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Strawberry shortcake? You’ve got to be kidding … this “shortcake” is a fancy-schmancy french pastry called Savarin. According to Dorie Greenspan, writing in her “Baking With Julia” cookbook, it is named for one of France’s most celebrated gastronomes, Brillat-Savarin. The savarin is a baba dough, minus the raisins and baked in a ring mold.
I bought a mini-ring mold from Amazon, just for this occasion — Tuesdays With Dorie baking and blogging. Also from the recipe by contributing baker David Blom, “a savarin can be served with just a dollop of whipped cream, decorated with fresh fruits, sauced, or piled high with one of everything.” I decided on making a strawberry purée’ since I had strawberries on hand.
I almost sat this one out because the batter-dough needs 8 minutes in the mixer. My kitchen aid has been put back together, then taken apart, and put back together again. New parts installed but the KA is refusing to work! 🙁
Then I decided 8 minutes with a hand mixer is doable and away I went. This is an interesting dough. It is made with yeast and requires 2 short risings. But the finished dough is more like a spongy batter.
Baking in this mini-mold required 15 minutes in the oven and slid right out of the silicon molds quite nicely.
After completely cooling, the little savarin are dipped into a warm sugar syrup. The recipe states to leave it a minute or so until the savarin is quite full and plump with liquid.
I was skeptical about the little mini desserts getting soggy so I didn’t keep mine in the syrup for more than 30 seconds. They are then left to drain for a few minutes on a baking rack. While these were draining I added a little of the simple syrup to fresh cut-up strawberries in a blender. This made for a nice strawberry puree. Blom’s recipe calls for a much more sophisticated topping including poire (pear) eau-de-vie. As you can see I hit the EASY button and kept it simple, although I will include the full recipe listed below.
Topped with fresh whipped cream this darling mini-savarin is ready to be served to the Chief.
I, however, enjoyed this delicate french pastry served on lovely china with a cup of tea. Bite after bite I soon realized this tastes just like a deliciously yeasty strawberry shortcake!
Yes, you just might be a redneck if your Savarin and strawberry shortcake are totally interchangeable desserts! 🙂
P.S. For the first time, our international baking group “TWD-Baking with Julia” will not have a host blog that posts the recipe. Instead we have a page showing yummy pictures and backlinks to the members’ blogs that have baked along.
Check it out HERE.
- 6 tablespoons warm water (about 100°F)
- 11/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in fourths, at room temperature
- 1 recipe soaking syrup (2 cups water, 1 cup sugar)
- A few tablespoons raspberry purée
- 2 cups assorted fresh berries, such as blueberries, blackberries, and sliced strawberries
- 3 tablespoons poire (pear) eau-de-vie
- Whipped cream
- To make dough, pour water into a bowl and sprinkle yeast and sugar over it. Add egg and mix. Put flour in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and add yeast mixture. Mix on low until blended. Beat until smooth on medium-low, about 8 minutes. Add butter and beat on low until the butter is absorbed. Remove bowl from mixer and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 15 minutes.
- Brush a ring mold with clarified butter and fill with dough. Cover mold and let rise 30 minutes, or until dough fills mold. Position a rack in upper third of oven and preheat to 350°F. Put savarin on parchment-lined jelly-roll pan and bake 20 minutes, until golden. Unmold onto cooling rack and cool completely.
- Bring soaking syrup to boil and turn off heat. Place cooling rack over a parchment-lined jelly-roll pan. Spoon hot syrup over savarin, a few tablespoons at a time, soaking pastry until it cannot hold any more. Leave savarin on rack until cool.
- Put about 2 teaspoons of water into a sauté pan, add the raspberry purée, and warm the sauce. Add ½ to 1 cup assorted berries. Sugar to taste and bring to a boil. Add 1 cup berries, and stir gently. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Transfer savarin to serving plate and drizzle with eau-de-vie. Fill center of savarin with whipped cream and top with warmed, saucy berries. Spoon whipped cream into a pastry bag fitted with a ¼-inch star tip, and pipe a ring of rosettes around the base. Serve immediately.
A savarin can be served with just a dollop of whipped cream, a fruit puree', or decorated with fresh fruits.
Savarin mold - If you do not have a savarin mold, a Bundt will work. This recipe makes 8 mini-savarin or one medium size made in the Bundt pan.