sponges.

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