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Vanilla Bean Bavarois with Mango, Mint and Cardamom

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love sent to me…. the smoothest creamiest chilled summer French dessert.

December 20, 2016

Vanilla Bean Bavarois with Mango, Mint and Cardamom

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ingredients for six


3 x gelatine leaves
1 tsp vanilla paste
300ml milk
100gm caster sugar
4 x extra large 59gm eggs
300ml thickened cream


50ml water
15gm caster sugar
200gm mango cheeks
¼ tsp ground cardamom
4gm mint leaves
¼ to ½ tsp orange zest
¼ to ½ tsp lemon zest


  1. Make bavarois at least 6 hours before serving. Soak gelatine leaves immersed in cold water for a couple of minutes, until soft.
  2. Place vanilla paste in saucepan with milk and caster sugar. Bring to a simmer.
  3. Meanwhile, separate eggs (freeze whites for another use). Place yolks in large bowl and whisk briefly to loosen.
  4. Pour hot milk over yolks in steady stream, whisking constantly to create custard. Replace immediately back into warm pan. Place pan back over medium low heat and stir occasionally until custard thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Do not allow to boil as it will curdle. Remove pan from heat.
  5. Drain gelatine leaves from water and drop straight into hot custard in pan. Stir to dissolve.
  6. Half fill large bowl with iced water and sit saucepan in water to come half way up side. Stir custard often and allow to cool, adding more ice to water-bath as it melts.
  7. Meanwhile in an electric mixer, whisk cream until it holds firm peaks.
  8. With whisk running slowly, pour cool custard into whisked cream to combine to a thick mixture. Pour into chosen serving dessert bowls or glasses of 150ml minimum capacity.
  9. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight, until set.
  10. Make sauce. Boil kettle and pour 50ml water over sugar. Stir to dissolve sugar.
  11. Roughly chop mango flesh and place in large jug with zests and ground cardamom. Add sugar syrup. Blend until smooth. Roughly chop mint and add to mango, blend again to combine mint and process into smaller pieces.
  12. Serve bavarois topped with a layer of mango sauce.

cooks notes

  • Custard is ready when it reaches 90ºC, using a thermometer will take away the guess work.
  • Once saucepan is placed in ice bath for custard to cool, stir occasionally to ensure egg does not keep cooking and risk the custard curdling.
  • If making bavarois well in advance it is not entirely necessary to cool custard in an iced water-bath. Simply place custard in fridge and stir occasionally to prevent a skin forming and ensure the eggs do not continue cooking and curdle.
  • Use lemon balm in place of mint if liked.
  • Chop mint just before adding to sauce to ensure colour is preserved.
  • Use a fine zester to grate lemon and orange zest.
  • This classic French dessert can also be made in Dariole moulds and turned out onto serving plate for a more formal presentation.

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Meet the team

Tracey Cotterell

Tracey Cotterell
Tracey Cotterell


Tracey has been in the food industry since completing her Diploma in Hotel, Catering and Institutional Management in 1982 in the UK. She worked for an outside catering company in London, then joined her parents in rural West Sussex running

View Tracey’s full profile.

Tracey Cotterell

Tracey Cotterell


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