Written by Rae
I’ve been getting more interested in the classics of French pastry, and also viennoiseries these days. I wanted to make a savarin because they are so cute and classy looking.
Savarins use the same dough as a Baba au rhum, which is leavened with fresh yeast and after baked, is soaked in a syrup and rum. The only difference is that their shape is different. Savarin’s are shaped like a round donut (hole in the middle), and babas can come in a variety of shapes such as spheres, cylinders, kougelhopf mold, etc. For this savarin, I used Olivier Bajard’s recipe from the book which we got at his Boutique in France. After I made his Madeleine recipe, I was eager to try another one of his recipes out because I think he has a slightly different way of doing stuff in pastry. Plus, he doesn’t try and mystify French pastry and gives very succinct practical information. Too bad this book is only available for those who can read French.
One thing that I saw was different about his savarin dough, compared to most other recipes, is that he incorporates the butter after the dough has risen. He does the same for his madeleines, which is what I suppose makes them so fluffy. Well, the savarin was the same way and did not disappoint. It was so fluffy, light, and tender. I imagine it was exactly how a savarin should be. We had to improvise a syrup because the one in Bajard’s book called for passion fruit juice, which we didn’t have. So I asked Benoit to make a syrup with the oranges and the lemons we had, which are also the fruits typically used for making the syrup for the baba. Holy moly, did the syrup turn out amazing. It had a very deep orange flavor, and the savarin ate it right up.
After soaking the savarin in the syrup, I brushed it generously with rum. I like the fact that the recipe said to brush with rum afterwards so it doesn’t all evaporate, which would happen if you added it into the hot syrup. For finishing, I brushed the savarin with apricot preserves and stuffed with creme diplomate. The only thing is, we have to work on piping because neither Benoit nor I have practiced piping/decorating, so the finish product didn’t look very special. We ended up “decorating” it with hazelnuts, oranges and candied lemon peels. Next time I will hopefully have an abundance of fruit on hand, because I will just stuff it with that. Anyway, I was still super proud of my work because I made an excellent savarin!