The official line is – 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!
According to Natalia, savarin is a yeasted cake made with the same dough as Rum Baba, which has its controversial origins in the Polish Babka. Apparently, in the eighteen century the recipe traveled with the exiled Polish king Stanislas who once soaked a dried Babka in an alcoholic solution creating what is now known as Baba au Rhum. The original Babka (Christian version) is often baked in a tall ring mold but it is in the Julien brothers’ Patisserie in 1844 that it was baked in the classic Savarin mold (who takes its name from the eclectic lawyer, politician and gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin). Years later thanks to an unknown French cook the Baba traveled to Naples were it is still one of the most popular treat: o’ Babbà! The Savarin ‘hole’ is filled with different creams, or custards and decorated with fruits, candied fruits and so on.
Sadly, for a number of reasons, I just wasn’t feeling the love this month. I decided to do a half batch of mini savarins, without stopping to think it through. I missed the fact that baking them in a muffin tray meant there would be no holes to fill. I also got distracted while reducing the recipe, so that my calculations were fairly haphazard. The end result was basically a passable brioche but a pretty poor version of a savarin – sorry Natalia!
So far, so OK. I’d made bread rolls. But then I had to soak them in syrup. I made a lemon syrup, which I won’t repeat here because I’m not convinced it was a winner, and soaked some of the cakes in it. I asked the husband to taste test one the next day and he said “What else are you meant to do with them?”. Me – “um, I think that’s it”. Husband – “it’s kind of like soggy lemon bread”. Me – “yeah…”
However, they improved somewhat the next day and the husband agreed to eat a whole one. So we brought it back to passable.
In happier news, I made these – http://quirkycooking.blogspot.com.au/2011/04/anzac-biscuits-vegan.html, despite the knowledge that I would probably end up eating them all myself. I cut the sugar down by half (to 50g) and used coconut sugar instead of rapadura. Mostly out of curiosity. I thought they were delicious, but I was the only one. The husband came home late from work and tried one. I know this because I found 2/3 of a biscuit on the biscuit rack the next morning. He described it as “another cruel mismatch between expectation and reality”. So yes, I did eat an entire batch of biscuits, albeit over 4 days, and I have put on a kilogram, which I attribute to the biscuits. The other three kilograms I attribute to being 18 weeks pregnant