Laura the Gastronaut > Julia Child > Desserts > Chocolate Bavarian Cream

Chocolate Bavarian Cream

April 23, 2019 | Updated January 16, 2023 | Laura

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Julia Child's Chocolate Bavarian Cream

✽ Recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. I | Julia Child ✽

Julia Child Recipes 14-15 | 513 recipes to go!

✽ Chocolate Bavarian Cream [Bavarois au Chocolat], p. 599
✽ Créme Chantilly [Lightly Beaten Cream], p. 580


✽ Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. I was written by Julia Child who co-authored with Simone Beck & Louisette Bertholle and was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1961.

✽ You can buy Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I which contains these recipes here. (affiliate link)

The purpose of this Julia Child section of my blog is to document my journey of learning how to cook. To show my successes, my failures, and what I learned along the way.

Since I didn't create these recipes (if only!), I do not post exact amounts of ingredients or word-for-word instructions. If any of these recipes spark your interest, I highly recommend you buy Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking (affiliate link). It's a great investment and learning tool and contains hundreds of classic recipes.

I hope that you enjoy reading my thoughts, learn something new, and leave inspired to try a new recipe. Bon appétit!


Butter Count & Cost: Chocolate Bavarian Cream

✽ Butter Count: +0 TB

✽ Cost: $8.87 [~$0.99 per serving]

Check out the total Julia Child butter count & cost here!

→ Looking for a different Julia Child recipe? Here's a list of all of the completed and pending Mastering the Art of French Cooking recipes!

Calling all chocolate fans.

Today, I made my second Bavarian Cream! This one went MUCH smoother than the first one, and I think I’m slowly beginning to get the hang of this French dessert thing!

This recipe is basically the same as the Bavarois a L’orange [Orange Bavarian Cream] I made a few days ago.

This is one of the reasons why I love Mastering the Art of French Cooking- because all the recipes in a chapter build upon each other. Julia walks you step-by-step through the first recipe and then she basically sets you free once you have the techniques down.

I find it extremely exciting to “master” all the cooking techniques in this book and eventually, one day, you realize that you aren’t even having to go back to the original recipe because YOU GOT THIS!

Julia Child Chocolate Bavarian Cream: Questions

✽ Why do you add strong coffee to this chocolate dessert?

Brewed strong coffee or espresso powder enhances the chocolate flavor without adding much coffee flavor to the desserts at all.

According to Bon Appetit, coffee and chocolate have very similar flavor profiles allowing them to complement each other. Chocolate has bitterness and some acidity which coffee or espresso can balance out.

Cocoa paired with espresso makes the cocoa complex and intense leaving you with a very chocolately dessert.

✽ What is Bavarian Cream?

A Bavarian cream is a dessert made with custard sauce (milk, egg yolks, sugar) thickened with gelatin into which beaten egg whites and beaten whipped cream is folded.

✽ What is Creme Chantilly?

Creme chantilly is lightly beaten cream. Chilled whipping cream is beaten with a whisk until it thickens. When a small amount of the cream is lifted and dropped back onto the surface, it should softly retain its shape.

I served my prepared chocolate Bavarian cream with creme chantilly on top!

Looking for more Julia Child dessert recipes to read about?

→ Check out all of the dessert recipes that I've completed so far!

Fun Bavarian Cream Facts

✽ What is fromage bavarois?

Fromage bavarois is an older version of a Bavarian cream that did not contain eggs.

✽ When did Bavarian creams first show up in America?

In 1884, Bavarian creams were mentioned in Boston Cooking School books by DA Lincoln.

✽ What other flavors of Bavarian Cream are there?

The flavor combination for Bavarian creams are endless. In Mastering the Art of French Cooking, you can also find recipes for Orange Bavarian Cream, Almond Bavarian Cream, Strawberry or Raspberry Bavarian Cream, and Bavarian Cream with Rice and Fruits.

✽ Who invented Bavarian creams?

Nobody is quite for sure who first created Bavarian creams, but Marie-Antoine Careme, a French chef, is often credited with their invention.

