Making a Fruit Mousse Bavarian

As I mentioned below, Bavarians are a very large family of mousse (or cream) desserts. This particular style has been in vogue lately, and who am I to fly in the face of fashion? Plus it was fun. I hope to do more Bavarians in the future, so stay tuned for an expanding menu. This one can be made with any sort of fruit mousse, I chose peach because the fruit was in season. To begin, prepare your components. As with any multi-component pastry it’s best to make the various pieces-parts over several days leading up to the assembly. Save the last day to make it since you’ll need a couple of hours of build time and at least five hours of chill time to get it done.

So then, start with the joconde sheet. Trim off the rough edges.

Then measure so you know where to make your cuts. You want to cut this full sheet into four equal pieces.

Stack them up when you’re done to make sure the edges are even. If not do a little trimming.

Take the stack apart and apply a very thin coating of apricot glaze (or whatever jam you want to use) to the bottom sheet.

Add the next one.

Paint it, and proceed like so until your stack is rebuilt.

Now it’s time to cut the stack into strips. My mold is 3 inches high and I want my joconde strips to come half way up the mold. So I want these strips 1 1/2 inches wide. So I make a little cut at the near edge of the stack to remind me where the 1 1/2 inch mark is…

…then another on the far edge of the stack.

Then gently saw.

Continue across the stack. I got a total of three strips. Know who gets that last bit? You bet you do. Who said “coffee break”?

Now cut the strips crossways into pieces roughly 1/2 an inch wide. No need to measure unless you really want to.

Now then. You see here that I have a bottomless ring mold set on a (temporary) cardboard base. The mold is 6 inches across and 3 inches high, which is a great size for these sorts of desserts. If you want to go 8 inches across you’ll have enough cake. If not, more snacks for the hard working pastry maker.

So then. To lay the cake in, paint the top and bottom lightly with apricot glaze…

…which will act as a sort of glue to keep the cake pieces stuck together.

Keep going all the way around and tuck the last piece in fairly tightly so the cake sections don’t fall inward. Now then, using your round cutter set (if you have one) pick a size that fits the depression in the center…

…and use it to cut a piece of génoise for the bottom. You can use any sort of cake here if you don’t want to go to the trouble of making génoise (though it’s easier than joconde!).

Lay it in!

Next, prepare your mousse. I’ll wait.

Dum de dum…

All set? Then spoon it in.

Tuck it in around the edges of the mold, heaping it up a little. You’ll use most of your batch of mousse. Then…

…using your icing spatula or some sort of straight edge, scrape the top even. Save the overflow for some late night calorie-laden escapade. Apply some plastic wrap to the top and refrigerate the filled mold for at least four hours. Half an hour to an hour before you unmold the pastry, put it in the freezer to really firm it (but you don’t want to freeze it, so no more than an hour, K?).

When you’re ready to unmold the pastry, gently run an icing spatula underneath to loosen it.

Place it on your serving plate.

Then wrap a hot towel around it. This one has been soaked in hot tap water and wrung out. Leave it for 30 seconds.

Apply a piece of cardboard to the top of the mold on top of the plastic wrap, cut just a bit smaller then the mold (this was my former cardboard base).

Gather the plastic wrap up around the cardboard…

…and press down on it with your thumbs or index fingers while gently pulling up on the ring with your other fingers (I recommend two hands…my other hand was busy here snapping pictures). Easy does it.

And off it comes. Gently remove the plastic-wrapped cardboard circle.

Smooth out any defects in the mousse with an icing spatula. You can heat it under hot tap water if the mousse isn’t yielding. Make sure to dry it!

Ain’t it purty?

I thought it needed a little more color on top so I applied the last of my apricot glaze (another stone fruit that compliments peach nicely).

Serve soon. Like, within a couple of hours if not immediately.

Easy, right? And how does it slice?


19 thoughts on “Making a Fruit Mousse Bavarian”

    1. Thanks, Jeff! It was a lot of fun to make. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the fruit mousse flowed around the cake and set up. It unmolded very easily. Honestly I was expecting that I’d need to do at least one more, but this turned out pretty well on the first try!


      – Joe

    1. Interesting idea, Rick. Honestly I’m not sure. Unlike custard, Bavarian cream melts with heat, so my sense is you’d need a fairly hot torch, one that could caramelized the sugar quickly before too much heat penetrated the cream below. You’d probably get a little melting or dripping…but who knows? Up for an experiment? 😉

      – Joe

  1. Yes, very nicely done! Was serving it a chore? I would like to see how that was done before I try one!

    1. Hi Dave! I split it and gave half to a neighbor last night, and that was no problem. It sliced very neatly. Maybe I’ll post a slice if I can get to that this afternoon.

      And thanks!

      – Joe

    2. I added a shot of a slice to the very end of the post. Have a look at your leisure!

      – Joe

    1. Thanks Janet!

      And yes, you need time to simply focus on putting it together. Make a little at a time and it doesn’t seem like a huge chore. Plus you have energy to devote solely to construction.


      – Joe

  2. Divine!! Thanks for this inspiration Joe, I can almost taste it from the pictures alone 🙂 I may try the mousse recipe with some strawberries that we just got.

    A few questions if I may: when you are preparing the components, can the mousse be done in advance (can you also comment on how to store the mousse)? How about storing the Joconde and the Genoise? Also, why Genoise bottom & Joconde sides (as opposed to all Joconde)? Apologies in advance if these questions have been addressed before, please kindly refer me to the right link. Many thanks in advance.


    1. Hi Claire!

      Unfortunately the mousse can’t be made ahead of time since it sets up before very long and can’t be “un-set” again. The joconde and génoise can simply be stored in the fridge, flat between sheets of parchment or plastic wrap. They can be frozen the same way. I used génoise for the bottom since it’s thicker and more spongy than joconde, but if it’s a pain to make more than one kind of cake (and it is) you can use more joconde or perhaps a small piece of cake you might have hanging around from another project. A little store-bought sponge cake would not be out of bounds! 😉


      – Joe

  3. WOW! That is one amazing piece of pastry…Looks beautiful and droolicious…Thanks Joe.

  4. looks good! i’d be tempted to jazz it up a little though with some textural contrasts like a layer/insert of peach gelee (with gelatine or pectin), some liqueur for the genoise, and maybe even a thin layer of almond paste on top of the genoise.

    1. Thanks, Ascanius! Those are all excellent ideas. Should you try any of them send me a picture!


      – Joe

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