it was just.too.cold. single digits, °Fahrenheit. yesterday was the coldest day since two years ago. it was too cold, our heater broke down.
it was too cold, the tv remote controls and my glucometer wouldn’t work. the smoke alarms were going berserk and bleating like a wet lamb. it was too cold i decided it was a good time to turn on the oven and actually bake something! i had bookmarked this orange strawberry savarin from yet another new cookbook.
ever browse through a cookbook in the store, and feel compelled to buy it because of just one recipe?
i have been religiously ignoring this dangerous impulse and putting the book down, even if it’s already on clearance or in the thrift/charity shop…i even watch that “Hoarding: Buried Alive” reality tv show as a sort of slap to my own face to make sure i haven’t gone mental and go surround myself with “stuff” to keep the real world away…but the savarin presented too much of a challenge, and flipping through the pages of “Desserts”, 2008 Readers’ Digest and McRae Books, i got weak-willed and squeezed out $4 from the wallet.
although. when i started the dough, i really thought this recipe was headed into the “doomed” file. what a sticky yucky mess! what? i have to knead it?! but i persevered, and good thing i did, because it is very delicious and destined for a permanent spot in the array of breakfast standbys. i warn you though: you must really like playing with dough…
1. make the savarin:
1/3 cup warm whole milk
2 tsps. active dry yeast
3 tbsps. sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for handling and for coating the pastry board
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
stir the milk, yeast, and 1 tsp. of the sugar in a small bowl. set aside for 10 minutes, or until foamy.
put the flour and salt in a large bowl. stir in the yeast mixture. add the eggs, butter, and remaining sugar and beat until well-blended. knead in the bowl using a dough hook or flat beater for 5 minutes.
to knead by hand, place the sticky ball of dough on a floured work surface and press down. flip the dough, pick it up, and slam it down on the surface. repeat until smooth and pliable, about 10 minutes.
butter a 10-inch savarin pan. punch down the dough, place in the prepared pan, spreading it evenly. cover with a clean cloth and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes, or until almost doubled in bulk. preheat the oven to 375°F.
bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. cool the savarin in the pan for 15 minutes.
prepare the orange syrup:
1 large orange
2 cups water
1 & 1/3 cups sugar
1 cup dark rum
use a sharp knife to remove the zest from the orange in one long piece. bring the water, sugar and orange zest to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved. simmer for 8 minutes. remove from the heat and add the rum.
place the cake, still on the rack, over a large plate. spoon the syrup over the cake until all the syrup has been absorbed. cool the savarin completely in the pan on a rack.
1/3 cup strawberry preserves
1 tbsp. dark rum
2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and halved or sliced
heat the jelly and rum in a sauce pan over low heat. loosen sides of bread with the tip of a sharp knife. flip the savarin from the pan and place on a serving plate. spread with the warm jelly. decorate with the strawberries.