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Thanks for the wonderful challenge Natalia... I thoroughly enjoyed it because, during our recent trip to Naples we enjoyed eating so much of Baba au rhum and we all loved it a looooot.  From that time I was planning to do this, atleast I had a chance to do it for the challenge... For the sponge I followed the recipe you have provided and it was so perfect,  came out airy, soft and the texture was so good that the liquid soaked up very well. Made three different shapes of Baba/Savarin and soaked with different combination of syrup. Filled with Crème Patisserie and whipped cream. Decorated with Fruits...

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!

What is Savarin ??

Savarin: 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 (which takes its name from the eclectic lawyer, politician and gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin).  It is said that baba cake was brought to Paris and France by the King of Poland.  King Stanislas Leszczyunska was the father-in-law of King Louis XV of France, when he was exiled to Lorraine.  According to one legend, he found the customary kouglopf too dry and dipped it in sweet wine.  He was so delighted that he named the cake after his hero Ali Baba from his favorite book, A Thousand and One Nights.  Later, his chef refined the sweet bread by using brioche dough and adding raisins to the recipe..  The cake was then called, "Baba."  Years later, Baba traveled to Naples by some unknown French cook, where it is still one of the most popular treat: o’ Babbà!  "Baba cake is called "Bakka" in Poland and "Father's Cake" in Turkey.  Some say the word BABA in French means, "falling over dizzy,"  World renowned Chef Alain Ducasse serves baba au rhum as a signature dessert at his Michelin restaurants...

Whether it is Savarin or Baba, it tastes sooooooo good which is topped or filled with different creams or custards and decorated with fruits, candied fruits and so on.

Photograph which I took during my Naples Trip :)


Servings: 8/10


Bread flour - 2 1/2 cups (350 gm)
Water, lukewarm - 2 tablespoons (30 ml)
Eggs - 6 (320 gm) large at room temperature, separated
Instant yeast - 1½ tsp (4 gm)
Sugar - 4 tsp (20 gm)
Butter - 1/3 cup (75 gm) butter at room temperature
Orange and lemon zest (optional) - 1 tbsp (15 gm)
Salt - 1 tsp (6 gm)
Butter - ¼ cup (55 gm) for greasing the work surface, hands, dough scraper & baking pan



In small bowl mix 2 tablespoons lukewarm water, 3 tbsp (25 gm) flour and yeast , cover with cling film and let rise 60 minutes.


1. After 30 minutes put the egg whites in the mixer bowl and start working with the paddle at low speed adding flour until you have soft dough that sticks to the bowl (about 2 cups or 270 gm) and work until it comes together, cover with cling film and let rest 30 min
2. Add the sponge to the mixer bowl along with a tablespoon of flour and start mixing at low speed (if you wish to add the zests do it now).
3. When it starts pulling away from the sides of the bowl, add one yolk and as soon as the yolk is absorbed add one tablespoon of flour.
4. Add the second yolk, sugar and as soon as the yolk is absorbed add one tablespoon of flour.
5. Increase the speed a little.
6. Add the third yolk, salt and as soon as the yolk is absorbed add one tablespoon of flour.
7. Keep on adding one yolk at the time and the flour saving a tablespoon of flour for later.
8. Mix the dough until it is elastic and makes threads.
9. Add the butter at room temperature and as soon as the butter is adsorbed add the last tablespoon of flour.
10. Keep on mixing till the dough passes the window pane test.
11. Cover the dough with cling film and let it proof until it has tripled in volume for 2 to 3 hours.
12. You can prepare the Pastry cream now if you chose to use it, and refrigerate it.
13. While you wait prepare your baking pan buttering it very carefully not leaving too much butter on it.
14. Grease your dough scraper, your hands and your work surface and put the dough on it and fold with the Dough Package Fold two or three times around (5 folds twice or three 
times). Cover with cling foil and let it rest 15 minutes on the counter.
15. Turn the dough upside down and with the help of your buttered dough scraper shape your dough in a rounded bun.
16. Make a hole in the center with your thumb and put it in the prepared pan.
17. Cover with cling film and let it rise in a warm spot until the dough reaches the top of the pan (about 1 hour).
18. Pre-heat oven to 340°F/170°C/gas mark 3.
19. Bake the Savarin for about 40 minutes until the top is golden brown. (My mini versions took 20 minutes for baking)
20. Meanwhile prepare the Syrup.
21. When the Savarin is done take it out of the oven and let it cool.  Carefully remove out of the pan.
22. You have two choices now: you can immerse it in syrup right now or you can let it dry out (so it will lose some of his moisture that will be replaced by the syrup) and soak it later on.
23. To immerse it in syrup it is a good idea to place it in the mold you baked it and keep adding ladles of syrup until you see it along the rim of the pan. Alternatively you can just soak it in a big bowl keeping your ladle on top of it so it doesn’t float. Once the Savarin is really well soaked carefully move it on a cooling rack positioned over a pan to let the excess syrup drip
24. The soaked Savarin gains in flavor the next day
25. Whatever you decide the day you want to serve glaze it and fill the hole with your filling of choice and decorate it. You can serve the Savarin with some filling on the side
26. Enjoy it!

