Making Savarins

On the surface of it a savarin is a rather restrained affair. A non-threatening fruit dessert that might be served after a decadent ladies’ lunch. A pastry that a fitness buff can take from a buffet table and still hold his head up high.

Let me tell you, that dude will be on the rowing machine all afternoon working one of these off. Because under the hood a savarin is an indulgence machine: a buttery brioche loop soaked in aromatic syrup and filled with Chantilly cream. The fruit? It’s sort of like the glow-in-the-dark lure of an anglerfish, enticing the dieter to his doom.


Savarin Recipe

Savarins are basically ring-shaped babas, though the hole in the middle provides more opportunity to fill and top them. Combine filling and/or topping with a creative soaking syrup and you can see where the simple savarin can quickly start to take on some rather complex and/or sophisticated flavors. Here’s the basic early summer fruit version, but feel free to improvise as you see fit. I probably will!

For the dough:

2 1/2 teaspoons (1 envelope) instant yeast
9 ounces (1 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 ounces (1/2 cup minus two tablespoons) whole milk
3 eggs
2 1/2 ounces (5 tablespoons) softened butter