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French Ring Cake (Savarin)

This is traditionally served with fresh fruit in France.

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)
  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Savarin Syrup

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup brandy, rum or orange-flavored liqueur

Instructions

  1. Cake: Dissolve yeast in warm water in 3-quart bowl.
  2. Stir in butter, eggs, 2 tablespoons sugar, the salt and 1 cup of the flour. Beat until smooth.
  3. Stir in remaining flour until smooth. Beat 25 strokes.
  4. Spread batter evenly in well-greased 8-cup metal ring mold or 10-inch tube pan.
  5. Cover; let rise in warm place until almost double, 50 to 60 minutes.
  6. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  7. Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. If top is browning too quickly, cover loosely with aluminum foil.
  8. Cool in mold for 10 minutes.
  9. Remove from mold; cool slightly on wire rack.
  10. Savarin Syrup: Heat sugar and water to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered 2 minutes; cool to lukewarm. Stir in brandy.
  11. Place cake on serving plate.
  12. Poke holes in cake with a fine skewer.
  13. Slowly drizzle syrup on cake until all syrup is absorbed.
  14. Press apricot preserves through strainer.
  15. Heat preserves and 2 tablespoons sugar to boiling, stirring constantly; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered until slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes.
  16. Cool for 10 minutes.
  17. Spread apricot glaze over cake.
  18. Cake can be served with fresh berries or peaches and sweetened whipped cream if desired.

Baba au Rhum

Stir 1/2 cup raisins into Savarin batter. Spread in well-greased 8- or 9-cup metal mold or 9-cup Bundt cake pan. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Use rum in the syrup and omit apricot glaze if desired.

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