Today just so happens to be my 100th post as well as my first blogiversary. So congrats and celebrate with this classic and scrumptious dessert.
Normally one would celebrate a special occasion with a cake, but I felt like doing something different. While I love a good cake, I prefer to minimize sweet frosting, plus I love a dessert with a slightly unique presentation.
Enter the Bavarian cream. It truly is unique, sort of like a mousse or pudding, but more firm like a flan. There are infinite recipes, as I learned while I did my research! I tried a recipe two weeks ago for Ewan’s graduation, but I wasn’t happy with the results. It was of the more firm variety and while it tasted good (I used a vanilla bean in that one) it wasn’t the texture I was going for.
After lots of time on Pinterest I went back to a recipe I got from my cooking class at the Biltmore Estate years ago. It was for a white chocolate Bavarian cream. I altered the recipe a bit to get what I wanted. I figured those of you who have been reading this blog for a while didn’t want to see another coconut and chocolate recipe, or even peanut butter and chocolate. Those are two of my favorites after all! Lucky for you I also adore mint and chocolate.
I also wanted to use something from the garden for this post, not an easy task for a dessert! That is where the mint came in. Yes, it is just an herb, but it came from our garden!
What better way to present a creamy mint Bavarian cream than in a chocolate bowl?! It is a match made in heaven. The process is not too difficult, assuming no mishaps. I may have had an exploding chocolate balloon in the process. Let me just say that when a balloon explodes with warm chocolate on it you may find chocolate in strange places!
Of course you could also serve it in glasses, bowls or buy already made chocolate cups. My boys prefer the balloon bowls, it provided them great entertainment to watch the bowls form, and the explosion as well.
Perhaps the best part about of this recipe is how extremely versatile this recipe is. You can experiment with different extracts or flavorings. Add melted chocolate or puréed fruit. Create whatever flavor tickles your fancy. AND the cream can be served many ways. Not only is it good in various bowls, but it can also be used between cake layers, to fill eclairs or cream puffs. Let your imagination run wild with all the possibilities!
Source: Adapted from a Biltmore Estate recipe
Mint Bavarian Cream in a Chocolate Bowl
For the bowls
1 c. chocolate chips or chopped semi-sweet chocolate
6 small balloons
For the Bavarian Cream
1 c. heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp. gelatin
4 1/2 Tbs. warm water
8 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. mint extract
2 Tbs. fresh mint, chopped
Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler. Blow up 6 balloons, keep them small and do not stretch them too much or they will be more likely to explode. Allow the chocolate to cool for about five minutes once melted. Gently dip the bottom of the balloons in the chocolate to coat, forming a small bowl. You can also use a spatula or pastry brush to put the chocolate on the balloons. Place the chocolate coated bowls on the lined baking sheet and allow to harden in the fridge.
Whip the heavy cream until almost stiff.
Sprinkle the gelatin over the warm water in a small bowl. Mix the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and mint extract until smooth. Add the chopped mint and mix in well. Whisk the still warm gelatin into the cream cheese mixture (make sure there are no clumps in the gelatin). Fold in the whipped cream immediately after the gelatin is whisked in.
Place the cream in a bowl and place plastic wrap directly on top. Allow to chill for several hours in the fridge or overnight. Serve in chocolate bowls.
Yields 6 servings as a dessert or enough to fill a layer cake