|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 28g||36%|
|Saturated Fat 17g||85%|
|Total Carbohydrate 57g||21%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||4%|
|Total Sugars 33g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||2%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
This Romanian recipe for savarin (savarina in Romanian) is virtually identical to French baba au rhum and Polish ponczowa (a rum-soaked babka). It is made with a sweet yeast dough which is soaked in a rum syrup overnight after baking. Then, it's either filled with pastry cream or topped with sweetened whipped cream and garnished with fresh fruit or, at the very least, a maraschino cherry.
The cake can be baked in a mini Bundt cake pan, which will yield six large individual cakes, or in regular cupcake tins for 12 smaller cakes.
For the Cake:
1/4 ounce (7 grams) active dry yeast
3 1/3 tablespoons (50 milliliters) milk, warm
3 cups (350 grams) all-purpose flour
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon sugar
1 pinch salt
3/4 cup (6 ounces/175 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 tablespoon lemon zest, optional
For the Rum Syrup:
1 1/2 cups (300 grams) sugar, divided
2 1/2 cups (600 milliliters) water
3 1/3 tablespoons (50 milliliters) rum
1 tablespoon lemon juice
For the Garnish:
2 cups (450 milliliters) heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
Apricot preserves, optional
Maraschino cherries, or other fruits, for garnish
To Make the Cake
Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk. In a large bowl or stand mixer using the paddle attachment, combine the flour, yeast-milk mixture, eggs, sugar, and salt. The dough should be soft and sticky.
Add the softened butter, vanilla, and lemon zest, if using, and mix again. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume.
Heat the oven to 300 F / 150 C. Butter a mini Bundt pan or cupcake pan. If the pan isn't nonstick, sprinkle the buttered pan with breadcrumbs or cake crumbs.
Divide the dough equally into the wells of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes, or until the dough reaches the top of the pan.
Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick tests clean. While the cakes are baking, make the rum syrup.
To Make the Rum Syrup
In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt 3.53 ounces/100 grams of sugar without stirring but occasionally swirling until it reaches a very light caramel color.
Turn off the heat but leave the saucepan on the hot burner. Add the water and the remaining 7.05 ounces/200 grams of sugar. Mix and let sit until everything is melted.
Let it cool completely before adding the rum and lemon juice. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
To Soak the Savarinas
Remove the baked cakes from the pan and pour some of the syrup into the bottom of each well. Dip the bottoms of the cakes in the syrup in the saucepan and return the cakes to the baking tin.
Pour the remaining syrup over the cakes until it is completely gone. Cover the cake pan with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator overnight.
To Serve the Savarinas
Bring the cakes to room temperature.
Whip the cream and sugar until the cream holds a peak.
You can either slice the cakes in half horizontally and spread the bottom half with apricot preserves and then whipped cream, replacing the top. Or, leave the cakes whole, dollop with whipped cream, and garnish with maraschino cherries or other fruits.
- Before you begin, bear in mind that in order for this cake to soak up all the rum syrup, it needs to sit in the refrigerator overnight, so the cake cannot be prepared and served on the same day.
- It's best to weigh all the ingredients on a digital scale with metric measurements to make sure the proportions of your ingredients are accurate. Sometimes straight conversions from metric produce unwieldy American measurements as evidenced here.
As the story goes, the cake was born out of an accident: The chef to the king of Poland made a yeast-based cake called a Gugelhupf, which, unfortunately, was dry and tasteless. In a fit of anger, the king tossed the cake aside, in turn knocking over a bottle of rum which spilled onto the cake. The Gugelhupf absorbed the rum and became a tasty treat; French chefs of royalty began making it and named it after Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, the renowned 18th-century French gastronome and food essayist.
In Romania, savarin is a traditional dessert often served at celebratory occasions like weddings, christenings, and other happy events.
What is the difference between baba and savarin?
There are a few differences between a baba au rhum and a savarin, including the pan it's baked in and how it is presented. While a baba typically has currants or other dried fruits in the dough, a savarin does not. Some babas are baked in tall, cylindrical molds (especially in Russia and Ukraine) and savarins are baked in fluted ring molds. (In Poland, however, a baba, or babka, is baked in a fluted ring pan, making it virtually identical to a savarin in appearance.) A savarin is always served with sweetened whipped cream whereas a baba may not be.