My niece got married in a field in Oskaloosa, Kansas last weekend. Afterwards we had lunch under a tent. My mother-in-law made all of the desserts including this Savarin, a rich airy cake soaked in a simple syrup and topped with apricot glaze and whipped cream. It’s traditionally served as a feast-day dessert in France. This is her recipe. It’s a little more complicated than the recipes I usually post, but I think it’s worth the effort.
1 package active dry yeast (2 ¼ tsp yeast)
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup milk, scalded
1/3 cup soft butter or margarine
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
For Savarin Syrup
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
1/2 cup (or to taste) rum, kirsch or cognac
Bring water and sugar to a boil. Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm. Stir in rum, kirsch or cognac.
For Apricot Glaze
One 12-ounce jar (1/1/4 cups) apricot preserves. Heat in a saucepan at medium-low, then strain to remove solids.
For Crème Chantilly
To make homemade whipped cream, whip 2 cups heavy whipping cream with 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla, or feel free to use pre-made whipped cream.
Grease a 12-cup (10-inch) bundt pan.
Dissolve yeast in warm water. Set aside.
Stir butter, sugar and salt into scalded milk until butter melts. Cool to lukewarm. Pour into a large bowl. Beat in 1/2 cup of the flour, egg and yeast with an electric mixer at medium speed. Add the remaining flour and beat vigorously for 5 to 7 minutes.
Cover and let rise in warm place until the dough doubles in size, about 1 1/4 hours.
Stir down batter and spoon into greased baking pan. Cover and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes longer.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until done and top is nicely browned. Cool 5 minutes and remove from mold onto serving plate.
Prick top of Savarin in several places with a fork, and gradually drizzle with Savarin Syrup. Let cake soak up syrup before drizzling on more syrup. Continue until well soaked. This should take 30 minutes to one hour depending on how saturated you want your cake.
Carefully pour warm apricot glaze over Savarin, spreading with a knife or pastry brush to coat completely.
Allow Savarin to cool completely and serve with Whipped Crème Chantilly.