Inspired by the Savarin Technical Challenge in Patisserie Week of Bake Off, I decided to put my own spin on the savarin and I created my Salted Caramel White Chocolate and Lemon Savarins which are a perfect treat to have in front of the fire this winter or Bonfire Night!
This sticky enriched dough is flavoured with lemon and soaked with a lemon syrup and finished with a drizzle of salted caramel and white chocolate. It’s a surprisingly effective combination of flavours with the sharp zing of the lemon cutting through the sweet white chocolate and syrup and the salt in the caramel tones down the sweetness.
If you are afraid of making caramel, then there’s a secret method of making salted caramel which should be right up your street. Non-stick pans and stirring caramel can often lead to crystallisation; this is when melted sugar begins to reform into its crystalline state. But the addition of some ingredients such as milk or cream will inhibit the crystallisation because of the fat in them.
So if you are unlucky enough to have your sugar crystallise, heating the crystallised caramel with the cream and margarine in the pan and whisking constantly will eventually give you a thick amber brown salted caramel. The sugar will eventually heat up and start to liquefy and emulsify with the cream to form a caramel sauce.
And as we’ve seen on Bake Off so many times, it’s very easy to crystallise sugar so knowing that cream can easily remedy your crystallised caramel is a good tip to have on hand.
Here are some other food bloggers’ salted caramel recipes:
For the savarin dough:
240g plain flour
½ tsp salt
1 x 7g sachet of fast-action dried yeast
Zest of ½ a lemon
70ml whole milk
100g margarine, melted
For the lemon syrup:
140g granulated sugar
50ml lemon juice
Zest of ½ a lemon
For the salted caramel:
2 tbsp margarine
175ml single cream
½ tsp salt
50g white chocolate, melted, to decorate
Place the flour in your bowl and add the yeast to one side of the bowl and the salt to the other side or the salt could retard the yeast. Stir to combine everything and add in the sugar and lemon zest. Then make a well in the centre and crack in the 2 eggs.
In a separate bowl or cup, melt the margarine with the milk in a microwave. Pour in three-quarters of the liquid into the well and use a spatula to start to bring everything together into a dough. Add the rest of the liquid and combine to form a soft dough which has the consistency of a thick batter.
On a well floured surface, pour out the dough and begin to knead. You may need to add extra flour if the dough is very soft but use a lift and folding action where your hands are in the shape of a claw and you scrape under the dough, flip it over and slap it back down on the table. This is the easiest way to knead a wet dough.
After a good 7/8 minutes of kneading, the dough will start to become smooth and not stick to the table as readily. It is at this point you want to roll the dough around the table to pick up the excess dough stuck on the surface and continue to knead until you can press a floured finger in and it springs back almost all the way. Place in an oiled bowl and cover with clingfilm and leave to prove for 75 minutes.
Prepare the salted caramel by stirring together the sugar and water over a medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Allow the sugar solution to bubble away and boil until the water has evaporated and the sugar starts to turn to caramel, giving the pan the occasional swirl only.
When the caramel reachs a dark amber colour (for reference, my caramel turned the colour of my savarins), remove it from the heat, step back and carefully add in the margarine and double cream (see above if your sugar has crystallised) and whisk until the cream emulsifies and you have a caramel sauce. Be careful as it does spit and hiss. Leave on the heat for around 30 seconds until it is thick and glossy, add in the salt and pour into a bowl to cool down.
When the dough has proved, knock it back and knead for 1 minute. Divide the dough up into 6 equal portions and roll out each one into a 2cm wide sausage and join the 2 ends to form a ring. Roll the ring between your hands to smooth out the join and place them into the greased and sugar-dusted savarin moulds. Cover with oiled clingfilm and prove for a further 30 – 40 minutes until they have doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 200˚C. Bake the savarins in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes until the tops are golden brown and the savarins have risen.
While the savarins are baking, you should prepare the lemon syrup by bringing the ingredients for the syrup to a boil and it should be a light golden colour – on a thermometer, this registers 110˚C – and not too thick as any further and the syrup will not soak through and it will set hard. It should be fairly liquid and not too thick.
Lift out the savarins from the tins and place around 2 tablespoons of the syrup into each of the savarin moulds and put the savarins back into the tin to absorb the syrup. Then divide the remaining syrup evenly over the tops of the savarins and leave to soak.
Transfer the salted caramel to a piping bag and put the white chocolate in another piping bag. Cut off a small hole and drizzle the caramel over the turned over savarins in a forward and backward motion going around the ring and repeat this for the white chocolate. If you don’t feel confident enough with your piping skills, just drizzle over the caramel and chocolate randomly.