Barbara Kafka

B. Kafka's Blackberry Bavarian Cream

 (from The Intolerant Gourmet) 


This triumph of a dessert offers another benefit in that it has no lactose.

6 cups of fresh blackberries (about four 5-1/2 oz. containers) plus extra for serving
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
3 eggs, separated
3 teaspoons unflavored gelatin, equal to one .25 oz. packet plus 1 teaspoon
½ cup water

8 cups crushed ice or ice cubes

3-to-4 quart saucepan
2-to-3 quart saucepan
large fine-hole sieve or chinois
8-to-10 quart metal mixing bowl
12-to-16 quart metal or glass mixing bowl
microwavable glass measuring cup
6-cup mold or metal bowl
electric mixer with whisk attachment

Place the blackberries in the 3-to-4 quart saucepan and add the sugar. Using a wooden spoon, stir to combine the sugar with the berries. Cook over a medium heat, stirring frequently, so that the sugar dissolves and the berries throw off their juices. In 20 to 30 minutes the berries will become very soft and mushy and there will be a generous amount of juice.

Remove from the heat and transfer to a large fine-hole sieve or chinois that has been set over a large mixing bowl. Using a wooden spoon, press the softened berries against the holes of the sieve so to collect the fruit and juices while removing the seeds and skins. You can help the process by periodically scraping the outside of the sieve with a rubber spatula. The cooked berries should produce 2 cups of juice. Let the juice cool to room temperature.

In a microwavable glass measuring cup sprinkle the gelatin over 1/2 cup cool water and let it sit until the gelatin dissolves and the water becomes gelatinous, about 5 minutes. Cook in the microwave for 30 seconds, which will return the combination to a liquid form.  Let cool to room temperature.

In a smaller, 2-to-3 quart sauce pan, whisk together the coconut milk with the egg yolks so that they are completely combined and smooth. Place the pan over a medium-low heat, and stirring constantly, cook until the mixture becomes somewhat thickened and its surface begins to appear more opaque. This will take about 15 minutes. 

Remove from the heat but continue to stir until the soft custard-like mixture cools to body temperature, about 10 minutes.  

In a separate and completely clean large mixing bowl beat the egg whites using an electric mixer and the whisk attachment. Begin at medium low speed until the whites become frothy. Then increase the speed to high and whisk until the whites form stiff peaks but are not yet dry. Hold this aside while you combine the other ingredients.

In a medium, 8-to-10 quart metal mixing bowl combine and stir together the strained cooked blackberries and their juice with the dissolved gelatin and water mixture. Add the cooled custard and stir until smooth. 

Fill a large glass or metal mixing bowl halfway with crushed ice or ice cubes and place the metal bowl containing all the combined ingredients on top of the ice. Continue filling the larger bowl with ice so that it comes up the sides of the smaller bowl and chills its surfaces. The purpose here is to create a cold, chilling environment for the fruit mixture. Immediately begin stirring the fruit mixture with a spatula, scraping the mixture from the sides of the cold bowl and also deep to the bottom of the bowl. It will gradually begin to thicken, becoming heavy. This step takes about 10 minutes. Remove the bowl from the iced container.

Once the fruit mixture has become slightly heavy and has some body, add the beaten egg whites, transferring them all at once from their mixing bowl. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the fruit mixture, periodically turning the bowl so that all the egg whites are gradually incorporated into the fruit.

Prepare a metal mold or bowl by filling it with crushed ice or ice cubes for at least five minutes. The mold should be icy cold before you transfer the finished ingredients. 

Pour the finished Bavarian cream mixture into the prepared mold and smooth the top with the edge of a spatula. Cover with either the mold's cover or else a sheet of plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to completely chill. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

To remove from the mold, dip the mold into a bowl of hot tap water to loosen the sides. Cover mold with a serving plate and invert. Carefully remove the mold. Serve with extra fresh blackberries.

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