Chocolate and passion fruit bavarois

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Rukmini’s passion fruit and chocolate bavarois recipe makes a beautifully decadent dessert, with a tangy passion fruit curd preventing an overload of richness from the chocolate bavarois.

First published in 2015

The sharp passion fruit curd contrasts beautifully with the creamy dark chocolate and crunchy biscuit base in this elegant and addictive French dessert. Once you’re confident with the process, you can play around with the recipe, using ginger biscuits as the base, white chocolate in the bavarois, and rhubarb or raspberries in the curd. Just be careful not to try this with a pineapple layer, as it contains an enzyme that breaks down gelatine, which means you’ll be left with pineapple soup. For a vegetarian version, replace the gelatine with the appropriate quantity of agar agar, and sieve the mixture an additional time before placing in the ring moulds.

You will need: 4 x 6.5cm-7cm metal pastry rings




Biscuit base

  • 100g of all-chocolate biscuits
  • 40g of butter

Passion fruit curd

  • 100g of passion fruit, pulp (approx 4 passion fruits)
  • 1/2 gelatine leaf
  • 2 eggs
  • 30g of caster sugar
  • 40g of butter, cut into small cubes

Chocolate bavarois

To serve


To make the chocolate biscuit base, place the biscuits in a bowl and crush with a rolling pin, or alternatively blitz in a food processor for a few seconds until the mixture resembles fine sand. Melt the butter and stir through the crushed biscuits until evenly incorporated
Place the metal rings on a small tray lined with greaseproof paper. Divide the biscuit mixture into four and press down well into the base of the rings in an even layer. Place the tray in the freezer while you make the passion fruit curd
For the passion fruit curd, place the gelatine leaf in a bowl of cold water and heat the passion fruit pulp in a small saucepan until bubbling. Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs and caster sugar in a small bowl. Pour the hot passion fruit over the eggs and caster sugar, whisking thoroughly until fully incorporated
Return the passion fruit mixture to the pan and stir continuously on a low heat for 3–4 minutes until thickened. Squeeze out the gelatine leaf and add it to the hot mixture, stirring until it has completely dissolved. Stir through the cubes of butter and remove from the heat
Once the passion fruit curd has cooled for 5–10 minutes, remove the ring moulds from the freezer and carefully spoon the curd equally into the four moulds. Return the moulds to the freezer to set
For the chocolate bavarois, place the gelatine leaf in a bowl of cold water to soak. Heat the milk in a small saucepan until just below boiling, then add the chopped chocolate and stir to dissolve
Whisk the egg and the sugar together then pour the hot chocolate milk over the mix, whisking continuously. Return the chocolate mixture to the pan and cook on a low heat, stirring constantly for 3–4 minutes until thickened
Squeeze out the gelatine leaf and stir it through the chocolate custard until fully incorporated. Set aside to cool for 10–15 minutes
Whisk the double cream to soft peaks then take a tablespoon of it and mix it well into the slightly cooled chocolate custard. Carefully fold the remaining double cream through the chocolate mixture until smoothly incorporated
Remove the ring moulds from the freezer and carefully pour the chocolate mixture evenly between the four moulds. Return the bavarois to the freezer to chill for 30 minutes, then chill in the fridge until needed
To unmould the bavarois, very gently and quickly run a blowtorch around the edges of the ring moulds, being careful not to hold the blowtorch on any one spot for more than a second or the chocolate will dissolve. Gently pull the ring moulds off
To decorate, warm the remaining chocolate in your hands quickly, before peeling long chocolate curls off with a speed peeler directly over the desserts. The desserts will keep for 2 days in the fridge, but will hold their shape best if unmoulded 1 hour before serving
First published in 2015

Having left a career as a lawyer to pursue her foodie passions, Rukmini went on to work at Tom Kitchin's The Kitchin in Edinburgh. She is now a food stylist, food writer and recipe developer based in London, and is the author of The Roasting Tin.

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