An extremely sophisticated and elegant dessert with many layers of flavor. The honey syrup nods to the Jewish New Year tradition of representing a sweet new year, while the bourbon cuts the sweetness just a bit. The goat cheese cut the bitterness of the bourbon, while the salt from the goat cheese and the fig preserves rounded out the honey flavor. It’s a flavor palette that’s very cyclical in nature, much like the the calendar year.
- Cook Time
- Prep Time
- 1 lb. cake flour, or, better yet, French T45 flour
- 2 sticks + 5 tablespoons (21 tablespoons) unsalted butter, very soft
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1⁄4 cup granulated sugar
- 7 eggs, at room temperature
- 4 tablespoons instant yeast
- 60 oz.s honey
- 20 oz. water
- Bourbon or whiskey (about 1 tablespoon per serving)
- (May be doubled, if one prefers to use more cream per serving)
- 16 ounces soft chèvre goat cheese, such as Natural & Kosher goat cheese
- 8 ounces heavy cream
- 1⁄4 cup fig preserves
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Add 1/3 of the butter, and eggs, two at a time, to the flour until all of it is incorporated into the dough. You should have a sticky, but silky batter at this point. Stir in the yeast.
2. With the hook attachment, knead the batter on medium speed for about 15 minutes. The dough may begin to pull away from the sides of the bowl at this point. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the batter to sit for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until the batter has at least doubled in bulk.
3. Preheat oven to 400°F. Using your fingers, prepare a savarin mould, or a 12-cup Bundt pan by generously greasing with softened butter. After the first rise, return the bowl to the mixer and knead with the hook attachment once more for two minutes. Transfer the batter to the baking pan, cover, and let rise once more until doubled in bulk, about an hour.
4. Bake savarin for 30 minutes. If you've greased the pan properly, the savarin will be quite easy to remove. If, upon removing it, you find the center to be in need of a little more browning, increase the oven temperature to 450°F, return the savarin to the pan, and bake up to an extra ten minutes. Due to the high fat content, this cake will brown very quickly, so take extra care to monitor the browning process.
5. Remove savarin immediately from pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Cover with a towel and leave the cake to "dry" for 24 hours.
6. After savarin has dried, prepare the syrup by combining the honey and water. The syrup should be the consistency of olive oil. Place savarin onto a large serving platter. Poke holes in the top and sides of the savarin with a chopstick or large skewer angling toward the center of the cake, and ladle the syrup, little by little, over the top of the savarin until the cake stops absorbing the syrup. Let the savarin rest 20 minutes or so in between soakings, to give it time to soak up the syrup, and then ladle on some more. Continue adding syrup over the cake until most of the liquid is absorbed (a shallow pool around the bottom of the savarin is fine). Allow the cake to rest at least two hours, periodically basting it, every so often when you remember, with the pan syrup (a turkey baster can be useful at this stage, but careful spooning also works well).
Prepare the cream: In a large bowl, beat heavy cream until medium peaks form. Add goat cheese, and beat on medium-low speed until com- bined and smooth, taking care not to over-beat and break the cream. Stir in fig preserves until well combined.
To serve: Decoratively piping the cream into the center of the ring and garnish- ing with fresh figs makes a dramatic presentation, but it's equally as lovely to serve the savarain in slices, garnished with the cream and sliced fresh figs. Finish off each slice with about a tablespoon (use enough to suit your taste) of whiskey before serving. This is a dessert best served cold, but will also do just fine at room temperature, as long as the cream is cold.
Recipe originally published in Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Magazine Fall 2014 Subscribe Now