So this is Christmas…

This year I wanted to glam things up a bit in addition to the classic Kiwi BBQ delights.  Our dessert board for Christmas day will look a little something like this:

  • Chocolate and Pear Bavarois Cake (absolutely not dairy-free!)
  • Chocolate and Banana Mousse (dairy-free)
  • Fesitive Sweet Bread Wreath (this is not something my wee tots like anyway but you can easily make a dairy-free version)

First up is the devine chocolate and pear bavarois.  It is incredibly rich, smooth and decadent and would be fabulous at any time of the year to wow your guests!

Chocolate and Pear Bavarois Cake

1 round chocolate sponge

chocolate mousse
2 1/2 teaspoons gelatin
2 tablespoons water
200ml milk
100g dark chocolate
2 egg yolks
50g sugar
200ml cream, softly whipped

pear bavarois
410g can pears in syrup
2 teaspoons gelatin
2 tablespoons water
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon sugar
150ml cream, softly whipped

Line a 23cm round spring-form cake tin with baking paper (base and sides).  Cut sponge into 2 layers.  Neatly cover base of tin with a single layer of sponge, trimming and shaping as necessary.  For chocolate mousse, sprinkle gelatin over water and set aside for 5 minutes to swell.  Heat milk with chocolate to near boiling.  Whisk egg yolks with sugar until foamy, whisk in hot chocolate milk then return mixture to saucepan.  Stir briefly over gentle heat until mixture coats the back of a spoon (do not boil).  Add gelatin and stir until dissolved.  Leave to cool and go syrupy.  Fold whipped cream into cooled chocolate mixture and pour over sponge base.  Chill at least 30 minutes or until mousse is set.

To make pear bavarois, drain pears, reserving 1/2 cup syrup.  Puree pears with reserved syrup until smooth.  Sprinkle gelatin over water, set aside for 5 minutes to swell then heat briefly in a microwave to dissolve.  Beat egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale.  Mix in gelatin and pear puree then fold in cream.  Spoon pear mixture over chocolate mousse and chill for at least 3 hours or overnight.  To serve, heat a patisserie knife in a jug of hot water (or run under the hot tap), wipe dry and hold against the side of the dessert as you are pulling off the baking paper, heating the knife as you go.  This dessert will keep up to 3 days – but quite frankly, I doubt it will last that long!

I made two of these this year: one for Christmas Eve dinner with my husband’s family and one on Christmas Day.  They were divine and well received! Merry Christmas!

chocolate and pear bavarois cake


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