Savarin Cake with Vanilla-Grand Marnier Syrup

Muscat wine and Grand Marnier makes this pud a must for grown-ups.

  • Preparation Time20 mins
  • Cooking Time35 mins
  • Serves8
  • DifficultyMedium

For the cake

85ml water
2 tbsp cream
7g active dry yeast (10g package)
3.5 tbsp granulated sugar
210g strong flour, plus extra for the tin
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp finely grated orange zest
Generous pinch fine salt
110g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for the tin
Cooking spray

For the syrup

125ml water
170g caster sugar
1 whole vanilla pod
250ml dessert wine, such as Muscat
2 to 4 tbsp Grand Marnier or any other orange flavoured liqueur

For the garnish

190ml double cream, whipped
Currants or berries
Special equipment: 1 (20-cm) ring mould, preferably non-stick

Position a rack in the centre of the oven and preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Warm the water and cream in a medium saucepan over low heat until it is about 38°C. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Sprinkle the yeast and sugar over the top of the surface of the liquid and let sit without stirring until foamy, about five minutes.

Add the flour and mix with the paddle at medium speed to make a moist dough. Add the eggs, mixing until combined, about 2 minutes. Increase the speed to high and beat thoroughly for 2 minutes. Stop and scrape down the bowl; add the orange zest and salt. Gradually add the butter while mixing, then beat on high speed to make a stretchy, tacky batter, about 3 minutes.

Generously butter and flour a ring mould. Scoop the batter into the mould and smooth over the top with a spatula. Cover loosely with cling film sprayed with cooking spray and set aside in a warm place until batter rises about 3/4 up the sides of the pan, about 30 minutes.

4) Bake the savarin until golden brown, and a cake tester inserted into the centre comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes. Cool the savarin in the pan until cool enough to handle, about ten minutes. Flip onto a rack to cool completely.

5) Meanwhile make the syrup. Put the water and sugar in a medium sauce pan. Split the vanilla pod lengthwise and scrape out the seeds; add both vanilla seeds and pod to the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and add wine and orange liqueur.

6) Place the savarin in a lipped serving platter and pour the warm syrup over the top of the cake. Turn the savarin over a few times until fully saturated with syrup. Cover and refrigerate for an hour. Spoon the syrup over the cake a couple of times while it chills to fully soak the cake.

7) When ready to serve, if there is more than a pool of syrup on the platter pour the excess into a bowl or jug and serve on the side. Spoon whipped cream into the middle of the savarin, and top with desired fruit. Serve.

Cook's Note: The savarin and syrup can be made up to three days ahead, but soak the savarin the day it is served. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to overnight, or freeze for 2 weeks. Defrost and bring to room temperature before soaking in the syrup.

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