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Orange Bavarian Cream

April 8, 2019 | Updated January 17, 2023 | Laura

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Julia Child's Orange Bavarian Cream

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

Julia Child Recipe 5 | 523 recipes to go!

✽ Orange Bavarian Cream [Bavarois a l'Orange], p. 596


✽ 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- Orange Bavarian Cream

✽ Butter Count: +0 TB

✽ Cost: $4.45 [~$0.49 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 orange fans. This one is for you.

If I knew how much work this dessert would be, I probably would have held off making it because after a extremely long week, this COMPLETELY exhausted me.

None the less, it was pretty fun to make. I was a little upset because I couldn’t find a specific mold for these types of desserts so I had to use a bundt cake pan. It ended up working quite well but the shape might be a little unappetizing to some.

The beginning of the recipe is actually pretty amusing. Julia describes this recipe as “far from difficult”. And to some it might be, but as a person who has never made a Bavarian Cream before, it was a challenge and a workout.

The Orange Bavarian is also Julia’s favorite Bavarian so I wanted to get it right.

Orange Bavarian Cream: Questions

✽ What is a Bavarian cream?

A Bavarian cream is a classic French dessert that consists of making a homemade custard sauce (creme anglaise) with gelatin. Beaten egg whites, beaten whipping cream, and flavorings are folded into the mixture. It all goes into a mold, is chilled, and then unmolded to serve.

The final texture is slightly jiggly from the gelatin but also creamy and velvety. Because beaten egg whites are folded into it, it also is a bit airy and light as well.

✽ How do you unmold a Bavarian cream?

Very carefully! Honestly, unmolding was the most terrifying part of this recipe, but really it shouldn't be. It sounds more intimidating than it actually is.

The cookbook says to dip the mold in very hot water for 1 second. I found that a second didn't really change the temperature of the mold much so I kept it in the water for just a couple more seconds. I then ran a knife along the edge of the mold until all the sides were loose.

Place a chilled platter on top of the mold, and very quickly reverse the Bavarian cream onto the platter.

Note that wherever the Bavarian cream lands, the Bavarian cream stays. So if it plops out more to the side of the platter rather than the center, that's probably where it will be. I found it was very difficult to maneuver it back to the center.

✽ How do you serve Orange Bavarian Cream?

It is recommended to serve this orange dessert unmolded on a large platter. To make it pretty, surround the Bavarian cream with orange segments that are sprinkled with sugar and orange liqueur.

Looking for more Julia Child dessert recipes to read about?

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

Fun Orange Facts

✽ Why are oranges orange?

Oranges get their color from carotenes which are a type of photosynthetic pigment. Carotenes are also found in carrots, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes.

Though not all oranges are orange. There are also green oranges that instead contain chlorophyll.

✽ Which country grows the most oranges?

Brazil grows more oranges than any other country. Most of their oranges get squeezed to make orange juice.

✽ What are the layers of an orange?

Oranges have a total of 3 layers. The outer layer is the flavedo which makes the orange-smelling oils. The middle layer is the albedo which is the white layer that protects the orange. The innermost layer is the endocarp which is the part we eat- the sweet juicy sections.

✽ How old are oranges?

At least 2300 years old! They originated in Southeast Asia probably created by crossing a pomelo with a mandarin.

How to Make Orange Bavarian Cream

Julia Child Dessert

✽ Step 1: Orange Sugar Lumps

The most exciting part of this recipe is that it calls for sugar cubes! Which now I have a box of 130-something sugar cubes in my pantry that will never probably get used but no regrets.

Desserts Julia Child

You basically just take the sugar cubes and rub them on the skins of the oranges which will cause them to turn orange from the oils. Mix that with some grated orange skin and bam, you have the first part done.

Julia Child Bavarian Cream

✽ Step 2: Soften Gelatin

Next- science experiment. You put gelatin in some freshly squeezed orange juice, and it becomes jelly. Mind-blowing and a little weird.

✽ Step 3: Beat Egg Yolks

The next part involves making the crème anglaise which is egg yolks and sugar. I chose to hand beat. It’s actually a great workout and so exhausting.

The eggs will magically turn a very pale yellow and start to form “ribbons”. This is when you lift up the whisk and when the mixture falls down from the whisk, it takes a few seconds to blend into the rest of the mixture- hence, to form a ribbon.

✽ Step 4: Beat in Boiling Milk, Heat, & Add Gelatin

Boiling milk is then slowly beaten into the egg yolk mixture and placed on the stove. But CAREFUL! Not too hot because you will scramble your eggs. The best idea is to use a candy thermometer and make sure you do not heat past 170 degrees. If you don't have a thermometer, stop cooking once the mixture lightly coats the back of the wooden spoon.

Julia Child Orange Dessert

Afterwards, put in the gelatin mixture to make it gelatinized!

✽ Step 5: Egg Whites

Then- the egg whites. The dreaded egg whites. I have actually never hand-whipped egg whites, and it is quite the experience. How egg whites can turn into a white fluff is beyond me. Look at that curl.

Julia Child Whipped Cream

The egg whites are folded into the custard, and it is set over an ice bath until chilled, folding occasionally. You don't want it to set all the way- just get colder.

Orange Bavarian Cream

✽ Step 6: Beat Whipping Cream

Then- more beating. I’m pretty tired at this point and kind of just want it to be over. You beat whipped cream, and it grows double in size. Cooking is the biggest science experiment. The beaten cream and orange liqueur gets folded into the custard.

✽ Step 7: Chill

Now you have your dessert ready to go into the fridge overnight. It will look something like this when you are all done.

Bavarois a l'Orange

✽ Step 8: Unmold

After chilling overnight, I had a beautiful gelatin dessert.

Julia Child Bavarois a l'Orange

I have heard horror stories of the dessert not coming out of the pan, but I didn’t have any troubles. Just make sure to run a knife all the way around and dip in hot water right before you dump it onto a chilled serving platter.

✽ Step 9: Serve

Serve with segmented oranges sprinkled with sugar and orange liqueur. And there you have it, Orange Bavarian Cream.

Orange Bavarian Cream Julia Child

*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: orange bavarian cream, french bavarian cream, french dessert recipes, julia child bavarian cream recipe, 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)
Bavarian Cream with Rice and Fruits (an interesting Bavarian cream that has white rice and glaceed fruits)
→ 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 8, 2019 by Laura Ehlers

*This Orange 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.