Daring Bakers, April: Savarin

Natalia of Gatti Fili e Farina challenges us to make a traditional Savarin, complete with soaking syrup and cream filling! We were to follow the Savarin recipe but were allowed to be creative with the soaking syrup and filling, allowing us to come up with some very delicious cakes!

Daring Bakers May: Savarin
I soaked my savarin in almond-orange syrup, filled it with chocolate mousse, and topped it with strawberries. YUM! Wet cake rocks! It was a flying saucer of tastiness. A total yum pumpkin. I mean look at that thing--it's glorious!

Daring Bakers May: Savarin

Daring Bakers May: Savarin

Daring Bakers May: Savarin
The dough in the mold before rising.

Daring Bakers May: Savarin
It was late by the time I set the dough in the mold and it took longer than expected for it to rise, so I didn't wait until it reached the top rim on its rise.

Daring Bakers May: Savarin
It baked it pretty well!

Daring Bakers May: Savarin
Cooling on the rack overnight so it would dry out before soaking.

Daring Bakers May: Savarin
It's a flotation device! I'd gladly cling to this thing if I went overboard. I set a plate on top of the mold and it pushed the cake into the syrup enough that the syrup rose to the top of the mold. I left it in there all day while I was at work.

Daring Bakers May: Savarin
Time to dry out, little buddy!

Daring Bakers May: Savarin

Daring Bakers May: Savarin

It was so tasty!

Here's the recipe as Natalia wrote it:
Notes: This is a very rich dough but following Luca’s and Adriano’s tips and with the help of a mixer you won’t have any trouble!

The key is to know how to handle a very rich dough.
We need a very healthy and active gluten in this recipe but fats can inhibit it; so we have to develop the gluten well before adding any fat. For this reason I liked the fact that Adriano adds even the yolks after the autolyse not to disturb gluten at all. The salt crystals can cut the elastic strands of the gluten too so they are added later as the butter who is the last addiction.
After the first proofing we proceed in a couple of folds to strengthen the structure of our dough with the ‘Dough Package fold’ method that will result in a smaller and tighter crumb. After that the dough will be shaped on the work bench with a method called “Pirlatura” (that is used for Panettone as well) put in the pan, proofed , baked and then soaked in a flavored syrup. In my recipe I chose to fill the hole with what we, in Italy, call Chantilly that is a pastry cream thinned with whipped cream. And then I decorated it with fresh fruit.

Mandatory Items: You must use this recipe for the Savarin

Variations allowed: You can create your own syrup to soak the Savarin and choose a different filling to put in the ‘hole’ too!

Preparation time:

Sponge: 30 minutes
First Mixing and Autolyse: 35 minutes
Second Mixing: 35 minutes
Proofing: 2 to 3 hours
Shaping: 20 minutes
Final Rising: 1 to 1,1/2 hour
Syrup preparation: 15 minutes
Glaze preparation: 10 minutes
Pastry cream preparation: 30 minutes
Whipped cream preparation: 15 minutes
Baking: 40 minutes
Soaking: 1 hour
Glazing: 10 minutes

Equipment required:
• Scale or measuring cups and spoons
• Stand mixer with paddle and beater or hand held mixer with dough hooks and beaters or very motivated arms!
• Dough scraper or spatula
• Grater for lemon and orange zest
• Knife for lemon and orange peel
• Small bowl for the sponge
• Bowl for egg whites
• Bowl for yolks
• Small bowl for butter
• Saucepan for pastry cream
• Bowl for Pastry cream
• Saucepan for syrup
• Saucepan for the glaze
• Brush for the glaze
• 28 cm (11 inches) Savarin mold (springform or not)
• Cling film
• Cooling rack to let the cake drip
• Pan that fits under the cooling rack to catch the drippings
• Ladle
• Big bowl for soaking the Savarin


Servings: 8/10

2½ cups (600 ml) (12-1/3 oz) (350 gm) bread flour
2 tablespoons (30 ml) water, lukewarm
6 (320 gm) large eggs at room temperature, separated
½ satchel (1½ teaspoons) (4 gm) instant yeast or 15 gm (½ oz) fresh yeast
4 teaspoons (20 ml) (20 gm) sugar
2/3 stick (1/3 cup) (80 ml) (75 gm) butter at room temperature
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (15 gm) (½ oz) orange and lemon zest (optional)
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 gm) salt
¼ cup (60 ml) (2 oz) (55 gm) butter for greasing the work surface, hands, dough scraper & baking pan


In a small bowl mix 2 tablespoons (30 ml) lukewarm water, 3 tablespoons (1 oz) (25 gm) flour and yeast , cover with cling film and let rise 60 minutes

1.After 30 minutes put the egg whites in the mixer bowl and start working with the paddle at low speed adding flour until you have a soft dough that sticks to the bowl (about 2 cups or 270 gm) and work until it comes together , cover with cling film and let rest 30 min

2.Add the sponge to the mixer bowl along with a tablespoon of flour and start mixing at low speed (if you wish to add the zests do it now)

3.When it starts pulling away from the sides of the bowl add one yolk and as soon as the yolk is absorbed add one tablespoon of flour

4.Add the second yolk , the sugar and as soon as the yolk is absorbed add one tablespoon of flour

5.Raise the speed a little

6.Add the third yolk and the salt and as soon as the yolk is absorbed add one tablespoon of flour

7.Keep on adding one yolk at the time and the flour saving a tablespoon of flour for later

8.Mix the dough until is elastic and makes threads

9.Add the butter at room temperature and as soon as the butter is adsorbed add the last tablespoon of flour

10.Keep on mixing till the dough passes the window pane test

11.Cover the dough with cling film and let it proof until it has tripled in volume 2 to 3 hours.

