Saturday, April 27, 2013

Daring Bakers' Challenge: 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!

I had no idea what a Savarin was before I read this challenge so I went to the internet to find out what is was and how it came to be.  It's a variation of a Polish Rum Baba, or Babka, a small rum soaked yeasted cake that it made with eggs, milk, and butter.  It was often filled with whipped cream or pastry cream.  The French adapted the Baba in the 1800's by making it in a ring mold pan and soaking it in a blend of syrups rather than rum.

You start by making a sponge of quick rising yeast, flour and water and letting it rise for an hour.

After 30 minutes you start the dough, by mixing egg whites with flour and letting it rest for 30 minutes.  I'm allergic to eggs so I used Bob's Red Mill Egg Replacer.  After 30 minutes, you add the sponge to the bowl and then a tablespoon of flour.  The you're supposed to add the egg yolks, one at a time along with a tablespoon of flour.  I used a tablespoon of non dairy sour cream to replace each of the yolks to give the Savarin the richness the yolks would provide.  Sugar, butter, and orange zest are also added.  I used Earth Balance in place of butter.  The dough needs to rest for two hours at this point.

Once the dough has tripled in size, it goes through a series of folds and allowed to rest for 15 minutes.  Then you make a whole in the center of the dough with your thumb and put it in a well greased ring mold pan.  Again, it's allowed to rise for another hour or until it reaches the top of the pan.

You bake the Savarin for 40 minutes and then let it cool out of the pan.  Once it cooled, I put it back in the pan and soaked it in a syrup of fruity spice tea, peach juice (which I made from blending up a can of organic peach slices), water, and sugar.  When most of the syrup has been absorbed, you remove the cake and let the excess drain off and then brush the top with a glaze of apricot jam.  The finished cake is filled with pastry cream, which is very difficult to make without eggs so I used Soyatoo non-diary whipping cream, straight from the box.  If you don't whip it, it's an excellent substitute for a cream filling.

I was surprised at how light and spongy this cake was considering the lack of eggs.  You could use it in place of an angel food cake if you didn't soak it.

Makes on 9" cake - Use organic ingredients whenever possible

For the Sponge:
3 tablespoons unbleached white flour or bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons water

Mix the flour, yeast and water together in a bowl 
Cover with plastic wrap
Let it rise for 60 minutes

For the Dough:
6 tablespoons Bob's egg replacer
1 cup + 2 tablespoons water
2 cups + 8 tablespoons unbleached white flour or bread flour
1 tablespoon orange zest
6 tablespoons Tofutti non-dairy sour cream
4 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup Earth Balance butter substitute, at room temperature

After 30 minutes, mix the egg replacer and the water in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on low.
Cover with plastic and let rest for 30 minutes.
Add the sponge, 1 tablespoon of flour, and the zest and mix on low.
Add 1 tablespoon of sour cream and then 1 tablespoon of flour.
Add another tablespoon of sour cream, the sugar and another  tablespoon of flour.
Raise the speed one notch.
Add the third tablespoon of sour cream, the salt and another tablespoon of flour.
Continue to add the sour cream and flour one tablespoon at a time.
Add the Earth Balance.
Add the last tablespoon of flour.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let to rise in a warm place for 2-3 hours or until it's tripled in size.
Oil your pan and your work surface.
Put the dough on the work surface and fold one side over half way and the other side over that.
Turn the dough over and repeat four more times.
Preheat your oven to 340˚
Cover the dough and let it rest for 15 minutes
Turn the dough upside down
Make a hole in the center of the dough and put it in the pan.
Cover the pan with plastic and let rise to the top of the pan, about an hour.
(You should make the syrup at this point)
Cook the cake for 40 minutes.
Let cool for 5 minutes and remove from the pan to cool.

For the Syrup:
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups fruity tea with cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1 1/2  cups peach juice

Mix together the water, tea and sugar in a pot.
Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.
Allow to cool.
Add the peach juice.

Put the cake back in the pan 
Ladle the syrup over the cake and down the edges until you've used all of the syrup.
Allow the cake to sit in the syrup for about 30 minutes 
Remove the cake and pour off any excess syrup.

For the Glaze:
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons apricot jam.

Warm the water and jam.
Brush the mixture over the top of the cake.

Fill the whole in the center with the Soyatoo cream and fruit or cut the cake and serve with a topping of cream and fruit.

Refrigerate any leftovers.


  1. Ciao,I would love to try your way but no such products here...Great post !

  2. Wow! That is a gorgeous looking savarin :)

  3. Wow, I'm so impressed that you made this without eggs! Looks great :)