If you’re looking for a summer dessert that’s both refreshing and elegant, this strawberry and elderflower bavarois recipe by Charles Compagnon is perfect for you.

This light and airy dessert is made with fresh strawberries and elderflower, giving it a sweet and floral flavour that’s perfect for the season.

Impress your guests with this beautiful dessert at your next summer gathering, or simply indulge in it after a long day. The recipe is easy to follow and yields a delicious result that will leave you wanting more.

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Recipe card

Strawberry and elderflower bavarois

This beautifully decorated dessert will surely be a showstopper at your dinner party.
Prep Time1 hour
Cook Time30 minutes
Chill2 hours
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Charles Compagnon, French summer dessert recipe, How to make a bavarois, Summer bavarois
Author: Charles Compagnon


  • A 9-in./22-cm diameter pan


Elderflower-infused cream

  • Scant 1 cup 240 ml heavy cream
  • A few heads umbels fresh or dried elderflowers

Breton shortbread

  • 4 egg yolks
  • Generous ¾ cup 5½ oz./160 g sugar
  • 1 stick plus 3 tbsp 5½ oz./160 g lightly salted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups 8½ oz./240 g all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp 8 g baking powder

Strawberry and elderflower mousse

  • 5 sheets gelatin
  • 1 lb. 500 g fragrant strawberries
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Scant ½ cup 31/3 oz./95 g sugar
  • Elderflower-infused cream see above, well chilled


  • Edible flowers of your choice and a few strawberries halved or sliced


  • To prepare the elderflower-infused cream, bring the heavy cream to a boil, remove from the heat, and add the elderflowers. Cover and let infuse at room temperature for at least 1 hour, or preferably overnight in the refrigerator. Strain the cream and place it in the refrigerator once it has cooled completely.
  • To prepare the Breton shortbread, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until pale and frothy. Stir in the butter until well blended, then combine the flour and baking powder and stir them into the batter. Chill for 2 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C/Gas Mark 3). Roll out the shortbread dough to a diameter that is about ¾ in. (2 cm) greater than that of your pan (which you’ll use later). Place the round of dough on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
  • To prepare the strawberry and elderflower mousse, chill the bowl of a stand mixer until very cold. Soak the gelatin in a bowl of cold water until softened. Wash and hull the strawberries and place them in a food processor with the lemon juice and sugar, then process to a coulis.
  • Heat the coulis in a saucepan, then squeeze excess water from the gelatin and stir it into the hot coulis until dissolved. Let the mixture cool, but do not allow it to set.
  • Meanwhile, fit the stand mixer with the whisk and pour the infused cream into the well-chilled bowl. Whip the cream until it holds its shape. Using a flexible spatula, gently fold in the strawberry coulis.
  • To assemble the bavarois, cut the shortbread to fit your pan and place it inside. Pour the mousse over it and chill for several hours, until set.
  • To serve, carefully remove the bavarois from the pan and decorate with edible flowers and strawberries.

Recipe © Charles Compagnon

Photo credit © Stéphanie Füssenich

Extracted from Coming Home to Nature: The French Art of Countryfication by Estelle Marandon, Gesa Hansen, Charlotte Huguet (Flammarion, 2022).

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    • Hello Pat! It could either be called Crème Liquide, Crème Fluide or Crème Entière in France. Hope this helps!


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