12.You can prepare the Pastry cream now if you chose to use it, and refrigerate it

13.While you wait prepare your baking pan buttering it very carefully not leaving too much butter on it

14.Grease your dough scraper, your hands and your work surface and put the dough on it and fold with the Dough Package Fold two or three times around (5 folds twice or three times). Cover with cling foil and let it rest 15 minutes on the counter

15.Turn the dough upside down and with the help of your buttered dough scraper shape your dough http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ta2_h6Qogp0 in a rounded bun

16.Make a hole in the center with your thumb and put it in the prepared pan

17. Cover with cling film and let rise in a warm spot until the dough reaches the top of the pan about 1 hour

18.Pre-heat oven to moderate 340°F/170°C/gas mark 3

19.Bake the Savarin for about 40 minutes until the top is golden brown

20.Meanwhile prepare the Syrup

21.When the Savarin is done take it out of the oven, let it cool and remove carefully out of the pan

22.You have two choices now : you can immerse it in syrup right now or you can let it dry out (so it will lose some of his moisture that will be replaced by the syrup) and soak it later on.

23.To immerse it in syrup it is a good idea to place it in the mold you baked it in (I’m afraid a spring-form one wouldn’t work for this) and keep adding ladles of syrup until you see it along the rim of the pan. Or you can just soak it in a big bowl keeping your ladle on top of it so it doesn’t float. Once the Savarin is really well soaked carefully move it on a cooling rack positioned over a pan to let the excess syrup drip

24.The soaked Savarin gains in flavor the next day

25.Whatever you decide the day you want to serve it glaze it and fill the hole with your filling of choice and decorate it. You can serve the Savarin with some filling on the side

26.Enjoy it !
Peach Flavored Syrup:

Servings: 1 savarin

1½ cups (350 ml) peach tea
1½ cups (350 ml) peach juice
1½ cups (350 ml) water
1 cup (240 ml) (8 oz) (225 gm) sugar
zest of one lemon
one cinnamon stick


1.Combine tea, water, sugar, lemon zest and cinnamon stick and bring to a boil

2.Let boil 5 minutes and remove from the stove

3.When cooled a bit add the peach juice.
Pastry Cream and Chantilly:

Servings: 1 savarin plus some for serving

2 cups (500 ml) milk
¼ cup (60 ml) (2 oz) (60 gm) sugar
zest of one lemon
2 large egg yolks
1 large egg
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (1¼ oz) (35 gm) cornstarch
¼ cup (60 ml) (2 oz) (60 gm) sugar
1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream


1.In a saucepan bring to a boil milk and sugar

2.In a bowl whisk together egg yolks, egg, cornstarch and sugar

3.Add the hot milk to the eggs one tablespoon at the time to temper it

4.Pour in the saucepan again and bring to a boil stirring constantly

5.When the cream thickens remove from the stove

6.Put cling film onto the cream (touching the surface) and cool

7.Pour 1 cup (250 ml) cold heavy cream in mixer bowl with the whisk attachment

8.Beat until whipped

9.Combine with the cooled pastry cream adding a tablespoon at the time of whipped cream until it gets to the right consistency. Or it looks right to you !

Servings: 1 savarin

2 tablespoons (30 ml) apricot Jam
2 tablespoons water


1.In a saucepan mix jam and water and warm up
2.When the savarin is cool and soaked brush it with the glaze

Storage & Freezing Instructions/Tips:

You can store the dried savarin for 5 days in a closed container. If you have soaked it cover well with cling foil and store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Additional Information:
Folding http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ta2_h6Qogp0


For my syrup, I just stirred together a cup of sugar, two cups of  water, and some almond and orange extracts and let them sit overnight while my cake dried out.

For my super simple mousse, I melted half a cup of dark chocolate chips and let it cool while I whipped up a cup of heavy whipping cream to fluffy peaks (mounds!). Then I folded the chocolate into the whipped cream. 

My mixer did not like this dough in the last stage after I'd added the egg yolks. When I used my paddle, the dough just stuck to it. When I used my dough hook, the dough was too soft and wet to form a ball so the hook just sort of spun around in the dough. I didn't have the time to develop the gluten as much as I would've liked, and the machine might not have been able to do it before burning out its motor, anyway, so I stopped just shy of the dough's hitting the window stage.

To fold the dough after its first rise, I just buttered my hands up really well and manhandled it. This stuff is sticky!

I'm glad the cake fit fully into the mold during soaking, otherwise it wouldn't have sucked up as much syrup--maybe it's better that I didn't have time to let it rise to the top of the mold! You want as much of it to be in the drink as possible, especially with the looser crumb, which won't move liquid as well as something like cake and is wrapped in a nearly impenetrable crust.

This cake was delicious--definitely a keeper!

Check out my fellow DBers' posts at our blogroll.


marilyne said…
Your savarin looks great! It was bit short for strawberry season, but it was my first idea too :)
Amrita Vishal said…
Love your Savarin..beautifully risen and wonderfully decorated
Aisha said…
It looks great and yummy :)
Anonymous said…
Very pretty!
Julie said…
Thanks, everyone!
Anonymous said…
Wow! That is one big baby! Well done! :)
Malar Gandhi said…
Wow, looks lovely...perfect. Let me grab my fork and come over there. :)

Barbara said…
It looks amazing! Great job! :)
Anonymous said…
Ahaha, a total yum pumpkin indeed! Those strawberries look awesome all piled up on top like that. Nice job :)

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