Raspberry and Vanilla Bavarois

Raspberry and Vanilla Bavarois
This recipe is an extract from Everything I Love to Cook by Neil Perry. This bavarois was on his first dessert menu at Barrenjoey House in Palm Beach, way back in 1982, but this cracker of a summertime dessert is just as relevant today as it was all those years ago.


Serves 8 – 10



  • 4 gelatine leaves
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 200 g (7½ oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 2 cups (500 ml) milk
  • 3 vanilla beans, split lengthways and seeds scraped
  • 600 ml (21 fl oz) pure (whipping) cream
  • 375 g (13 oz) raspberries

For the genoise sponge:

  • 8 large eggs
  • 250 g (9 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 250 g (9 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 30 g (1 oz) unsalted butter, melted


  • You’ll also need two round springform tins: one 23 cm (9 inch), the other 20 cm (8 inch) in diameter



  1. For the genoise sponge, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and lightly grease the 23 cm (9 inch) tin.
  2. In a large stainless-steel bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together until pale and creamy.
  3. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl sits above the level of the water, and whisk constantly for 8–10 minutes, or until the mixture thickens and the whisk leaves a trail.
  4. Carefully lift the bowl off the pan and keep whisking for another 5 minutes.
  5. Sift over the flour and fold in gently, then pour in the melted butter and fold through.
  6. Transfer to the tin and bake for 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out dry.
  7. Carefully run a knife around the edge of the sponge, remove the springform and base of the tin, then transfer the cake to a wire rack and leave to cool.
  8. Meanwhile, to make the bavarois, put the gelatine into a small bowl of cold water and leave to soften.
  9. In a heatproof bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until pale and creamy.
  10. Heat the milk with the vanilla seeds in a saucepan. As soon as the first bubbles start to appear, remove from the heat and slowly pour over the egg yolk mixture, whisking all the time.
  11. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl sits above the level of the water, and whisk vigorously for 8–12 minutes, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon.
  12. Carefully lift the bowl off the pan and set it over a large bowl of ice. Squeeze out the gelatine and whisk into the warm mixture until completely dissolved, then leave to cool.
  13. In another bowl, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. When the bavarois mixture is completely cold and starting to firm up, gently fold in the cream until fully incorporated.
  14. To assemble, slice the sponge horizontally into four 1 cm (½ inch) layers.
  15. Trim one layer to fit the 20 cm (8 inch) tin and press into the base.
  16. Spread a third of the raspberries over the sponge, then pour in the bavarois mixture and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  17. Sprinkle the remaining raspberries on top (they will sink down into the bavarois but not right to the bottom), then refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
  18. To serve, dip a knife in hot water and gently run around the inside of the tin, then remove the springform and cut into slices.

Smart Tip:

You only need a quarter of the sponge here, so refrigerate or freeze the rest for another time. It will keep for 7 days in the fridge or 6 months in the freezer.


Images and text from Everything I Love to Cook by Neil Perry, photography by Petrina Tinslay. Murdoch Books RRP $69.99 NZD, RRP $59.99 AUD.


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