It was Caramel Week on Bake Off and I chose to make a large version of my Salted Caramel, White Chocolate and Lemon Savarins which I made last year when the Bake Off Technical challenge was a savarin.
We saw the bakers struggle with making the caramel for the stroopwafel technical with all of their caramels turning out grainy. However my salted caramel has never come out grainy and the sugar has never crystallised and this is due to the addition of margarine or fat at the right stage; fat inhibits the process of crystallisation so by adding a small amount as the water evaporates, you stop the sugar from being able to crystallise, meaning you can forget about thermometers and brushing down the sides of the pan.
I find that using your eyes and ears to be the best tools for making caramel; the sound and colour of the sugar is often a good indicator when to add ingredients for the salted caramel!
Dusting the mould with the sugar after greasing creates this fantastic dark crackly crust on the savarins and helps to prevent it from sticking to the inside of the silicone doughnut mould, which gives the fantastic shape of the savarin. It’s easy to peel away too when you need to turn it out which is an added bonus! I have used this same mould to create a Giant Victoria Sponge Donut Cake too so click on the name to check it out!
I made this bake to take along to The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice and I thought I was in with a good chance of having it tasted by the panel but alas the producers thought otherwise! This means that you’re going to have to make it and let me know how it tastes!!
For the savarin dough
300g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
50g granulated sugar, plus extra for dusting
1 x 7g sachets of fast action dried yeast
Zest of ½ lemon
60g margarine, melted
About 90ml warm milk
For the lemon syrup
120g granulated sugar
75ml boiling water
Zest of a lemon
30ml lemon juice
For the salted caramel
125g granulated sugar
150ml double cream
½ tsp table salt
50g white chocolate
In the bowl of a free standing mixer, add in the flour. Place the sugar and salt on one of the bowl and add the yeast to the other side of the bowl to avoid retarding the yeast. Add in the lemon zest and on the lowest speed with the dough hook attachment, mix to combine.
While the mixer is running, add in the 2 eggs. Whisk the melted margarine with the milk and then pour it all into the stand mixer. Turn the speed to medium to combine all the ingredients into a dough before switching up to medium high and leaving to knead for about 6 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and then turn out the dough onto a floured surface.
Roll the dough to coat in flour and then knead for a further 2 minutes by hand until the dough is smooth and soft but not sticky. The dough has been kneaded enough when the dough springs back fully when a floured finger is inserted. Transfer to a lightly floured bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to prove for around 75 – 90 minutes or until doubled in size.
Meanwhile prepare the salted caramel. In a clean saucepan, stir together the granulated sugar with the water. Bring the sugar water up to a boil, stirring occasionally. The contents of the pan should be bubbling rapidly and loudly. At this point, add in the margarine and swirl the pan to melt. Allow the sugar to continue to boil and turn to caramel.
When the caramel is a deep amber colour, pour in all of the double cream and carefully use a wooden spoon to mix until the cream has emulsified. Return to the heat for 30 seconds stirring before adding in the salt and transferring to a heatproof bowl to cool. It should be fairly fluid and not too thick as it will thicken upon setting. Leave to cool.
Grease thoroughly one half of a 21cm silicone doughnut mould and dust well with granulated sugar, pouring away the excess
Once the dough has proved, lift out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 30 seconds to knock the air out. Take the dough and roll out into a sausage 5cm wide and join up the ends. Roll the ring between your hands to smooth out the join and make the ring equal in width. You may need to push the dough down to flatten the top slightly. Then cover with clingfilm and prove for 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Bake the savarin for around 30 – 35 minutes and testing the doneness is the same; you may wish to cover with foil if the top is getting too dark for your liking.
While the savarin is baking, prepare the lemon syrup. Stir together all of the ingredients for the syrup in a saucepan and bring to a boil. The syrup should be fairly runny and not too thick and a light golden colour – around 110°C on a thermometer.
When the savarin has come out of the oven, turn it out onto a cooling rack and pour in enough of the lemon syrup to cover the base of the mould and return the savarin to the mould. Then drizzle over the rest of the syrup over the top and leave to soak and cool for about an hour or so. Then level off the top of the savarin so it has a flat base. Turn upside down onto a cooling rack, so the smooth side is on the bottom.
Place the cooled caramel into a piping bag and drizzle it over the savarin using a forward and backward motion working your way around the ring. Repeat this for the white chocolate and leave to set.