Triple Chocolate Bavarois with Chocolate Lattice: February DIY Desserts at 18 Reasons

by Irvin on March 8, 2011 · 36 comments

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I’ve mentioned before how much I’m kind of a last minute person when it comes to making anything right? Well last month, the February DIY Dessert event that I co-lead with Melanie at 18 Reasons was quickly approaching and the theme was CHOCOLATE! I didn’t want to disappoint (especially with an amazing theme like that) so I started to pull out the numerous chocolate books that I have recently received over the holidays. And though they were all great, I ended going back to my Professional Baking 5th Edition book by Wayne Gisslen for inspiration, as well as a book I had on loan from the library, Unforgettable Desserts by Dede Wilson for a little last minute flourish. I present to you a triple chocolate bavarois with chocolate lattice, one of my Professional Baking Project cakes for the 18 Reasons DIY Dessert event.

Triple Chocolate Bavarois with Chocolate Lattice

Melanie and I had decided on a chocolate theme for the month of February for all the obvious reasons (Valentine’s Day was around the corner, and chocolate was in the air). Everyone loves chocolate and though the DIY dessert night had moved to the second Wednesday of the month we expected an enthusiastic crowd and they definitely did disappoint!

DIY Desserts

My co-leader Melanie showed up with these awesome salted fudge brownies made from Food and Wine magazine. She confided in me that the brownies have scored her dates in the past and it was her secret weapon. People swooned over them. I’m not sure if she got a date out of the night but I did notice a few people checking her out after they found out she was the one who made them. Or maybe that’s because she’s just naturally alludes attractiveness.

Salted Brownies


A few former chocolatiers showed up with their modern malt balls, using beer malt and Tcho Chocolate. They were addictive and way better than any candy that would come in a milk carton container (beer + chocolate = awesome). There were Chocolate Macarons with caramel buttercream (gluten free) that tasted as amazing as they looked. I confided in the baker that I had never made macarons before and the baker totally nonchalantly said that they were totally easy to make. She recommended the Italian Meringue method which is what I’ve been eyeing for my first foray into French macarons. One of these days. One. Of. These. Days.

Malt Balls


Mary over at Gluten Freed Gourmet made dark chocolate cupcakes with Grand Marnier buttercream that were also gluten free and had an amazing dense (in a good way) chocolate flavor, with just a little bit of Grand Marnier kick to the frosting. Someone at the event loved it so much that she emailed me asking if there was any way I could track down the recipe for her. I pointed her over to Gluten Freed Gourmet and Mary gladly supplied her the recipe. I love it when people connect at the DIY Desserts event!

gluten free cupcakes

I’m not sure who brough this luscious Chocolate Blood Orange Tart. I had originally thought it was my friend Sabrina, but apparently it wasn’t. Regardless this tart is my new best friend! Look at how amazing it is!

Chocolate Blood Orange Tart

Speaking of Sabrina, I was able to hang out and talk with her, the woman behind The Tomato Tart, who brought these lovely dark chocolate brownies with caramel fleur de sel sauce that someone brought. They just oozed gooey salted caramel goodness. Seriously. Amazing.

Caramel Brownies

A Seattle pastry chef visiting her San Francisco friend showed up with an adorable baby and a couple of awesome cupcakes, devil’s food cake with Bailey’s buttercream and bubble sugar and devil’s food cake with meyer lemon butter ream and rainbow sprinkles. Both cupcake were utterly adorable, almost as adorable as the baby that accompanied them.

adorable baby!

Of course, the surprise of the evening was Scott showing up with his deep fried twinkies with chocolate dip. Everyone exclaimed that they hadn’t had a twinkie in AGES and they were quickly devoured. Who knew that deep frying store bought treats could taste so good?


There were a few other desserts that showed up, like the chocolate pudding with berries, homemade butterfingers, hazelnut squares and chocolate mocha cookies with sea salt or chili powder but sadly I did not get any pictures of them. Total sadness! They were all amazing.


I did eventually cut into my triple chocolate bavarois as I noticed no one else wanted to. I’ve learned early on in my dessert party career that if I didn’t take the initiative, no one wants to be the first to cut into a cake or pie. So I serve up the bavarois with love and people seemed to enjoy it immensely.

