Chocolate-Almond Bavarian Cream
This is special! A not-too-sweet chocolate custard, slightly
set with the help of unflavored gelatin, has whipped cream folded
into it before being piled into wine glasses and chilled. The almond
flavor comes with the use of a small amount of amaretto; the liqueur
can, of course, be omitted (substitute an equal amount more of vanilla)
or you can substitute rum or another suitable flavor of liqueur,
like orange or coffee. Lightly sweetened whipped cream is just the
thing to serve with this, and the optional garnishes of shaved bittersweet
chocolate and a few toasted, cooled, sliced almonds add a festive
need a candy thermometer for this recipe; if the custard is cooked
to too high a temperature, the eggs will scramble, and I don't trust
instructions that tell you to cook a custard "until it coats
the back of a spoon". You'll also need a strainer and 6 wine
glasses, each of 6 to 7 ounce capacity. Bavarian cream will keep
for a couple of days in the refrigerator, but it does not freeze.
ounces good-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. heavy cream, divided
3 egg yolks, from eggs graded "large"
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. whole milk
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
3 Tbsp. cold water
1-3/4 tsp. unflavored gelatin (this is less than one envelope--you
must measure the quantity)
2 tsp. almond liqueur
1 tsp. vanilla
Lightly sweetened whipped cream
Shaved or grated bittersweet chocolate
Toasted, cooled, sliced almonds
a small bowl and beater(s) from a hand-held electric mixer. Have
ready a whisk, a candy thermometer, a strainer, 6 wine glasses (each
of 6 to 7 ounce capacity), and a pitcher of at least 3-1/2 cup capacity.
chopped chocolate and salt in medium heatproof bowl. In small saucepan
over low heat, heat 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. heavy cream (reserve remainder)
until very hot, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; pour over
chocolate. Allow to stand for a minute or two, then whisk gently
until smooth. Set aside near stovetop.
small bowl, combine egg yolks and 2 Tbsp. milk (reserve remainder).
With fork, beat to mix well. Add sugar and beat in.
cold water in small cup. Sprinkle on gelatin; allow to stand at
least 5 minutes. Have ready a pan of simmering water into which
you can place the cup to dissolve the gelatin; the water should
not come more than halfway up the sides of the cup.
small saucepan over low heat, heat remaining 3/4 cup milk until
very hot, stirring occasionally, remove from heat. Beating egg mixture
constantly, gradually add hot milk. When all of hot milk has been
added, pour mixture into a 3/4 to 1 quart saucepan. Place saucepan
over medium heat; stir constantly until mixture reaches a temperature
of 174 to 176 degrees on a candy thermometer. When end temperature
is reached, remove from heat immediately.
chocolate mixture to loosen slightly, then strain small amount of
yolk-milk mixture into bowl of chocolate mixture. Whisk well to
combine. Gradually strain remaining yolk-milk mixture into chocolate
mixture, whisking gently but thoroughly after each addition and
scraping bottom and sides of bowl well with rubber spatula.
cup of softened gelatin into simmering water; turn off heat. Allow
to stand, stirring often with a small metal spoon, just until gelatin
is dissolved (it's easiest to see this with a metal spoon). Remove
from hot water; dry bottom and sides of cup. Add gelatin to chocolate
mixture, whisking in gently but thoroughly. Add liqueur and vanilla
and mix in.
the chocolate mixture, whisking occasionally, until it thickens
to the consistency of a soft pudding; this may take an hour or longer.
Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber
spatula periodically. If you want to speed up this process, fill
a pan or bowl that is wider but not as deep as the bowl of chocolate
mixture with ice and water, and place the bowl of chocolate mixture
into the ice and water. Place the whole set-up into the refrigerator.
Whisk often, and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl frequently.
Whatever method you use, make sure the chocolate mixture does not
set completely. When ready, remove from refrigerator (and from vessel
of ice and water, if used); place on dish towel on flat surface.
chilled small bowl with chilled beater(s), beat remaining 1/2 cup
heavy cream just until soft peak stage. Whisk chocolate mixture
once more to loosen, then scrape whipped cream into chocolate mixture
and gently but thoroughly and quickly fold the two together only
until the color is uniform. Work quickly here; the Bavarian cream
may start to set up while you're folding. For easier handling, quickly
transfer mixture to small pitcher, then pour equal amounts into
each wine glass.
the Bavarian cream for at least two hours before serving, covering
tightly with plastic wrap after an hour or so. Store in refrigerator
until serving time. To serve, top each portion with a pouf of lightly
sweetened whipped cream, then sprinkle with optional shaved chocolate
and/or toasted, cooled, sliced almonds. Eat within 2 days of making.
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