And my birthday surprise is…
Delicious crème Bavaroise (or Bavarian cream) with strawberries! That’s right!
Now I know this isn’t a great picture and I do apologise. But as I have stated before, I am a terrible photographer.
Anyhow, this was probably the most exciting recipe I have ever made. It had everything I love in it – a whole lot of folding and whisking, which I enjoy a little too much; a lot of eggs, and of course, strawberries.
There were a few issues that arose of course. First of all, this recipe requires you to mush your fruit – and I do not have a liquidiser. That was the main reason why instead of scrumptious pink, you are seeing pale yellow. (I know, it made me sad too, but what are you going to do?) Secondly, logically derived from the first issue, I had to use canned strawberries, which tasted quite nice, but it’s not the real deal, is it? They were easy to mush but much less red and much less pretty.
However, I did have beautiful successes. This is such a rewarding recipe. Like the fact that for the first time in my life, I have whisked 5 egg whites until they formed stiff peaks – it took me a good ten minutes and I was honestly sweating by the end of it, but it really did help me to learn how to whisk properly and well… it was an absolute victory, turning the bowl upside down. (I hope all of you who have electric mixers appreciate what you have.)
I also did this the Julia Child-way, which really over-complicates the recipe but it makes it all the more complex, tasty and rewarding. There are simplified ways of making Bavarian cream, but if you want the real deal, follow this recipe. It is so tasty, you will cry. Seriously.
So for the crème Bavaroise, you will need:
3 gelatine leaves
5 egg yolks and 5 egg whites
65g double cream
500g strawberries (fresh! don’t use can like I did)
Pinch of salt
Not many ingredients, eh? Wait until we get down to the method.
1. In a large bowl, beat the yolks and sugar together until they turn pale yellow and velvety and gorgeous. Tip your finger in there, let’s face it, you just have to taste this!
2. Pour the milk into a sauce pan and slowly bring to the boil. Slowly, otherwise you’ll burn it.
3. In the meantime, soak the gelatine leaves in water for 4-5 minutes. Time this well, otherwise your gelatine will start to dissolve and it will not have any effect on your cream. Take it out after the time is up and squeeze all excess water out of it.
4. Beat the boiling milk into the yolk and sugar mixture, bit by bit, slowly. When it is all smooth, pour your mix back into the saucepan and heat it on medium heat stirring constantly. When it coats the back of the spoon (a.k.a. it has thickened), remove it from the heat immediately and put your gelatine leaves into the warm mixture, mixing until they dissolve completely.
5. In a separate bowl, beat your egg whites until they form soft peaks, then add a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of sugar and beat further, until the whites form stiff peaks. This is the fun part!
6. Fold the egg whites into the custard cream gently and when incorporated, chill the mixture by putting it over a bowl of ice and cold water. Mix a few times while it’s chilling so that it doesn’t set. Here you really want to make sure you have folded the whites in properly, otherwise you’ll have bubbles in your cream. Remember, you’re not making soufflé – here, you really have to incorporate them properly.
7. In a separate bowl, whip your cream until it has about doubled in size and fold this into the cooled custard mixture, also very gently. This can be tricky because it will drop into the mixture in spots and it is kind of hard to mix it in properly – try though, without knocking the air out of the cream.
8. Finally, mush your berries into a purée and fold it into your mixture – this is the point where your cream should turn lovely and pink. (Sob.)
9. Divide your cream into serving cups or moulds (for those planning to unmould; I didn’t) and chill the cream in the fridge for about 3 hours. Let the gelatine work its magic.
Ta-daah! See why I enjoyed this recipe so much? Such a gorgeous, velvety taste. You will love this, I promise – I know I do.
Thank you Julia!