How to Make Chocolate Bavarian Cream

Julia Child Chocolate Bavarian Cream

✽ Step 1: Soften Gelatin

So obviously this recipe drops the oranges and adds the beautiful ingredient – chocolate (oh, and some rum too :D)

Instead of orange juice, the gelatin powder is softened in strong coffee and vanilla extract.

✽ Step 2: Beat Egg Yolks

The custard for this recipe has 2 fewer egg yolks than the Orange Bavarian Cream. As always, you want to whip the yolks and sugar until you get the ribbon. Then beat in the cornstarch.

Chocolate Bavarian Cream

✽ Step 3: Beat in Chocolate Milk

The baking chocolate is slowly melted into the milk (make sure to stir frequently and watch the pot- you don't want your boiling milk to flow over!) which is then beaten into the ribbons of eggs. It all gets heated on the stove BUT don’t scramble the eggs! You want the custard to just lightly coat the wooden spoon.

Bavarois au Chocolat

✽ Step 4: Fold in Beaten Egg Whites & Chill

Egg whites are then whipped to peaks (which still blows my mind how this works) and folded into the custard. Look at that peak!

Julia Child Creme Chantilly

The chocolate dessert now sits over an ice bath until it is cool, folding occasionally. You don't want the dessert to set just yet- just want it to be chilled!

Julia Child Dessert

✽ Step 5: Fold in Beaten Whipped Cream

The whipped cream is beaten until it starts to leave faint traces on the surface. The cream and dark rum are folded into the chilled custard mixture.

Julia Child Bavarois au Chocolat

✽ Step 6: Chill

The mixture is turned into the mold and chilled overnight or until it is set. I leave it in the fridge overnight to be safe.

✽ Step 7: Un-mold

I am always super nervous these desserts will get stuck, but I've had pretty decent luck when unmolding. Perhaps it is beginner's luck or maybe it just sounds more intimidating than it actually is.

Dip the mold into a sink full of super hot water just for a second or two, and make sure you run the knife completely around the edge. Place the chilled serving platter on top of the mold. Then very quickly turn it over and hope it plops out.

Note that wherever the Bavarian cream lands, it stays. So try to get it to plop out in the center of the platter.

I’m a little sad that mine came out as a BLOB on the serving dish. Once it hits the dish, you really can’t move it. But it still tasted great, and that’s all that matters.

Julia Child's Bavarois au Chocolat

✽ Step 8: Serve

This chocolate Bavarian cream can be served with homemade whipped cream (crème chantilly) or crème anglaise (custard sauce).

And there it is, the second Bavarian Cream of Mastering the Art of French Cooking! It tastes mostly like a very light chocolate pudding which is such a good thing.

I can see why Bavarian Creams have fallen out of favor; they really are a lot of work. But I’ll assure you, that it is worth it at least once in your life to experience the making of a Bavarian Cream. I would highly recommend this one if you do. I am ready for the Almond Bavarian Cream coming up soon!

*This blog, Laura The Gastronaut, and this post were/are not endorsed or supported by Julia Child or The Julia Child Foundation.

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Category: Julia Child, Desserts & Cakes Cuisine: French
Keywords: chocolate bavarian cream recipe, julia child desserts, french dessert recipes, what is bavarian cream

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More Bavarian Cream Recipes:

Almond Bavarian Cream (Bavarian cream made with delicious praline)
Strawberry Bavarian Cream (a fruity Bavarian cream made with either strawberries or raspberries)
Orange Bavarian Cream (Julia Child's favorite version of Bavarian cream)
→ Check out all of the completed Julia Child dessert recipes!

✽ You can find this recipe and all the other Julia Child recipes I make in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I (affiliate link).
→ Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. I was written by Julia Child who co-authored with Simone Beck & Louisette Bertholle and was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1961.

✽ Check out my Julia Child Recipe Checklist to see a list of all my completed and pending recipes from Mastering the Art of French Cooking!

Bon appétit!

April 23, 2019 by Laura Ehlers

*This Chocolate Bavarian Cream blog post may contain some Amazon affiliate links. These link to products that I personally use and recommend. If you purchase anything using my links, it will not cost you anything. It will though give some financial support which helps me keep this blog running. Thank you for reading my blogs and your continued support.