- Desert -
Savarin with Summer Fruit
(By Iulia Motoc - Professor, University of Bucharest and Senior Emile Noel Fellow )

This traditional dessert from Alsace-Lorraine, made from a rich yeast dough moistened with syrup and cherry liqueur is one of the most popular cakes in Romania.

Ingredients (prepare for 10-12 people)

  • scant 1 tbsp active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup superfine sugar
  • 4 tbps warm water
  • 2 ¼ cups flour
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 7 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 pound fresh raspberries or strawberries mint leaves, to decorate
  • 1 ¼ cups whipping cream, sweetened to taste and whipped to serve

    For the syrup

  • 1 ¼ cups superfine sugar
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 6 tbps red currant jelly
  • 3 tbsp Kirsch (optional)


  1. Generously butter a 9 inch savarin or ring mould. Put the yeast and 1 tbps of the sugar in a medium bowl, add the water and stir until dissolved, then leave the yeast mixture to stand for about 5 minutes until frothy.
  2. Put the flour and remaining sugar in a food processor fitted with the metal blade and pulse to combine. With the machine running, slowly pour in the yeast mixture, eggs and vanilla extract, then scrape down the sides and continue processing for 2-3 minutes, or until a soft dough forms. Add the butter and pulse about 10 times, until all the butter is incorporated.
  3. Place the dough in spoonfuls into a mold, leaving a space between each mound of dough. Tap the mold gently to release any air bubbles, then cover with a dish towel and leave in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour. The dough should double in volume and come just to the top of the mold. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  4. Place the savarin or ring mold on a baking sheet in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 350F. Bake for about 25 minutes until the top is a rich golden color and springs back when touched. Turn out the cake onto a wire rack and let stand slightly.
  5. To make the syrup, blend the sugar, water and 4 tbps of the red currant jelly in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar and jelly dissolve, and boil for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly, then stir to dissolve. Set aside.
  6. Place the rack with the cake, still warm, over a baking tray. Slowly spoon the syrup over the cake, catching any extra syrup in the tray and spooning it over the cake, until all the syrup has been absorbed. Carefully transfer the cake to a shallow serving dish and pour over any remaining syrup. Brush the red currant glaze over the top, then fill the center with raspberries or strawberries and decorate with mint leaves. Chill, then serve with cream.

From: C. Clements and Elizabeth Wolf -Cohen,
French delicious classic cuisine made easy

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