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Nostalgic Savarine Cake

When I was a little girl, my favorite birthday cake my mom used to make me was this Savarine cake. It’s some kind of an outtake on French classical cake Baba au Rum, but it’s much easier to make and contains no yeast.

It’s actually a very high, airy and fluffy cake, soaked with lots of syrup (with or without rum) and topped with a huge mound of whipped vanilla cream and fresh berries. It’s as good as it sounds, and always reminds me of childhood.

Nostalgic Savarine Cake

Photo: Natalie Levin



Nostalgic Savarine Cake

24 cm round cake pan

For the cake:
6 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
200 grams (1 cup) sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
180 ml. (3/4 cup) vegetable oil
140 grams (1 cup) all-purpose flour
140 grams (1 cup) plain breadcrumbs
1.5 tsp. baking powder

For the syrup:
240 ml. (1 cup) water
200 grams (1 cup) sugar
a little red food coloring (optional)

For the cream:
250 ml. heavy cream
20 grams (3 tbsp.) icing sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. cream stabilizer or instant vanilla pudding mix

Decoration:
Strawberry or raspberry jam
Fresh raspberries
Sugar powder

Nostalgic Savarine Cake

Photo: Natalie Levin

Preparation:

  1. Cake: preheat oven to 170c degrees and grease the pan.
  2. In a mixer bowl, whip egg whites and salt until a whitish foam forms.
  3. Continue whipping while gradually add in the sugar. Continue to whip until stable and glossy meringue forms.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk egg yolks, vanilla and oil until blended.
  5. Reduce the speed of the mixer and add the egg yolks mixture in a thin stream until blended, light and elastic.
  6. Add in flour, bread crumbs and baking powder and stir gently with a spatula until you get a smooth batter.
  7. Pour the batter into the pan, flatten the top and bake for about 35-45 minutes or until the cake is golden brown, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool completely at room temperature. Skew holes at the top of the cake in order to help syrup to be absorbed.
  9. Syrup: put water, sugar and food coloring in a small pot and heat to a boil. Cook for another 2-3 minutes after boiling and make sure all the sugar has dissolved.
  10. Remove from heat and generously brush the cold cake with hot syrup. Let it absorb the whole amount of syrup gradually.
  11. Cool completely in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
  12. Transfer the cake from the pan and put on a serving dish.
  13. Cream: in a mixer bowl put cream, powdered sugar, vanilla and cream stabilizer and whip until very stable cream is formed.
  14. Transfer the whipped cream into a piping bag with a serrated 2 cm piping tip and pipe mounds of whipped cream on top of the cake.
  15. Pour strawberry or raspberry jam in the center of the cake and arrange some fresh raspberries. Sprinkle some powdered sugar and serve.

Notes:

  • Keep the cake in a closed container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.
  • You can use any kind of jam you like.
  • It is important that all the syrup is absorbed in the cake to remain soft, moist and juicy.
  • Add the decorations before serving.
Nostalgic Savarine Cake

Photo: Natalie Levin

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