Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Dessert Without Cheese, For Mr. Savarin

A twist on the classic Savarin
If you’ve spent any time reading about food, you’ve probably come across Brillat-Savarin’s most famous quote:
“Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.”
But here’s one with which you may not be as familiar:
“A dessert without cheese is like a beautiful woman with only one eye.“
I hear you Mr. Savarin! That’s like saying:

“A day without iced tea is like a thorn with no rose.” 

Wait, no. Maybe something like: “A day without wine is like a Monday.”**

No, it needs a little more punch... I got it: “A day without chocolate is like a hot branding iron applied to the skin.”

There! See? I can relate.

It’s ironic, then, that this dessert, named for the famous gastronome himself, has nary a trace of cheese. It has yeast and rum, and luscious cream and berries, but, in my version at least, there is no bacteria in sight.

Thanks to my sister, for the homemade blackberry jam.
Once again, the Tuesdays with Dorie project has inspired me to break out of my cozy little dessert cocoon and spread my wings. The cake, which poofs up from a satiny yeast batter, is cooled to room temperature. Next the cake gets pickled in a sugar-water-rum solution. (Hence it's other pseudonym, "Baba Au Rhum.") The center of this (mildly) boozy beauty is supposed to feature whipped cream and warm, blackberry puree-soaked berries, but I managed to squeeze in a new twist:

Ever since our first ladies' tea, I've been longing for lemon curd. It was time to pucker up and get serious about making my own. Conveniently, a friend passed along this perfect recipe via King Arthur Flour (eight minutes in the microwave!). So I combined the lemon curd with the whipped cream to provide a little extra zing for the filling (a little punch in honor of Mr. Savarin's linguistic prowess, if you will). 

The lemon curd filling, combined with an overnight refrigeration period, catapulted the dessert from a polite "yum" to "I REALLY THINK I NEED TO HAVE SECONDS" in no time. Good thing I doubled the recipe.

The warm berries melted the lemon-whipped cream. It was much more flavorful the next day, after everything had cooled and the yeast in the cake had developed
The full recipe for this Savarin can be found in Baking With Julia, by Dorie Greenspan. For more ideas on what to do with it, visit the other bloggers at our baking group, Tuesdays with Dorie.

**Contributed by the Master Of The House (MOTH, for short).


  1. Love the post! And the addition of lemon curd sounds amazing!

  2. Lemon curd!! Brilliant addition! Once reminded about lemon curd, I realize life is much sweeter albeit a little sour with and without it!

  3. Now I wish we have a microwave, so I can have lemon curd in 8 minutes! Your savarin looks and sounds delicious with the berries and curd!

  4. Love lemon! What a great idea to mix it in with the cream. I agree that an overnight rest is beneficial. I had leftovers two days later and thought it tasted so much better.

  5. Oh! Lemon curd ... that just had to be delicious!

  6. How delicious! I have some lemon curd in the pantry... Now I know what I can do with it.
    I made an orange and chocolate savarin...yumm!

  7. Lemon curd is my kryptonite.
    Lovely dessert - with or without the cheese.


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