Gosh, I get so tired of computer problems. I tried to save all the copy for this post, pushed “Save Draft” button and everything disappeared. All I was left with was an error message and a few photographs. Oh well…here goes another try. Not a good way to start the day.
This is one of my favorite recipes handed down to me from my mom. Most of her recipes are from scratch…there wasn’t much choice back in the 1950’s and ’60’s…and many of her recipes are versatile and can be adapted to many different uses. Molded desserts and salads were so popular back then and a week seldom went by that we didn’t have a molded jello and fruit salad for dessert. I had several sets of molds when I was first married…every bride did…but they long since disappeared and when I wanted to make this dessert I had to look for new ones. Apparently most stores haven’t carried them for ages and I had to resort to the internet to find what I was looking for…at probably ten times what my mother paid years ago. I was able to find the exact molds she used plus several others that were popular in the old days.
CHOCOLATE BAVARIAN CREAM is a luxuriously rich dessert with a deep chocolate flavor and silky texture. It is perfect all by itself, garnished with a dab of whipped cream and fruit, and it makes the most delicious chocolate pie you can imagine. I have used it as a filling in cake as well. The pattern in the molds doesn’t show as much as I would have liked, but I quickly forgot that when I tasted this heavenly dessert.
When you make a recipe like this use the best chocolate you can find. When I was in Provence last May I was fortunate to visit Valrhona’s Chocolate Boutique in Tournon and had the opportunity to sample and purchase a variety of chocolates. The art of chocolate making is serious business at Valrhona (Valley of the Rhone) where you will find the Ecole du Grand Chocolate, a school for professional chefs. I used a 61% bar in this recipe and it was perfect for my taste…lots of chocolate flavor with no bitterness. The percentage on chocolate bar labels is the percentage of cocoa that was used to make the chocolate. 85% is very dark chocolate and is quite bitter and actually the healthiest of chocolates. Milk chocolate contains approximately 20% cocoa. Making fine chocolate is very serious business and if you would like to know a bit more about it you can find information HERE. Take a look if you have a minute. Most of us love chocolate and knowing the complexity of the process helps me appreciate it more. If you have the opportunity to visit this store you have to go there. They are so generous and you can taste ALL of their chocolates. It was overwhelming and I hope to get back there one day.
There are wonderful recipes for molded salads and desserts in my mom’s files and I’m going to share many of them in the coming months. They are a beautiful addition to holiday buffets and I especially like that I can make them ahead of time. It’s fun to serve something different and the ingredient combinations are endless. I love sharing my mom and grandmother’s treasured recipes and hope that you will find some that you and your family enjoy.
This post is linked to FOODIE FRIDAY at Rattlebridge Farm.
- 5 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- ¼ ounce unflavored gelatin ( 1 envelope)
- ¼ cup water
- 3 large egg yolks
- 5 tablespoons superfine sugar
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Put ¼ cup of water in small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over it.
- Place the egg yolks in a large bowl and whisk lightly. Add the sugar and whisk until smooth.
- Pour the milk into a saucepan and bring just to a boil.
- Gradually whisk the hot milk into the yolks.
- Then return the mixture to the saucepan.
- Cook the custard over medium-low heat, scraping the bottom of the pan constantly with a wooden spoon. Cook the custard sauce until it reaches 165°F.to 170°F on an instant read thermometer (Another test method is to dip a metal spoon into the custard. Run your finger down the middle of the custard, and if the trail stays it's ready).
- Melt the chocolate in a microwave.
- Stir the softened gelatin into the custard, whisking until the gelatin is dissolved.
- Whisk the custard into the chocolate. Pour the mixture into a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. Do not refrigerate at this point or you won't be able to fold in the whipped cream.
- While the custard is cooling, pour cream into a chilled bowl and beat to soft peaks.
- Oil molds with vegetable oil. Use 6 small 5 oz. molds or one 3-1/2 cup mold.
- Gently fold the whipped cream into the custard and pour into the oiled mold.
- To serve: Unmold the Bavarian cream a short time before serving. Garnish with your choice of whipped cream, grated chocolate, orange, raspberries or other fruit.
- Be very careful when whisking the hot milk into the yolks. If you put too much hot liquid too quickly into the yolks, you will have scrambled eggs. Just pour in a small amount at first.If you see any bits of cooked egg strain the mixture through a medium sieve.