A classic, moulded dessert, Bavarois (bah-vahr-wah), or Bavarian Cream, is soft egg custard mixed with gelatine, whipped cream and flavouring. Properly prepared it has a smooth velvety quality and is regarded as one of the best moulded desserts.

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

½ pints milk

1 vanilla pod

5 tablespoons sugar

5 egg yolks

2 oz. gelatine

3 tablespoons water

5 fl. oz. double cream

Using a pastry brush, grease the inside of a 2-pint mould with the vegetable oil. Place the mould upside-down on kitchen paper towels to drain off the excess oil.

Put the milk and the vanilla pod into a medium-sized saucepan over moderate heat. When the milk is hot, but not boiling, remove it from the heat.

Put the sugar in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre of the sugar. Drop the egg yolks, one at a time, into the well and, with a wooden spoon or spatula, beat the yolks, slowly incorporating the sugar. Continue this process until all the egg yolks and sugar are well mixed and beaten.

Remove the vanilla pod and, beating all the time, pour the milk in a thin stream on to the egg-and-sugar mixture.

Place a large pan, one-third full of water, on high heat. When the water is just about to boil, turn the heat to very low.

The water must be hot but not simmering. Place the bowl with the egg-and-milk mixture in the water and, stir-ring slowly, cook until the custard is thick enough to coat the spoon. Be careful not to overheat the custard as it will curdle.

In a small saucepan over low heat dissolve the gelatine in the water. When the gelatine is completely dissolved, stir it into the custard.

Strain the custard through a sieve into a bowl. Place the bowl over ice in a bowl. Stir continuously until the custard thickens.

Whip the cream in a small bowl with a wire whisk until it is thick but not stiff. Lightly fold the cream into the thickening custard and pour the mixture into the mould.

Cover the mould with aluminium foil or waxed paper and refrigerate for 6 hours or until the Bavarian Cream is completely set.

To serve, dip the bottom of the mould into hot water for 1 second. Run a knife around the edge of the cream and turn it out on to a chilled serving dish.

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