With flaky puff pastry, creamy custard, raspberries & sweet icing, this Bavarian Slice is certainly a delicious teatime treat.
A Bavarian Slice is very similar to a custard slice. The bakes are both consist of a sandwich of thick creamy custard between two pieces of crispy puff pastry and are decorated with a sweet icing to the upper pastry surface.
However, the Bavarian Slice is a little more indulgent, and dare I say posher, than the slightly plainer custard slice with its layer of jam sat snugly beneath a creamier filling. The icing is also usually finished with the classic feathering pattern too.
Both custard slices and Bavarian slices are often assembled in a high sided baking tray, like a brownie pan. It enables the baker to achieve the classically smooth edges to the slice.
However, wanting to allow the fresh raspberries in my version the chance to peak out of the sides, I decided to assemble each portion individually.
This isn't as difficult as it may sound, and results in a slightly home-made appearance which I personally like.
My Bavarian Slices are relatively straightforward to make. The raw pastry is laid onto a baking sheet and weighted down with another tray, to prevent it puffing up, before baking until golden and crisp.
The custard is cooked on the hob slowly until thickened, it is enriched with butter rather than whipped double cream.
The cooled pastry is then trimmed to size, spread with a fruity jam, and topped with a few raspberries before the thick custard is piped onto the jam layer.
The second piece of pastry is positioned on top once it has been iced and decorated with a chocolate feathering.
Of course you could make your own puff pastry if you have time but when it comes to puff pastry I often buy it ready made. I prefer all butter puff pastry . For this bake I used a 320g (11oz) pack of ready rolled Jus-Rol All Butter puff pastry, which made 4 generous portions.
Although some people suggest that these need to be assembled just prior to eating to prevent the pastry from becoming soggy I have not found this to be the case if you bake the pastry sufficiently. I have successfully made these several hours before serving with no detrimental effect.
However, you can also lengthen the time the will last further by painting the internal face of the pastry (those surfaces which will be in contact with the custard) with a little melted white chocolate, a technique often used in fruit tarts.
Either way it is important to store them in an airtight container in a cool place .
With the sweet chocolatey icing, against the crisp flaky buttery pastry, teamed with the creamy custard and sharp fresh raspberries this bake was an absolute winner.
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So let's get to it and bake.
- Rolling Pin
- 2 baking trays of equal size
- piping bag
- large round piping nozzle
For the puff pastry
- 320 g Pack of ready rolled Puff Pastry I used Jus Rol’s All Butter Puff Pastry (11oz)
- Plain Flour, for dusting
for the custard ( Creme Pâtisserie)
- 150 ml single cream (light cream ¼pt)
- 230 ml milk (8floz)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 75 g golden caster sugar (3oz)
- 3 large egg yolks
- 30 g cornflour (corn starch 1¼oz)
- 20 g butter (¾oz) cut into cubes
for the raspberry layer
- 2-3 tablespoon raspberry jam
- 24-40 fresh raspberries I used 6 per portion
- 4 tablespoon icing sugar
- 6 squares milk chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 200℃ (180℃ fan)/400°F/gas mark 6.
- Prepare the pastry for baking. Unroll the pastry keeping it on the greaseproof paper supplied. With a rolling pin lightly roll the pastry to flatten it if necessary, dusting the pin lightly with flour. Lay the pastry and greaseproof paper on a baking tray, cover with another sheet of greaseproof paper and sit the second tray on top. Weigh this down with a pudding bowl or tin can. Depending upon the size of your trays, you may need to slice the pastry in half and bake in batches, as I did.
- Place the prepared pastry in the centre of the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, checking it after 20 minutes. Rotate the tray around if necessary. Once cooked through and golden brown remove from the oven and carefully transfer the pastry to a cooling tray.
- To make the custard, pour the cream, milk and vanilla extract into a medium heavy based pan and sit it over a medium heat.
- Using a balloon whisk, whisk together the sugar, egg yolks, and corn flour in a bowl sat on a tea towel, adding a little of the cool measured milk if it’s particularly thick. Once the milk is about to come to the boil slowly pour about a quarter of the milk over the egg mixture whisking constantly. Then whisk in the remaining milk
- Pour the runny custard mixture back into the pan. Reduce the heat to low. Cook the custard slowly, constantly stirring with a wooden spoon until very thick. If the custard starts go go lumpy remove from the heat and beat vigorously. Once the custard is thick pour it into a bowl.
- Add half of the cubed butter and stir gently but thoroughly to combine. Add the remainder of the butter, stirring until it has fully melted and been incorporated with the custard. Cover with a disc of greaseproof paper so that it is in contact with the mixture to prevent it skinning. Set aside to cool. Once cooled place in the fridge to firm up further.
- Place the cooled pastry on a clean work surface and with a sharp knife carefully trim the edges of the pastry. Cut the pastry in 8 equally sized portions (Mine were approx 10 x 6.5cm (4x3in ). Pair up the pastry pieces. If one is larger then the other simply place the smaller one on top of the larger one and trim the excess away with a sharp knife.
- Place the jam in a bowl and stir thoroughly to soften. If it needs slackening any further simply add a drop or two of water. Stir the custard thoroughly and spoon into a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle.
- Make the water icing, pPlace the icing sugar into a cup or small bowl and add a teaspoon of water. Mix. Slowly add drips of water mixing between each addition to get the mixture to the desired consistency. It needs to be quite thick.
- Melt the chocolate. Break the chocolate into a small bowl and set it over a pan containing a small amount of water. Ensure the water doesn’t touch the base of the bowl Set over a medium heat and allow to melt. Once melted remove from the heat and set aside.
- To assemble the Bavarian Slices. Decide which pastry slice of each pair will be used for the base and spoon some jam onto each one. Use the back of a spoon to spread the jam from the centre to the edges. Position the fresh raspberries along the edge of the pastry, open side down so that they stand upright easily. Pipe the custard between each of the raspberries and through the middle length of the pastry, aiming it to be at least as tall as the raspberries. Avoid getting too near the pastry edge.
- Spoon the water icing onto the remaining pastry pieces and spread out to form a thick layer . Use a teaspoon to dribble five parallel evenly spaced lines of chocolate along the short length of the pastry. Feather the chocolate into the icing with the point of a small knife Carefully lift the decorated piece of pastry and gently position on to the raspberries and custard.
- Chill for about an hour before serving. Enjoy
- The ready rolled puff pastry was bought for convenience and its neat edges. Block pastry will work just as well. Aim to roll the pastry into a neat oblong to avoid wasting too much pastry through the need to trim excessively. The pastry will need to be rolled to about 5mm thick.
- Egg whites can be frozen in an airtight container, with a note on the outside stating how many it contains. Once defrosted they’ll be good to use in another bake.