Assessment: Hot & Cold Desserts – Vanilla Bavarois with Raspberry Coulis

Vanilla bavarois with raspberry coulis, crispy tuille, chopped pistachios & some caramel sugar designs

The second assessment item was the vanilla bavarois (bavarian cream) and raspberry coulis decorated however we wished hence the crispy towering tuille for height. The texture of bavarois to me is sort of in between panna cotta and mousse. It is soft, creamy and has a velvety mouth feel like that of a mousse but firmer; it is softer than panna cotta even though gelatine is used to set both these desserts. The main difference being, bavarois is made using a crème anglaise (english custard) base, i.e. bavarois contains egg yolks  whereas panna cotta does not and hence makes an apt vegetarian option. The other difference is in the softly whipped cream folded through the cooled crème anglaise base which lends that fluffy, creamy texture of the bavarois as opposed to the panna cotta being a ‘cooked cream’ set by gelatin. Personally, I prefer the silk-like panna cotta as it is lighter hence I can have more of it and not feel sick as I tend to with a mere spoonfuls of the bavarois. However, this is of course a matter of personal taste once again so if you like a richer take on this form of custard pudding, then the bavarois’s for you. It’s still a very enjoyable dessert to indulge in especially when you have the tartness of the raspberry coulis to offset the creaminess of the bavarois; a refreshing combination.

My main problem was in unmolding the fragile bavarois (we used plastic dariole moulds in class). You would think that the bendable plastic would make unmolding the bavarois a piece of cake but heck! I was struggling with this so much that the urge to completely squish the delicate thing out of frustration was immensely tempting. Ok, I admit, I actually did…well at home at least during practice, but I smashed it all into a bowl and ate it afterwards 😳  No matter how carefully I slip the paring knife between the wall of the mould and the bavarois to gently encourage it out, I always end up damaging the surface. This is one task that requires lots and lots of practice. For my second attempt at home, I used a tea cup which I’ve lightly greased with butter and just before unmolding, I dipped the cup in hot water for a few seconds and it came out alright. I didn’t want to risk it for the assessment so I made extra using a metal ring lined with foil at the base and acetate strip around the ring so all I had to do when the bavarois has set was lift it out and carefully peel the acetate strip away. Phew…..


(adapted from Prepare Hot and Cold Desserts workbook by William Angliss Institute)
fills 5 standard NESTLÉ Dariole Moulds


300 g       Milk
½              Vanilla Bean, split
       3         egg yolks
  90 g       caster sugar
       4        gelatine leaves
300 ml   cream, soft whipped


  1. Soften gelatine leaves in cold water
  2. Heat milk, vanilla bean (seeds scraped in of course) & half the sugar until almost boiling (very slight bubbling at the sides of the pan)
  3. Blend egg yolks and remaining sugar thoroughly in a bowl (you can just mix this throughly with a wooden spoon)
  4. Pour milk onto egg yolk mixture in the bowl and blend well
  5. Return the mix to the saucepan and heat gently, stirring continuously (you must stir continously; otherwise, the custard will curdle)
  6. The mixture is cooked when it coats the back of the spoon (about 82oC). (Immediately, take the pot off the heat, if you cook this any further, the custard will split ) Pass through a fine sieve into a clean bowl.
  7. Squeeze out excess water from the gelatine leaves and add to the custard, stir until melted; cool the mixture
  8. Whip the cream to soft whip point (soft peaks, not fully whipped as in piping consistency)
  9. When the custard mixture is thickening and just starting to set, fold through the softly whipped cream. (the custard must be cool to prevent the whipped cream from melting)
  10. Pour into moulds and chill in refrigerator until set
  11. To unmold, slip a paring knife gently between the wall of the mould and the bavarois, move the  knife carefully around to loosen the bavarois and gently push to release.
  12. Serve with raspberry coulis


(from class hand out)

      125 g    raspberries
        25 g   water
        50 g   sugar


  1. Bring all ingredients to the boil, simmer until dissolved 
  2. Strain with a fine sieve to remove the seeds
  3. Cool mixture before using


my first attempt at home : a small disaster with the shape of the bavarois which I tried to mask with raspberry coulis, looks a little gross, like it’s bleeding

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