This week was the semi-final of GBBO and the episode was all about patisserie. For the signature bake, contestants had to make a savarin, which is a yeasted cake that is soaked in sugar that often has some alcohol in it and then topped with whipped cream and fruit. A rum baba is a type of savarin. For the technical challenge, they had to make a Danish cornucopia. You can see what that looks like on their website here. For the showstopper, they had to make mini cube cakes, which had layers of sponge, mouse and other fillings and were coated in chocolate. You can see an example of what one of the contestants did here.
I settled on trying a savarin cake. I had seen one before in a previous season of GBBO and have been interested in trying it. I decided to go with Paul Hollywood’s recipe but do a tropical twist by making a mango lime curd from a Bon Apetit recipe. Instead of regular whipped cream, I tried making a coconut whipped cream by whipping up coconut cream to add to the tropical flavour. I then topped it with sliced mango and kiwi and some raspberries for colour.
The Paul Hollywood recipe makes less syrup than other recipes I looked at, but the cake is soaked in the syrup in the tin it’s baked while it cools in rather than just dunking it in a pot of syrup as other recipes do. After it is cooled you set the bottom of the cake in some leftover syrup and let that soak for 15 minutes.
Overall the results were okay, but not great. The top of the cake, which had soaked in the syrup as the cake cooled was lovely, but the bottom half was quite dry. The mango-lime curd tasted good but tasted more like lime. It was hard to tell there was any mango in it. The coconut cream was not to our liking at all!
I think that I would try this cake again in the future because there were elements that I really enjoyed! Next time, I would make double the syrup and try to make sure the whole cake was well soaked. I would also opt for regular whipped cream, perhaps with a bit of coconut extract, if I wanted to attempt a tropical flavour profile again.