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Yoghurt Bavarois with mandarin cake, thyme and saffron

Yoghurt Bavarois with mandarin cake, thyme and saffron

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This dessert is a sweet, sour, savoury collision of winter-warming goodness! 


For mandarin cake

  • 3 mandarins
  • 125g brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 125g almond meal
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 5 strands of saffron
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon myrtle (optional)
  • 25g flour 


For bavarois

  • 85g caster sugar
  • 200g biodynamic yoghurt
  • 250ml biodynamic cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split
  • 2 titanium gelatin leaves 


For mandarin cake

Prepare a 15cm x 10cm loaf tin by lining it with greaseproof paper and pre-heat a fan-forced oven to 160°C.

Bring a medium pot of water to the boil, then wash the mandarins and cook in the boiling water for approximately 2 hours, or until the peel is very tender. Drain the fruit and allow to cool to room temperature, then break them apart to remove any seeds. Transfer fruit to a blender and then puree until smooth – the occasional chunk doesn’t matter!

Using a mixer with a whisk attachment, mix the saffron, eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy. Gently fold in the orange puree followed by the almond meal, flour and baking powder. I find it best to get dirty and use your hand at this stage so you don’t knock too much air out of the mix, but can also feel for any lumps of dry mix that have formed.

Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for approximately 40minutes, until the top is golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Serve cake at room temperature. In the image provided I have simply torn the cake up around the bavarois to serve alongside picked thyme leaves, candied mandarin, honeycomb and saffron syrup.


For bavarois

Grease 6 dariole or silicon moulds approximately 100ml each in volume.

Bring the sugar, 100ml of cream and the vanilla bean to the simmer in a saucepan, then remove from heat.

Soak gelatin in cold water for 5 minutes then squeeze excess water out, add to cream mixture and stir until dissolved.

Place yoghurt in a medium-sized bowl and whisk until smooth, then strain cream mixture over the top and whisk again. Set mixture aside in a cool place, whisking occasionally, until it starts to thicken (20–30 minutes).

Whisk the remaining cream (150ml) until soft peaks form, then gently fold whipped cream into yoghurt mixture with a spatula. Allow to set overnight, then remove from mould before serving.

This dessert is delicious simply served with the cake and bavarois, but try these accompaniments to really bring it to life!


Candied mandarin

  • 170g caster sugar
  • 250ml water
  • 1 mandarin

Slice mandarin into 4mm slices and remove any pips. Place mandarins in cold water and bring to the boil then strain. Repeat this process twice more. Place sugar, water and blanched mandarin in a pot and simmer on a low heat until all the liquid has reduced and mandarins are soft and sticky. Allow to cool before serving.



  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp bicarb soda

It is very important when making honeycomb to be prepared. Line a tray with greaseproof paper, and use a deep saucepan. The honeycomb will expand almost 20 times its size when the bicarb is added.

Dissolve sugar with honey and water, then slowly caramelise. You want your honey to turn a nice golden brown and begin to smell like honeycomb. Pour in bicarb then whisk for a few moments to combine before quickly tipping out the mix onto your lined tray. Be very careful at this point as the honeycomb is smouldering hot.

You will find a lot of honeycomb stays stuck to your pot and whisk. Simply fill the pot with water again and simmer it with the whisk inside until sugar dissolves.


Saffron syrup

  • 50ml honey
  • 250ml orange juice
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 5 strands of saffron 

Place honey in a small pot then cook on a medium heat until it caramelises. Add the orange juice, being careful of the steam that will be created, then add saffron and thyme sprig. Simmer on a low heat for a few minutes then remove from heat and allow to cool. Store at room temperature and strain before serving.