Cutting into Bavarois

18 Reasons is a pretty great community organization and the DIY desserts night continues to be a pretty fantastic way to hang out, chitchat and meet with other fellow dessert enthusiasts. The upcoming March event (March 9th from 7pm to 9pm at 18 Reasons) focuses on citrus desserts. From the common lemon, lime and orange, to those freaky looking Buddha’s hand and boulder sized pomelos, all citrus inspired desserts are welcome! I haven’t figure out what I’m making yet (see first paragraph) but either way, I know it’ll be super fun. Hope to see some of you guys there!

Triple Chocolate Bavarois

[Side Note: I just wanted to say thanks to everyone that stopped for my first Wordless Recipes post. The feedback I got was tremendous. This recipe below is the exact opposite of that recipe, as it’s pretty complex. Don’t worry though, I’ll be mixing it up with both easy and complicated recipes and yes, I’ll be doing more Wordless Recipes. Regardless, you guys are the best!]


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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Brian @ A Thought For Food March 8, 2011 at 10:14 am

You always make such stunning cakes and you (almost) make it look easy too. Maybe one of these days I’ll try this one out. It just looks too darn good to pass up.


Irvin March 11, 2011 at 3:40 pm

LOL. This one wasn’t insanely hard, but it was probably the most complicated of all the cakes I’ve made! If you ever make it, let me know how it turns out for you!


kellypea March 8, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Dessert party! What a great idea. So many incredible desserts in that spread. Loving your Bavarois and its gorgeous decoration.


Irvin March 14, 2011 at 10:06 pm

The DIY dessert event happens every month with a different theme. They are super fun. We just had our last one with the theme Citrus and next month should be super fun as well, as the theme is BOOZE, desserts with alcohol as a component. WHoo hoo! Happy hour at 18 Reasons DIY Desserts!

And thank you for the kind compliments!


Orly @yumivore March 8, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Chocoholics should be warned before viewing! Mouth-watering. It looks like it was a lovely event; beautiful post and your cake looks divine!


Irvin March 14, 2011 at 10:07 pm

Thank you so much! It was chocolate overload, but in a good way. One of these days you should stop by.


S. B. Hadley Wilson March 8, 2011 at 1:24 pm

I love your life.


Irvin March 14, 2011 at 10:08 pm

Well hopefully soon you will be out here, and you will be a more integral part of my life, making my life that much awesome. 😉


Faith March 8, 2011 at 4:18 pm

Beautiful!!! I totally would of been the one to cut into that chocolatley goodness, beauty or not!! Yum!


Irvin March 14, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Ha! I need more people like you in my life. People are always so scared to cut into my desserts. I make them to be eaten!


Dina Avila March 8, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Pretty sure that is the longest recipe ever…and absolutely fabulous! I love the lattice. It looks like a silhouette of little people. I was salivating through this entire post. Next year I want to spend V-day at your house!


Irvin March 14, 2011 at 10:12 pm

I know! As I was writing it out, I realized the recipe was ridiculously long, and I don’t think ANYONE would do it. Ah well. I doubt I would even make it if I ran across it on a blog! Ha! But I’m glad it turned out the way that it did.

And you are more than welcome to come hang out with us during Valentine’s Day! There’s bound to be chocolate creations around the house just waiting to be eaten.


Sabrina Modelle March 8, 2011 at 6:38 pm

Oh my goodness, I had almost forgotten how delicious everything was. I loved your cake so much, but of course, not as much as I loved hanging out. Thanks for a super fun evening.


Irvin March 14, 2011 at 10:17 pm

I had forgotten how amazing the night was as well, until I started write up my recap of it all. Thank goodness for the photos to remind me of everything!

And, of course, it was awesome to hang out with you as well. Can’t wait to do it again!


Jennifer (Delicieux) March 8, 2011 at 8:56 pm

Dessert party…sounds like my kind of party! So much deliciousness there! Looking at it all is making my mouthwater.

I love your step by step instructions to your recipe and your photos too.


Irvin March 14, 2011 at 10:18 pm

Thank you! The step by step instructions seemed key as the recipe was so elaborate, more than I realized!


Emmie March 9, 2011 at 12:11 am

What Hadley said.


Irvin March 14, 2011 at 10:18 pm

What I said back to Hadley.


