Red Fruit Bavarois for Your Valentine

Red Fruit Bavarois, an easy make-ahead, chilled French dessert for your valentine. Serve with white chocolate mousse and macarons.

red fruit bavarois

Last week, as the wild, wild winds howled around a rather bald looking Paris, there was still love in the air. As I turned up my collar and tightened two oversized Scottish scarves, I briefly stopped on this bridge to take in Notre Dame and admire the frozen statues of the 12 apostles walking up the spire.

Even the blustery, horizontal rains didn’t stop this romantic couple from locking up tight and cosy together. I felt like the Parisian Love-tourist Gringe as they put their initials on a padlock and locked it on to one of the two Paris ‘love lock’ bridges, le pont de l’Archevêché. Tut-tut!  OK, where’s my romance, you ask?  I don’t need a padlock to show it. So there.

Romantic couple on the love lock bridge near Notre Dame in Paris

Back home, sheltered from the winds and feeling much more romantic and cosy, I wanted to make something sweet and special for Antoine – and my girls!  Why wait until Valentine’s Day?

One of my favourite Valentine’s desserts is on page 109 of Mad About Macarons: a giant rose macaron with rose and raspberry cream, topped off with a heart macaron.  For those of you who adore lovehearts, then check out How to Make Macaron Heart Shapes. This year, so far, there are no love heart shapes in sight; unless this edible winter pansy counts.

Instead I was tempted by a blackcurrant (cassis) bavarois recipe in Pierre Hermé’s Dessert Book (my pride and joy prize for winning a local French Pâtisserie competition a few years ago with my pistachio and wasabi macarons). It’s a French answer to the Italian panna cotta (see this rose, cherry and cardamom panna cotta recipe). What I love about this dessert is that it’s packed with fruit and at this time of year, I just used a mix of frozen red fruits.

If using frozen fruit, there’s no need to defrost them first; just throw them in the blender and follow the recipe below. Except I have played around so much with the recipe, it’s reduced in sugar and I’ve eliminated the butter.

dark red-purple dome topped with an edible pansy and piped cream around the bottom

Want to be the sexiest and perfect Valentine? Then serve this dessert with your own home-made macarons. Just saying.

Red Fruit Bavarois Recipe

Use silicone demi-sphere moulds or other shapes will also work well, such as dariole moulds.  If not using silicone non-stick moulds, then butter moulds first. This recipe is gluten free.

Serve with a white chocolate, rose and orange blossom mousse.

dark red-purple dome topped with an edible pansy and piped cream around the bottom

Red Fruit Bavarois

Author: Jill Colonna
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Chilling Time4 hrs
Total Time30 mins
Course : Dessert
Cuisine : French
Keyword : bavarois, glutenfree, nobakedessert, redfruits
Servings : 8
Calories : 206kcal


An easy French dessert using fresh seasonal fruit (or frozen if out of season). This recipe is gluten free.


  • 400 g /14 oz mix of red fruits fresh or defrosted
  • 4 gelatine sheets @ 2g
  • 140 g / 5 oz caster sugar
  • 1 sachet vanilla sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon or mixed spice
  • 400 ml / 14 fl oz crème fraiche 30%


  • Soak the gelatine sheets in cold water for 10 minutes.
  • Wash and drain the mixed red fruits and whizz them to a purée in a blender or food processor.
  •  Heat half of the fruit purée with the sugars and cinnamon then add the gelatine (squeezing first any excess water). Mix in the rest of the purée and the crème fraîche then pour into demi-sphere silicone moulds (I poured into 5 half-sphere moulds, right to the top).
  •  Set aside to cool then chill in the fridge for 3-4 hours to set.
  • When ready to serve, quickly run the bottom of the moulds under the hot water tap then upturn them directly onto each plate (I do this with the help of a pastry scraper).


Use silicone demi-sphere moulds or other shapes will also work well, such as dariole moulds.  If not using silicone non-stick moulds, then butter moulds first.
Serve with white chocolate, rose and orange blossom mousse and rose macarons (recipe in Mad About Macarons).

From the market

From the kitchen

10 responses to “Red Fruit Bavarois for Your Valentine”

  1. Top Ten Last-Minute Valentine Dessert Ideas | Mad about Macarons! Le Teatime Blog in Paris says:

    […] Red Fruit Bavarois recipe is made easier using frozen berries.  Another gluten-free dessert, it’s easy to dress it up […]

  2. Festive dessert ideas to serve with macarons | Mad about Macarons! Make Macarons like the French - le blog in Paris says:

    […] served with a white chocolate mousse with orange blossom and rose, pistachio panna cottas, or red fruit bavarois desserts.  Before we know it, Valentine’s Day will be upon […]

  3. Oh, what a lovely dessert! I always love fruity desserts. And that macaron at the top makes it so so tempting, Jill!

  4. Ooh la la! This looks amazing – I wish I’d seen your recipe before now since I think I could even manage to make this! It looks quite easy yet stunning. So glad to have found your blog. Great fun!

  5. What a masterpiece, Jill!!! I know I’d love every single bite…and I’d sure make a big dent in this dessert by going back for seconds and thirds. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your family. xo

    • Hehe, Carol – it’s because it is easy.
      Thanks for all of your lovely comments. I hope you get the chance to make it – it’s not just for Valentines 😉

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