This book called Lost Desserts by Gail Monaghan came in the mail. It's a cookbook of desserts like Baked Alaska, Sauternes Bavarian Cream, and Forum of the Twelve Caesar's Mad Nero Crepes. Vaux-le-Vicomte's Fane? We like this stuff. It reminds us of Christmas in the 80s, back when we wore dresses and crawled around on the floors of restaurants while our grandparents got soused and our parents tried not to embarrass them. Do you know what I mean? We made this Bavarian Cream. It was not hard to make. It tastes good, though berry bewy rich. The only hard part is unmolding it.
Here is the recipe. We don't have measuring cups or tablespoons, a sieve, an electric beater or a cake mold. We used a cup-sized cup for cups, ignored tablespoons, forwent the sieve, hand beat the cream (15 minutes, doable), and used a bowl for a mold. It came out well.
1-1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 cup of sugar
Large pinch of salt
8 large egg yolks
1-1/2 packets of gelatin dissolved in 2 tablespoons of water
3/4 cup of Sauternes, or any sweet dessert wine (we think brandy might be good in this)
2-1/2 cups very cold, heavy cream, whipped
1. Grease an 8- 10-cup mold or 8 to 10 individual molds with canola oil.
2. Put the milk and the vanilla bean with the seeds in a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to a boil, turn off the heat, cover, and set aside to steep.
3. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, salt and egg yolks together until very light and creamy (about 5 minutes with an electric mixer; about 15 with a whisk).
4. Return the milk to a simmer. Off the heat, stir in the dissolved gelatin and slowly add the liquid back to the egg yolk mixture, beating constantly.
5. Put the mixture back in the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Do not boil.
6. Pour the mixture through a sieve into a bowl, stir, and let cool. When cool, stir in the dessert wine. When the mixture begins to set up, stir again. Then fold in the whipped cream and pour into the prepared mold(s). Refrigerate until set, at least four hours.
7. When ready to serve, dab the top of the Bavarian(s) dry with a paper towel and turn out onto serving dish. If you have trouble unmolding, dip mold(s) into hot water for 15 seconds and try again; repeat if necessary.
8. We decorated with frozen grapes, but you know what would be cool? A bunch of plastic jewels. Like an ice palace.