Renata March 9, 2011 at 6:35 pm

That looks amazing! I did something similar ( but never could have thought to use the cracked pieces for an even more stunning presentation. Hats off to you!


Irvin March 14, 2011 at 10:20 pm

It’s all about reusing and recycling pieces to create something new. And your cake looks amazing! Your chocolate lace looks so fragile and beautiful. Well done!


Rachelino March 10, 2011 at 7:04 pm

Loving the shard explosion and process photos, my friend.


Irvin March 14, 2011 at 10:19 pm

Why thank you! Who doesn’t love it when chocolate explodes?


Nimisha March 13, 2011 at 6:01 pm

I can’t believe I missed this DIY Desserts. Your cake looks like something from the old Citizen Cake.


Irvin March 14, 2011 at 10:21 pm

Thank you! I haven’t had a chance to go to the new Citizen Cake yet. Well, I poked my head in, but I didn’t get anything. We should make a work date there!


Nimisha March 14, 2011 at 10:38 pm

It’s nice, but a little stiff. Not a casual working place at all. But we could get something sweet there, and then go right next door to Jane to work. 🙂


sweet lover March 23, 2011 at 9:28 am

Im a 13 year old baker and I love looking at this stuff! Thanks for the cool tricks I will defintly use them!!


gackhy April 28, 2012 at 1:56 pm

hey irvin ! very nice party really, ,but can i ask you something?
for the layered cake, may it will work if i use other cake’s batter instead of sponge cake ? i want a moist cake actually,,


gackhy April 28, 2012 at 2:50 pm

hy irvin ! may i ask you something ? is it ok if i use another batter cake instead of sponge cake ? and about pouring batter in the pastry bag , can i use any kind of batter and will it works like yours? with moist texture ?


Irvin April 29, 2012 at 8:04 pm

Hi Gackhy. You can use another batter cake, but I wouldn’t try to pipe it in the bag. Instead, make a thin layer cake on a sheet pan, and just cut out layers of cake in the right size. I used an 8 inch spring form pan, so you’ll want the cake layers to be slightly smaller, probably 7 inch disks.

One thing to keep in mind is that the Bavarian cream is pretty moist, and that moisture gets absorbed by the cake batter. So keep that in mind when you pick your cake layer. You actually want a fairly dry cake so that it can absorb the moisture, otherwise it will get soggy. Good luck and let me know how it turns out!


shalini August 10, 2012 at 4:52 am

Looks super impressive and awesomely complicated..and with all that chocolate it must be too..
I’m going to try this one…
fingers crossed


shalini August 14, 2012 at 3:39 am

hey…I did try this…but without the sponge and the lattice. shortage of time…
The bavrois was AMAZING !!!! but with 25% cream I think one needs more gelatin…do you think i could fold in some egg whites??? Next time i am also going to splash some vodka…


Irvin August 14, 2012 at 11:29 am

Hi Shalini.

So glad you liked it! The sponge really does help with the stability of the bavrois, as it gives a solid layer between each Bavarian cream layer and helps each layer “float” on top of the bottom one.

If you aren’t using the sponge, you can try to add more gelatin, but I haven’t done that, so I’m not sure how much more to add. Perhaps I’d experiment and use 25-50% more and see how it firms up. You don’t want it too firm, because the cake should still be soft and silky. The addition of the egg whites will fluff the layers up, but again I haven’t don’t that so I can’t tell what the results would be. If you do make it again with your adaptations, please come back and let me know how they turn out!


shalini August 16, 2012 at 3:36 am

hi…my blog post linked to yours…and I am going to go all the way…sooner rather than later and I hope my dessert looks like yours….and I’m going to bloom my gelatin in vodka next time…chocolate shots all the way.
thanx for an amazing dessert


shalini August 16, 2012 at 3:42 am

hi…my blog post linked to yours…and I am going to go all the way…sooner rather than later and I hope my dessert looks like yours….and I’m going to bloom my gelatin in vodka next time…chocolate shots all the way.
thanx for an amazing dessert


Sarah Kennedy February 16, 2015 at 8:38 am

I love food, and I also love the challenge of a complicated dessert. I’m holding a 50-shades-of-chocolate party this week, and your bavarois will land in the center of my very full table. I plan to create short segments of lattice, in order to simplify serving. Thank you for sharing!


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