Peach Flavored Syrup (For Soaking the sponge)

For the above mini versions of Baba or Savarin I needed this amount of syrup to soak them up nicely.


Peach tea - 1 1/2 cup
Peach juice - 3 cup
Water - 1 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1 1/2 cup
I used zest of 1 orange
One cinnamon stick
Good quality Rum - 1/2 cup (optional)


1. Combine tea, water, sugar, lemon zest and cinnamon stick and bring to a boil.
2. Let boil 5 minutes and remove from the stove.
3. When cooled a bit add the peach juice and good quality rum if using.
4. Use this syrup for soaking.

For Glaze :
Ingredients :

2 tablespoons (30 ml) apricot Jam
2 tablespoons water

Method :

1.In a saucepan mix jam and water and warm up.
2.When the savarin is cool and soaked brush it with the glaze.


Crème Patisserie & Whipped cream


Milk - 500 ml
Butter - 20 g
Sugar - 100 g
Egg yolk - 100gm (Approximately 5 to 6 eggs)
All purpose flour - 50 gm
Vanilla extract - 1/2 tbsp
Heavy cream - 400 ml
Sugar - 3 tbsp
Gelatin - 1 tsp
Water for Gelatin - 1 tbsp


Prepare the pastry cream for the filling in advance.


1. Mix egg yolk and ¾ of sugar in a pan until perfectly smooth.
2. Add the sifted flour to the egg yolk and mix again.
3. Add the remaining sugar together with the butter to the milk (in a large saucepan) and bring it to a boil.
4. Now pour half of the hot milk into the bowl with the egg / sugar. Stir and then return the mixture back into the large saucepan.
5. Keep heating and stirring until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract.
6. You’re finished when you see big bubbles in the Pastry cream.
7. Pour the hot pastry cream onto a baking pan or another shallow pan, so it cools down quickly.
8. The pastry cream that we need in a moment to mix with the whipped cream should be at room temperature.
9. Put the gelatin powder in small microwavable glass and add a tbsp of cold water.
10 Then, set aside.
11. Add the sugar to the heavy cream and whip until it forms soft peaks. Then, whisk by hand until it forms stiff peaks.
12. Dissolve the gelatin in the microwave.
13. Mix the gelatin and a little pastry cream in a bowl. Add the remaining pastry cream and mix well.
14. Reserve 1/2 of the whipped cream for decorating or topping and mix other half with the pastry cream that is in room temperature.
15. Fold in the whipped heavy cream in two steps into pastry cream until they are blended well.


Glaze the the soaked sponge, cut them to 3/4 th horizontally, fill it with Crème Patisserie and top it with whipped cream.  Garnish with the fruits and serve chilled.

Unknown  – (April 27, 2013 at 1:06 AM)  

Amazing photos!
And thank you for your comments on the history of this cake!

marilyne  – (April 27, 2013 at 6:42 AM)  

How productiv! They all look delicious

Shanthi  – (April 27, 2013 at 8:23 AM)  

Awesome pictures..lovely post..i never heard about this and no words to express...keep rocking...

Anonymous –   – (April 27, 2013 at 12:31 PM)  


Cakelaw  – (April 28, 2013 at 12:18 AM)  

Your savarin looks lovely, and the minis are superb!

Anonymous –   – (April 28, 2013 at 9:16 AM)  

All those little babas look so good!!! :)

Renata  – (April 28, 2013 at 12:21 PM)  

I absolutely love the assortment of Savarins/Baba au rhum you made! As always, a wonderful job on the challenge!

Anonymous –   – (April 28, 2013 at 10:41 PM)  

Beautiful photos and droolworthy Savarins...i love the addition of rum in the soaking syrup...yum!!
~Shema | LifeScoops

The Betz Family  – (April 28, 2013 at 11:10 PM)  

Wow, you did so many different varieties! You had more patience than I did with this process and it shows in your results. Nice job on the challenge!

Rumana Rawat  – (April 29, 2013 at 12:24 AM)  

Very beautiful dear and the pictures are looking stunning...

Anonymous –   – (April 29, 2013 at 9:02 PM)  

Absolutely gorgeous!!

Unknown  – (April 29, 2013 at 11:33 PM)  

Looks very inviting. Step by step pictures are very nice.

saffronstreaks  – (May 1, 2013 at 11:40 AM)  

Your savarins are the most prettiest one I have ever seen, and so gorgeous and stunning ! Great job on the challenge

Anonymous –   – (May 9, 2013 at 12:00 PM)  

Mmm... Yummy!!! gorgeous photos

Kiran @  – (June 3, 2013 at 9:01 PM)  

This looks like popovers, with yummy cream and seasonal berries! So colorful and festive!

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