Think a cross between chocolate pudding, chocolate mousse, and rich chocolate ice cream and you have Chocolate Bavarian Cream. Made from a dark chocolate custard, folded with light and airy whipped cream, this is the no bake dessert you didn’t know you needed.
What is Bavarian Cream?
Original Bavarian cream is simply a rich vanilla custard that uses a little gelatin to help it set and is folded with whipped cream to give it a light and airy texture. However this version includes melted dark chocolate to give it a little extra something. It can be eaten just like this or used as donut or cake filling.
Can I leave out the Gelatin?
If you want it to set like a traditional Bavarian cream, then no. However, if you want to serve it as more of a soft mousse then yes! You will just allow the custard to cool after cooking it but not add in the gelatin, but still whisk in the melted chocolate, and then fold it with the whipped cream.
Can this be made in advance?
Yes! If you want it really “set” then you should make it a day in advance but be sure so place plastic wrap on the surface to prevent it from forming a skin. You can also enjoy it immediately after making it for a softer more mousse like texture.
Tips for making this Bavarian Cream Recipe
- Don’t walk away from the custard while it is cooking. Because this recipe doesn’t use a double boiler to cook the custard, it is even more important to stir it constantly once the eggs and sugar have been added to the cream. The moment you see lines created by the whisk, remove it from the heat.
- Once the bloomed gelatin and vanilla extract have been whisked into the custard, pour it into the melted chocolate in 3 additions. Whisk each addition into the chocolate until fully mixed before adding the next portion.
- Allow the chocolate custard to cool to room temperature before folding it in with the whipped cream. However, stir or whisk the custard frequently while it cools to help it cool evenly and be sure to scrape the sides otherwise some of it will begin to firm up and won’t combine into the whipped cream.
- If you don’t have time to let these set overnight it will still be delicious served as more of a soft mousse in bowls right after you have folded in the whipped cream.
- Milk: Any milk will work for this. You need 3 tablespoons to bloom the gelatin in and then 200 ml to make up part of the custard.
- Gelatin: I know gelatin can seem scary to some people but it’s actually very easy to use and helps the bavarian cream set and become sturdy. This recipe uses powdered gelatin.
- Heavy Cream: Heavy Cream or heavy whipping cream will work in this recipe. It is used for both the custard as well as the whipped cream that is folded in at the end.
- Egg Yolks: The egg yolks are a key ingredient in the custard. I use standard large eggs from the grocery store.
- Sugar: There is granulated white sugar in the custard.
- Vanilla Extract: Vanilla adds a little welcome flavor to this recipe.
- Dark Chocolate: It’s important to use high quality bars of dark chocolate for this recipe as they melt better and while mix into the custard and whipped cream more easily.
How to make Bavarian Cream
Prepare the Elements
- In a small bowl, stir together the powdered gelatin and milk. Set aside to bloom for at least five minutes.
- Break up or chop up the dark chocolate and melt in a large microwave safe bowl on 10-15 second intervals, stirring in between.
- Place the 5 egg yolks in a medium bowl and set aside.
- While the cream is heating up, add the sugar into the egg yolks and whisk until the mixture starts to lighten and become frothy.
Make the Chocolate Custard
- In a medium sauce pot (preferably with a heavy thick bottom) pour in the heavy cream and milk. Bring just to a simmer – stirring frequently to prevent it from burning.
- Once the cream is hot, remove it from the heat.
- Whisking the egg yolks constantly, slowly stream in 1/2 a cup of the hot heavy cream and milk. This will temper the eggs.
- Then switch and start whisking the remaining heavy cream and milk in the pot and slowly pour in the tempered eggs.
- Return the pot to medium heat and use a rubber spatula or whisk to stir the pot constantly making sure to scrape the edges of the pot.
- Cook the custard for about 3-5 minutes until it begins to thicken and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Another thing to look for is that most of the bubbles on the surface dissipate and you will feel it thicken.
- Once cooked and the moment you see one bubble, remove the pot from the heat. Continue whisking/stirring once removed from the heat because the pot will retain some heat.
- Pour in the bloomed gelatin and vanilla and stir to combine fully.
- Pour 1/3 of the custard into the melted chocolate and whisk to combine fully, it will thicken substantially but loosen as more custard is added. Once mixed, add in another 1/3 of the custard and whisk again. Add in the remaining custard and stir until fully combined.
- Set the bowl aside and stir regularly to help it cool evenly.
- Once the chocolate custard is cooled to room temperature, whip the remaining cream to medium/soft peaks.
- Add 1/3 of the whipped cream into the chocolate custard and use a rubber spatula to fold the whipped cream into the custard. Be sure to fold the two together rather than stir it to not knock all of the air out of the whipped cream.
- Add the remaining whipped cream in 2 more additions.
Chocolate Bavarian Cream
- 3 tbsp milk
- 1 packet powdered gelatin
- 200 milliliter milk
- 115 milliliter heavy cream
- 5 egg yolks
- 50 grams sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 8 ounces dark chocolate
- 315 ml heavy cream cold
Make the Custard
- Place the 3 T. of milk in a small bowl and sprinkle the top with the powdered gelatin, stir together and let it sit while you prepare the custard.
- In a large microwave safe bowl, break or chop up the chocolate. Melt the chocolate in 10-15 second intervals, stirring every time.
- Pour the cream and milk into a medium sauce pan and cook on the stove over medium heat until it starts to simmer – stir frequently.
- While the cream and milk heat up, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a small bowl until light and frothy.
- Once the cream is heated through, remove from the heat.
- While whisking the egg mixture constantly, slowly add a 1/2 cup of the hot cream and milk to the egg yolks and sugar. This is called tempering the eggs.
- Now, while constantly whisking the remaining cream and milk in the sauce pot, slowly pour the now tempered egg mixture back in.
- Return the pot to medium heat and stir constantly with a rubber spatula. Continue heating and stirring until the mixture has thickened slightly – thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
- Once it has thickened, remove it from the heat immediately and continue stirring for a few more minutes.
- Add in the vanilla extract and bloomed gelatin into the custard and whisk to combine.
- Pour the custard into the melted chocolate in 3 additions. Whisk after each addition until the custard is fully mixed into the chocolate.
- Set the chocolate custard aside to cool but whisk frequently to prevent it from clumping or getting a skin.
Whip the cream and assemble
- Once the mixture has come to room temperature, whip up the remaining heavy cream until it forms soft/medium peaks.
- In three additions, fold the whipped cream into the custard using a rubber spatula. Be careful not to stir but rather fold, this will help keep the air inside of the cream and keep the dessert from getting too dense.
- Pour the now mixed chocolate bavarian cream with a piping bag or ladle into 8 small or 6 larger glasses or bowls (these are what they will be served in).
- Cover the surface of the cream with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to set for four hours or overnight. Then top with fresh whipped cream and chocolate shavings.