Cake · Desserts

Lemon Elderflower Savarin

Two hundred (!!) blog posts later and I’m still giddy when my bakes turn out correctly! These light and sweet cakes are soaked in fragrant syrup and topped with rich pastry cream. # 200: Lemon Elderflower Savarin

What better way to celebrate a blog milestone than with a handshake-worthy bake from Great British Bake Off’s youngest ever winner? Rum baba or savarin have been on my baking to-do list for almost a year now, but I was hesitating for the usual issue of not wanting to buy a specific mold for them. All my problems were solved as soon as they introduced Peter’s rectangular version – he’s a genius! My mini loaf pan was overjoyed to be given such a fancy task.

Bread or cake? I’m leaning towards bread myself. The texture was very similar to a day-old brioche before dousing it in the syrup – which made it the perfect sponge to soak up all the yummy elderflower flavor! A savarin is technically classified as a “yeast-risen cake” that’s been soaked in an alcoholic syrup, so it could go either way.

The seasonal baker in me said this is a summer recipe, what are you doing?? But she got overruled because it’s 2020, time is relative and you should indulge baking whims whenever possible. Joy > seasonal accuracy.

Eggs, butter, milk, sugar… see? It’s a brioche! Except with much less butter proportionally, hence why it seemed a bit drier and less rich.

I used my butter wrapper to grease the tin. Feeling efficient over here.

There’s something very satisfying about piping dough into molds.

While the dough takes a nap, prep your creme pat. The recipe calls for not one but two pastry creams: strawberry and lemon & elderflower.

Have you ever had St. Germain? It’s an elderflower liqueur and It. Smells. So. Good. Now that I have a mostly full bottle of it on my bar cart, I’ll need to find some fancy cocktail recipes.

I always strain my pastry cream before adding the butter just in case I scrambled some of the egg. It’s also soothing to put pudding through a sieve, not gonna lie.

Look at that color!! Can’t wait for strawberry season again. (Don’t worry, I’m about to go make some gingerbread – I haven’t forgotten we’re T-minus 17 days to Christmas.)

And you gotta rise up!

Poofy lil pillows.

Last but not least: lemon elderflower simple syrup.

Quick behind-the-scenes shot of what my work area normally looks like before I zoom in for the picture. Peep the phone; I have my mom on speed dial for when I need a second opinion mid-bake. Even when she has no idea what to do, she’s still the most calm and assured advice giver. Literally the best.

I might just make this syrup on the regular so my kitchen smells amazing all the time. St. Germain, lemon, sugar and water. * Chef’s kiss *

I’m tellin ya – that’s the crumb of a bread, not a cake. Best part of these was getting to snack on the “cake top” that I had to cut off to make them even. Noms.

Nate’s least favorite part: after soaking them, they get to drip syrup all over the counter for a half hour. Art.

So dainty. Now I know that Paul would say these are way too dark, but honestly, who cares? My pan is dark metal so there’s a potential that it caused the outsides to cook a little faster than the insides, but there’s also the possibility that I over-baked em a bit. Luckily for me, I then got to soak them completely in syrup so it’s impossible to tell if they’re a bit drier than they should be. Boom.

Ready for my close-up!

I sometimes have this moment after I’ve finished a bake, where I realize I have no idea how to make it look nice in a photo. While I sometimes cast a houseplant in a supporting role, it’s usually just extra ingredients that make it look complete!

Strawberries to the rescue!

While the piped dollops of pastry cream on top were super cute, I wanted more in each bite. Solution: put a big spoonful of cream on the side with each cake when you serve it! I only got 12 cakes out of this recipe instead of the 24 it claimed, so there was plenty of extra cream. (My loaf pan must have been bigger than the molds Peter used, oops!)

Happy munching!

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