It's been a while since I made a yeast bread, and wanting to make a very French dessert for friends coming over, I thought the savarin would make the cut. The delicate taste of the brioche is infused with a kirsch syrup. Raspberries add a bit of tang, and the whipped cream mellows out all the flavours in each bite. I would say this is a perfect dessert to bring for a brunch because it is bright and boozy, but as with most desserts, I will tend to eat it whenever it's offered.
The recipe is from Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Volume 1", and with minor variations (to be covered in another recipe later on), you can make Babas au Rhum.
Dough for the Savarin
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
- 1 envelope yeast
- 3 tablespoons warm water
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
Sugar and Kirsch Syrup
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup kirsch
- 1 cup raspberries
- 2 cups whipped cream
- A savarin mould, buttered
- A wire rack and a baking sheet
In a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of the flour, warm water, and yeast. Let stand for up to 10 minutes until you see the yeast activate. In a large bowl, mix the sugar, salt, eggs and yeast until you have a wet paste. Mix in the butter, the rest of the flour and your yeast preparation with a wooden spoon.
The mixture will become very sticky, so you can continue with your hand.
Continue kneading the dough until you can stretch and twist it without breaking it. About another 10 minutes.
Make a ball, place it in the bowl, cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm room for 1 to 2 hours, until it doubles in size. Press down with cupped fingers and take your buttered savarin mould. Pinch off two tablespoon bits of the dough and press onto the mould, until you have used all of the dough.
Cover the mould with a damp towel and let rise again, 1 or 2 hours, until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 375˚F.
Once the oven has reached the desired temperature, place the mould in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. The top tends to brown fast, to place a loose sheet of aluminum foil halfway through baking. When it has begun to shrunk from the sides, remove from the oven and cool in the mould for 5 minutes.
Reverse savarin over a wire rack and let cool to tepid.
Make the sugar syrup by boiling the sugar and water until it becomes clear. Remove from heat and when it gets to lukewarm temperature, stir in the kirsch.
Go back to your tepid savarin. Pierce the puffed side with a toothpick or skewer.
Turn over into a dish with high sides, at least 1-1/2 inches. Pour the tepid syrup over the savarin, slowly so that it absorbs as much of it as possible. Let stand for 30 minutes.
Tilt the dish to recover extra syrup in a separate bowl. You can use this syrup to soak the raspberries.
Reverse the savarin over a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Let the savarin stand for 30 minutes while it drips any excess syrup.
Reverse the savarin onto the serving dish (last time you reverse this dessert, I promise). Decorate with the raspberries and whipped cream to your liking, making sure you fill the center with cream and fruits as well.
Serve by slicing. The one I made had some pralin sprinkled on it. But you can make it anyway you want to: add add shaved chocolate, powdered sugar, or any topping that you may have lying around. Make it your own.
We enjoyed it with tea that day, and for the ensuing days since we had plenty of leftovers.