The fake German | Erre4m
 / Sweet

The fake German

history and spoon dessert recipe

18 April 2022

Friends of Erre4m, welcome to this new post. After talking about mousses, let's complete the picture of the queens of spoon desserts by dedicating ourselves to a preparation that is also light and very much in vogue in recent years... namely BAVARESE.

Bavarese is a spoon dessert that tends to be liquid, flavoured or not, thickened with gelatine sheets or powder and lightened with a whipped element such as cream or egg whites. Like mousses, bavaroises can also be sweet or savoury.

Sister to mousses, Bavaresi takes its origins from France, although the name would tend to betray an origin that is anything but Transalpine. The dessert takes its name from the German region of Bavaria. In fact, the actual Bavarian is not a cake but a drink of German origin from the 18th century. It was then in the following century, in France, that the Bavarian cake was born, inspired precisely by the Germanic drink. 

Whereas in mousses the main component is egg foam (red or white), in Bavarois the 'corpus' is the custard, to which is added semi-whipped cream which gives it fluffiness, flavourings in paste or essence to give it a definite taste and, very importantly, gelatine in sheets which acts as a stabiliser, otherwise at 4°C (which is the temperature at which it should be eaten) we would have a liquid custard.

Bavarian cream can be stored in two ways:

  1. positive at 2-4 °C  
  2. negative at -18 °C.

However, it must absolutely be enjoyed between 4 and 6 °C. In fact, it cannot be eaten frozen, because it does not contain enough air and sugar, the main characteristics for serving a dessert in the negative.

As mentioned above, the main base for Bavarian cream is custard and we refer to the dedicated post for its preparation.

Flavouring is to our liking; each ingredient added to give a desired flavour brings something different to the final product. 

To make a chocolate Bavarois we recommend the use of couverture and not cocoa powder, because it would give the cream an unpleasant sandiness; it is important to remember that each couverture gives a different structure due to its composition, i.e. dry matter, cocoa butter, sugars, for example a dark couverture will produce a fuller Bavarois unlike a white or milk one.

If we use fatty pastes such as hazelnut paste or pistachio paste, it is advisable, in order to obtain a Bavarian cream that is less warm to the palate, to use custard prepared only with milk as a base; whereas, if we use custard prepared with milk and cream, the result will be creamier due to the greater quantity of fat present in the cream itself.

Various spices and scented herbs can be infused into the custard milk before being strained into the yolks and sugar; it is best to use non-powdered herbs and spices to avoid finding them in the final product. In this case, it is always important to reweigh the initial weight of the milk used once it has passed through the sieve. 
For example: if I prepare a custard with an infusion of 1 l of milk and 100 g of tea, once I have to sieve it, the liquid will no longer be 1 l because the tea has absorbed some of the milk; therefore, what is missing I replace with more milk.
Fruit puree or whipped dried fruit are used for fruit bavarois: the amount of custard decreases to make room for the puree. With sweet fruit such as strawberry, mango, banana, its quantity out of the total ingredients is 30-35%; while for sour fruit such as passion fruit, lemon, lime the quantity decreases by 15-17%.

The thickener, used as mentioned above, is animal gelatine. On average, the amount needed to stabilise the final product is 1-1.2% of the total weight of the recipe.
The proportion changes if we use couverture in the recipe. If the couverture is rich in cocoa butter but sweet, such as a white couverture for example, the amount of gelatine decreases by about 0.90% of the recipe total; whereas if it is a 70-80% fondant and therefore rich in dry extract and cocoa butter, the amount decreases dramatically to 0.30%.

The preparation of Bavarian cream is simple and generally proceeds in this sequence:
- the gelatine sheets are softened in cold water,
- the cream is semi-whipped and placed in the refrigerator to cool,
- the custard is heated to 20-25°C and the flavouring is added,
- then a small part of the mixture is taken and heated to 45-50 °C together with the softened gelatine,
- this hot mixture is stirred together with the flavoured custard,
- lastly, the semi-whipped cream is added.

The Bavarian cream must be made quickly to prevent the product from falling apart. Once preparation is complete, the product must be quickly poured into moulds and immediately chilled in the fridge or freezer.

And finally, the usual final recipe:

110g custard 70% cream 30% milk
165g sweet fruit puree with 30g icing sugar added
6g gelatine sheets
206g semi-whipped cream



Blog by Enrico Gumirato pastry chef