ou can’t afford a BMW luxury sedan? No problem! There is another gem from Bavaria, almost equally good – the Bavarian cream! And this one you can make yourself! All you need is love (na-na-na-na), as the Beatles would say, but apart from that, for this delight all you need is milk, sugar, gelatine and whipped cream! Easy-peasy, right?
What is Bavarian Cream?
Bavarian cream, In French Bavarois [bavaʀwa], in Italian bavarese [bavaˈrese], is light, cold cream composed of with added gelatin. When cooled, whipped cream is folded into this mixture. The cream is then poured into molds and frozen. When set, it is unmolded and sliced. Bavarian cream poured into a round mold lined with a ladyfinger sponge is modern Charlotte. It can also be poured into small molds and served as an individual dessert, accompanied by fresh fruit and sauce. The recipe for bavarois first appeared in 19th century France, by famous French chef Marie-Antoine Carême [maʁi ɑ̃twan kaʁɛm]. It was believed that Bavarian cream was brought to France by a French chef who worked in Bavaria, a region in South Germany; however there is no evidence of that.
Her Majesty Charlotte – Queen of Desserts
Charlotte was created in the 18th century in England, and it was named after Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III of England. The traditional Charlotte is a cooked dessert, and it usually consists of apple compote, baked in a round mold and lined with buttered slices of toast or ladyfingers. Modern represents entirely different, cold treat – and – all that thanks to a kitchen accident, as the legend says. When famous French pastry chef Antoine Carême was preparing a grand feast for King Louis XVIII, he realized that there is not enough gelatin for his Bavarian cream, so he strengthened his collapsing cream with ladyfingers. Modern charlottes are made that way today, with some varieties in appearance.
How to Make Bavarian Cream?
- To prepare crème anglaise, use milk, egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla pod. Heat milk, vanilla and half the amount of sugar. Blanche egg yolks with the other half of sugar, whisk them until pale and thick.
- Temper the yolk mixture with hot milk, stir and put everything back to the stove. Cook the cream over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it becomes thick enough to coat the back of a spoon or reaches 84°C (183°F). When you swipe your finger across the back of the spoon, there should be a clear line left behind, confirming that the cream is of the right density. Run through a strain to get rid of any pieces of curdled egg yolks.
- While anglaise is hot, add bloomed gelatin and stir well.
- Cool the mixture on an ice bath, stirring constantly. Whisk cream in a stand mixer until it reaches soft peaks.
- When mixture becomes colder and starts to set (this stage is also called ribbon stage), fold in cream whipped to soft peaks.
- Pour immediately into the mold. Leave it to cool in a freezer for few hours.
How to Flavor Bavarian Cream
- Vanilla is a classic! Take one fresh vanilla pod, cut it lengthwise in half and scrape the seeds from the inside. Put all together in milk or cream and infuse.
- Nine out of ten people love chocolate, and the one who says he doesn’t like it – lies! Cook crème anglaise and pour it over chopped chocolate, any kind you like, just like making a ganache. Continue making the cream with gelatin and whipped cream.
- Buy hazelnut or pistachio paste and make heavenly tasting Bavarian cream.
- Swap one part of the milk with fruit puree and serve your folks delightful raspberry or strawberry bavarois.
- Infuse your favorite herbs or spices such as mint, cinnamon or tonka bean into milk before making crème anglaise.
- Put coffee or another extract in your crème anglaise. You will make unique Bavarian cream.
- What do you think of caramel Bavarian cream? Make caramel, deglaze it with cream and continue cooking bavarois. Yummy!
- If you want your Bavarian to smell extra nice put a few drops of rose water, violet or fleur d’oranger into it.
So, was I lying to you? Isn’t this lovely cream a real gastronomic gem? It sure is! Just like deciding on a luxury sedan, possibilities and flavors are endless – so, where to start? It doesn’t matter, just pick one and go from there, satisfaction is guaranteed! And – as always – let me know how it went. Guten appetit!
Well, what do you think about this post?
I read and really appreciate all the comments, even though I do not always have the time to respond to each one. So – keep me in the loop and try to create some sweetness every day because – Sweetness is happiness!!