by Carol Peterman
This is ethereally light custard with hints of warm exotic spice flavors. Simply spoon into elegant stemware to serve, or use as a filling for cream puffs. This recipe is adapted from The Professional Pastry Chef, by Bo Friberg
Place the milk in a small sauce pan with the cardamom, star anise, and cinnamon. Bring the milk to a simmer and remove from the heat. Cover and let the spices infuse into the milk for 15 minutes.
In the mean time, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a medium bowl until slightly fluffy and pale in color. Set aside.
Place the water in a small dish and sprinkle the gelatin over the water. Set aside.
Once the spices have infused into the milk, return the milk to a medium-low heat and heat to just below the boiling point. Temper the eggs by whisking a small amount of the hot milk inches Continue to whisk and add the milk slowly. Transfer the mixture back to the saucepan and heat once more to just below the boiling point while whisking constantly.
Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the gelatin and salt. Let the mixture cool for a few minutes and add the melted chocolate and vanilla.
Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve to remove the spices and let it cool to room temperature. Once it's cooled, whip the cream to soft peaks and fold it into the chocolate custard. Press a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface of the Bavarian Cream and chill until ready to use.