To make this beautiful dessert even more special, puree a punnet of raspberries to make a lovely coulis that can be served with the bavarois (also known as Bavarian cream).
5 egg yolks
200g caster sugar
3 vanilla pods
4 leaves gelatine, soaked in cold water
1 packet sponge fingers
3 punnets raspberries
In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until pale and creamy.
Pour milk into a saucepan. Cut the vanilla pods lengthwise, scrape the seeds into the milk, and bring to the boil.
Pour the boiling milk over the egg yolk mixture, whisking all the time. Place the bowl over simmering water (ensuring that it doesn't touch the water) and whisk vigorously for 8-12 minutes until mixture thickens and the whisk leaves a trail as it goes through.
Remove bowl from the heat, stir in the soaked gelatine leaves and set over a bowl of ice.
In another bowl, whip the cream with an electric beater until peaks form. When the bavarois is completely cold and firming up, fold the whipped cream through until completely incorporated.
Line a 20cm spring-form tin with non-stick baking paper and then line with the sponge fingers, cutting them where necessary to cover the whole base. Scatter 1 punnet of raspberries over the base, then pour in the vanilla mixture. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Remove from the refrigerator, sprinkle the remaining 2 punnets of raspberries on top, and chill again. The raspberries will sink into the bavarois a little. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
To serve, dip a knife in hot water and run it around the inside of the tin. Unclip and remove the spring form. Cut into portions and serve as is, or with raspberry coulis, if desired.
• Pitted cherries, strawberries or pieces of peeled peach work well in the bavarois - just be sure to pat the fruit dry with kitchen paper first.
Photography by William Meppem. Styling by Hannah Meppem. Food preparation by Dominic Smith