What Is a Bavarois?

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Bavarois is the French term for Bavarian cream, which is a gelatin dessert. Bavarois is very similar to a dessert mousse in its texture.

The bavarois is a cold and molded gelatin dessert that harkens to the ice cream bombes of the 17th and 18th centuries. Ice cream bombes were similar to ice cream cakes; they were often made in fancy molds and bavarois employs the same design feature. Bavarois were introduced in the early 19th century.

Bavarois is French for Bavarian cream, a light desert containing an English custard cream base. One version of the recipe involves aerating the English custard cream with whipped cream, egg whites and flavoring. Baravois include fruit puree, chocolate, coffee or liqueur. The ingredients are mixed with gelatin and set to cool. It is said that the traditional bavarois does not include egg whites, but instead relies on extra whipping cream to add a fluffy texture. Bavarois is spooned into glasses or placed in a decorative mold and cooled again to give it a fancy design.

The texture of bavarois is like that of dessert mousse. Many dessert chefs use the same techniques to craft both items. A primary difference between mousse and baravois is that white chocolate is sometimes an added ingredient instead of milk or dark chocolate.