Originally posted August 26, 2009
Ah, well, as you can see, the unmolding was a success. I still wish I had some proper gelatin molds, because I think this would have looked better in the shape of a fluted mini-tower. I’m already getting tired of the bundt pattern. The flamingos lend it a classy touch, though – food styling by Archie McPhee.
I’ve always been intrigued by this sort of dessert. There’s something so appealing – I’d almost go as far as to say “sexy” – about its light, creamy appearance, and I always imagine it’s going to taste like a cool, sweet cloud. I don’t think I’ve ever had a traditional Bavarian, but this version is not particularly light. As I said yesterday, I like the lemon/almond flavor, and I would say that it does taste light, but there’s a heaviness, not a richness so much as plain old weight, about the Cool Whip. As I ate it, I got the sense that possibly it was reconstituting itself into a lump of vegetable fats and high-fructose corn syrup in my stomach. The canned peaches weren’t nearly as bad as I was expecting, but I wish they had asserted their flavor more, because peaches and cream is such a delightful combination. I also wish I’d been able to dice them finer, but their texture didn’t lend itself to that. I would’ve ended up with mush if I’d tried.
All in all, it wasn’t too bad. It reminded me of the ambrosia salad (some of you may know this as five-cup salad) that my grandmother used to make for holidays. Ambrosia salad consists simply of sour cream, flaked coconut, crushed pineapple, mandarin oranges, and miniature marshmallows, which must be white, because with the colored ones it’s just disgusting. It can be garnished with maraschino cherries, but I don’t like maraschino cherries. I still like ambrosia salad, but I’m just about the only one I know who does. I’ve tried making it for parties, and I usually end up eating it myself for days afterward because everybody else turns his nose up at it. Anyway, the marshmallows act as a binding agent, and their texture once they’ve soaked up the moisture from the sour cream and fruit is what is recalled by the Bavarian. Take that as you will.
Not everyone was so keen. Here’s a candid snapshot of Bryan eating his Bavarois de Pêche du Mont Phénomène. This was the expression on his face for most of the time he was eating it. I had to promise him that if he finished that dish I wouldn’t make him eat any more. I may have to bring the rest to work. That could be good for a laugh…