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Savarin (French Ring Cake)

Servings: 12

Definition: [SAV-uh-rihn; sa-va-RAN] This variation on the baba is made without raisins and baked in a large ring mold. Named after Brillat-Savarin, a famous 18th-century food writer, this rich yeast cake is soaked with rum-flavored syrup and filled with pastry cream, crème chantilly or fresh fruit.

For Cake:
1 pkg. active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (105ºF to 115ºF)
3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
4 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups all-purpose flour

For Savarin Syrup:
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
1/4 cup brandy, rum or orange-flavored liqueur

For Glaze:
1/2 cups apricot preserves
2 tbsp. granulated sugar

Dissolve yeast in warm water in 3-quart bowl. Stir in butter, eggs, 2 tablespoons sugar, the salt and 1 cup of the flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in remaining flour until smooth. Beat 25 strokes. Spread batter evenly in well-greased 8-cup metal ring mold or 10-inch tube pan. Cover; let rise in warm place until almost double, 50 to 60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. If top is browning too quickly, cover loosely with aluminum foil. Cool in mold 10 minutes. Remove from mold; cool slightly on wire rack.

Prepare Savarin Syrup:
Heat sugar and water to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered 2 minutes; cool to lukewarm. Stir in brandy, rum or orange-flavored liqueur. Place cake on serving plate. Poke holes in cake with a fine skewer. Slowly drizzle syrup on cake until all syrup is absorbed.

For Glaze:
Press apricot preserves through strainer. Heat preserves and 2 tablespoons sugar to boiling, stirring constantly; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered until slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Spread apricot glaze over cake. Cake can be served with fresh berries or peaches and sweetened whipped cream if desired.

Makes 12 servings.

Baba au Rhum
Stir 1/2 cup raisins into Savarin batter. Spread in well-greased 8- or 9-cup metal mold or 9-cup Bundt cake pan. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Use rum in the syrup and omit apricot glaze if desired.

Source: DianasDesserts.com
Date: May 21, 2003