Monday, July 25, 2011

Cherry Savarin

I'm conflicted over this savarin. While it turned out beautifully, the method I followed for making the dough is so incredibly wasteful, I am not going to recommend it. You can make a perfectly delicious savarin following the recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, or any of the variations by James Beard, or a million others out there that do not call for soaking a sponge of dough in 3 cups of milk which are later discarded. Did it make a difference in the completed dessert? I can't say, unless I did a side-by-side tasting, but even if it did, I cannot justify that sort of waste, and I should have read the recipe more closely before I began. Organic milk isn't exactly affordable in this area to begin with-pouring it down the drain (it had yeast soaking in it, so I really couldn't think of what to reuse it in) really disturbs me. The recipe I used came from Raymond Oliver's, La Cuisine. A fine cookery book otherwise (and the recipe was wonderful-just wasteful).

Right, so you find a savarin recipe you like, bake it, and then I'll tell you what I did from there-OK? Swell.

You'll need a syrup. I had cherry puree in the freezer, so I put it into use. You probably don't have cherry puree, but you might have a bottle of kirsch. Use that. Or rum. Or brandy. I used cherry puree and vanilla extract so the kid could eat it.

2 cups water
1 cup sugar
Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, stir in about 1/2 cup of rum or brandy-a bit less if using kirsch. Cool to tepid. While you're waiting around with your thumb up your arse, strain half a cup of apricot preserves and stir in a bit of brandy, rum, kirsch, or vanilla extract. You'll need that later. If the jam is really stiff, microwave it a few seconds before straining. Resume standing about with your thumb up your arse (just you know, wash it before proceeding).

After you have removed the savarin from the oven, let it rest 5 minutes before unmoulding it onto a rack. You will need 2 racks to re-invert it so the bumpy side is up (yes, that is a pain in the arse, but do it anyway). Grab a skewer and poke the top all over. Place the rack over a pan with a rim and pour the syrup over the savarin. Using a baster, generously coat it time-to-time for 1/2 hour. Let it stand to dry another 30 minutes.

Re-invert the savarin onto a plate. Brush it with the apricot jam, and decorate as you like. I soaked some fresh cherries in the remaining syrup from the pan and placed them in the centre (find a glass that fits, and they will stay neatly in place).

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