A French Dessert

So long as you have food in your mouth, you have solved all questions for the time being.  Franz Kafka

The French are masters of the culinary arts, taking rustic and seemingly artless dishes and making them into something refined and richly satisfying.  They love their desserts and they adore to indulge in the richness, creaminess, and tastefulness for which their desserts are so famous. The French weave magic with the simplest but best quality ingredients. For them, a great dish is timeless and never goes out of fashion.

Though the concept of a dessert course  is a relatively modern one; it wasn’t until midway through the 19th century that sugar became affordable and easy enough to find, that a sweet course became common place in Europe.  Before that, you would have your regular main course, buffet style, sitting right next to sweet dishes and the diners would eat whatever they desired in no specific order.

However, thanks to the method of serving courses in the order one is most likely to enjoy eating them the most, we now have the dessert course…the most anticipated of all meals (we all know about our dessert stomachs, right? That tiny spot everyone tends to reserve or magically find in their stomach just for desserts — no matter how stuffed). It is, however, very important to take into consideration what was eaten before dessert when picking the right item to serve for your final course. Consider what has come before, in other parts of the meal, and make sure richness, flavor, and textures are all balanced throughout your meal. If you have a heavy main course, serving a lighter dessert would probably be your best bet. If you want to serve a memorable dessert, then stick to making the food eaten beforehand lighter and simpler.

Now, for one of my favorite French desserts:

Cinnamon Bavarois:

Milk 300 ml

Ground cinnamon 1 tsp

Sugar 50 g

Egg yolks 3

Powdered gelatine 1.5 tbsp

Vanilla extract 1/2 tsp

Whipping cream 175 ml

Extra cinnamon for dusting


Put the milk, cinnamon and half of  the sugar into a saucepan and bring to a boil. In a bowl whisk the egg yolks and remaining sugar until light and fluffy. Then whisk the milk into the yolks, making sure to pour slowly as to not cook your yolks, pour the mixture back into your saucepan and cook, stirring, until it is thick enough to coat the back of your wooden spoon. Do not let the custard boil!

Sprinkle the gelatine over the hot custard. Let stand for about 5 minutes or until softened, then stir until the gelatine is completely dissolved. Strain your custard into a bowl and allow to cool completely.

Whip the cream. Once whipped, fold it into the custard then pour into six (100 ml) lightly oiled bavarois moulds. Refrigerate until firm to the touch.

Unmould each bavarois by holding each mould briefly in a hot cloth, then flip upside down onto a plate with a quick shake.

Dust your cinnamon bavarois with your extra cinnmon.



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