Bavarois Clermont

Bavarois Clermont (bah-vahr-wah CLAIR-mohn), which is flavoured with marrons glaces, preserved chestnuts, is a very elegant dessert for a dinner party.

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1| pints milk

1 vanilla pod

4 oz. sugar

4 egg yolks -V oz. gelatine

4 tablespoons water

10 fl. oz. double cream , chilled

8 oz. marrons glaces, finely chopped

Using a pastry brush, grease the inside of a 3-pint mould with the vegetable oil. Place the mould upside down on a double layer of kitchen paper towels to drain off the oil.

Put the milk and the vanilla pod into a medium-sized saucepan over moderate heat. When the milk is hot, but not boiling, take the saucepan off the heat and set aside to cool.

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 and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Remove the vanilla pod and slowly pour the milk on to the egg and sugar mixture, beating all the time.

In a small saucepan set over low heat, dissolve the gelatine in the water, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

Place a large saucepan, 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, stirring slowly, cook until the custard is thick enough to coat the spoon. Be careful not to overheat the mixture or it will curdle.

Stir in the gelatine. Cook, stirring, for a further 2 to 3 minutes or until the mixture is smooth.

Strain the custard through a sieve into a medium-sized bowl. Place the bowl over ice in a bowl. With a wooden spoon, stir continuously until- the custard begins to thicken.

With a wire whisk whip the cream in a medium-sized bowl until it is thick but not stiff. With a rubber spatula lightly fold the cream and the chopped marrons glaces into the thickened custard and pour the mixture into the mould.

Cover the mould with aluminium foil or waxed paper and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight, 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. Decorate the Bavarian Cream with additional stiffly whipped cream.

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