For one of the first dinner parties I ever catered, I made these raspberry hazelnut savarins. I used the recipe from this cookbook, The Best of Gourmet 1987 Edition. These were compilation cookbooks of Gourmet Magazine recipes.
I also own the 1986, 1989, and 1990 editions, and they’re all fabulous and timeless. I honestly don’t know why I quit buying them – maybe they quit making them. Of course, they’re not as sophisticated as today’s cookbooks, especially with regards to the food styling and photography, but all of them have great menu ideas for for a variety of year-round parties, with hundreds of other recipes as well.
I grew up with a variation of a savarin – called a baba au rhum. I never liked them, because I’ve never liked the flavor of strong alcohol, and my mother would soak the dickens out of these little cakes with rum. As an adult, I still don’t like a heavy hand when it comes to alcohol in baked goods.
These little hazelnutty cakes are made from a yeast-based dough. A hazelnut syrup is brushed on the cakes, and then they are brushed with a raspberry glaze. What’s not to like?!! I used my little Nordic Ware pans that look like mini bundt pans, because they’re so cute and the perfect size and shape for an individual dessert.
The crumb of these yeasted cakes is light, and the frangelico is nicely subtle.
So here is the recipe from the above cookbook, altered only so slightly. Hope you like them!
Raspberry Hazelnut Savarins
1/3 cup half and half
2 teaspoons yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/4 cups white flour
1/3 cup toasted and finely ground hazelnuts
2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk whisked with 1/2 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup Frangelico
1/4 cup raspberry jam, preferably seedless
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons Frangelico
Warm the half and half in a medium-sized bowl until barely hot. You should be able to hold your pinky in the liquid. Sprinkle the yeast and then the sugar over the half and half. Let sit for 5 minutes, then stir to dissolve.
Place the bowl in a warm place, like a turned off oven or warming drawer, for about 10 minutes. The mixture will have foamed up and increased in volume.
Whisk 1/4 cup of flour into the liquid. Cover the bowl and place it somewhere warm, undisturbed, for about 30 minutes.
Add the hazelnuts and beat the mixture until it is combined well.
In a small bowl whisk together lightly the eggs and the salt and add the mixture and the remaining 1 cup of flour to the yeast mixture alternately in 2 batches, beating well after each addition.
Beat in the butter, 1 piece at a time, beating well after each addition, and beat the batter well for 3 minutes.
Spoon the batter into a buttered and floured mold, smoothing the top, and let it rise, covered with plastic wrap, for 30 minutes.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 17-18 minutes, or until the top is slightly browned. Let them cool in the molds on a rack for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan combine the sugar and water, bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved, and simmer it for 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the Frangelico.
Place the savarins on a rack over a jelly roll pan. Brush the syrup onto the warm savarins, then let them cool completely.
In a small saucepan combine the preserves, the Frangelico and sugar, bring the mixture to a boil, stirring, and simmer it, stirring, for 2 minutes. Just before serving, brush a slightly warmed raspberry glaze onto each savarin.
I served mine with whipped cream.
This recipe makes 6 individual savarins, or one large one, baked 25-30 minutes.