I have a distant memory of strawberry Bavarian cream made from a box by my mom when I was little. I think I had it for the last time about 20 years ago. Then production must have stopped because we couldn’t find it in stores any longer, and for some reason she never ventured into making it from scratch. I like cooking from scratch, so I decided that I would try. I stocked up on strawberries and started doing some research.
Bavarian cream can be described as a very firm mousse. It is a combination of a light yolk custard with gelatin and whipped cream. It can have several flavours but I have always known it with strawberries. A perfect way to use strawberries when it’s peak season and the temptation to buy more and more is hard to tame.
Strawberry Bavarian Cream (serves 4):
- 260 g fresh strawberries
- 200 ml whole milk
- 13 g gelatin
- 30 g powdered sugar
- 200 ml whipping cream
- 2 eggs
- 60 g granulated sugar
First of all start with the custard. Separate egg whites from yolks and combine the yolks and the sugar. Beat with a hand mixer for a couple of minutes, then stir in milk. Transfer this mixture to the stove and cook on low heat, always stirring, until the mixture thickens. It will not get as thick as a regular custard, as there is no starch here, so do not expect the same texture. In the meantime, soak the gelatin. When the gelatin has softened and the cream has thickened, remove from the heat and stir in gelatin. Let cool, checking from time to time to ensure it doesn’t solidify once the gelatin hardens.
In another container, combine strawberries and powdered sugar. Blend until smooth. When the cream and gelatin mixture has cooled to room temperature, stir in the strawberry blend. Lastly, in a separate container, whip the cream to soft peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the strawberry mixture. Pour the mixture into 4 containers and refrigerate. The gelatin will thicken and your strawberry Bavarian cream will be ready in a couple of hours.
A traditional way of serving this dessert is by making it in a mould and flipping it onto a plate once it hardens. Many recipes present it like that. I thought it looked a bit out of fashion and decided to make mine in those nice glasses I got from Lagerhaus when I was in Norrköping (when my friend made me lentil burgers).
Bavarian cream is firmer than a pudding and has a very pleasant texture. The air of the whipped cream is trapped in the firm structure of the cream hardened with the gelatin. Using strawberries will also add the crunch of the tiny strawberry seeds. Some people sieve the strawberry purée but I don’t mind using the fruits whole.
This is an excellent summer treat that can be made ahead and last up to four days refrigerated. The use of strawberries is a variation, but Bavarian cream can have several flavours. Strawberry is my flavour of choice because it reminds me of eating it as a child, and having it again 20 years later, but made from scratch, really felt like a win.