Vanilla Bavarian Cream
Adapted from On Cooking
4 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla paste
1 packet powdered gelatin (1 tbsp.)
1/4 cup cold water
200mL heavy cream
First, line a loaf tin with plastic wrap. Leave enough excess hanging over the edges so that you can cover the cream once it has been poured into the mold. Then whip your cream to medium peaks. Set it aside while you prepare the other components.
So essentially a Bavarian cream is a custard set with gelatin, folded with whipped cream for additional richness and airiness. We did the cream first so we don’t have to worry about it later. Next it’s time for the custard. First bloom your gelatin by sprinkling it over 1/4 cup of COLD water and stirring gently just with your finger – set aside. Heat the milk, vanilla and half of the sugar, bringing it just to a simmer and then removing it from the stove. Whisk together the egg yolks and remaining sugar. Temper the eggs by gradually pouring the hot milk mixture into them, whisking constantly. Return the whole thing to the stove and cook over medium/low heat, stirring constantly until the custard coats the back of a spoon. Strain it into a bowl to remove any lumps and allow it to cool slightly before whisking in the bloomed gelatin.
Here’s where things can get tricky if you aren’t paying attention. You want to combine the gelatin custard mixture with the whipped cream. But before doing so you have to cool the custard so that it doesn’t melt the cream. But if you cool it too much then the gelatin will set and it won’t actually combine cohesively with the cream. To prevent either of these travesties, plug one side of your sink and fill it with ice cold water. Put the bowl with the custard in here and keep stirring until it reaches room temperature (just use your finger to check). Then go ahead and whisk in the whipped cream until both mixtures are fully incorporated. Pour it into your prepared loaf tin, cover it up with the plastic wrap and chill until set. Don’t worry, it will look a bit runny but it will firm up in the fridge. In a couple of hours you can unmold the works and slice (use a hot knife, it will make cleaner cuts).
To garnish I mixed together Nutella and a splash of whipping cream to swipe across the bottom of the plate. I also bruleed some banana slices to add a little crunch. A tuile or even some sort of shortbread crisp would be a nice addition too!