Anne's Red-Wine Savarin


Author and instructor Anne Willan prepares a sweet, delicious dessert with a red-wine glaze.


  • ½ cup warm (100 degrees to 110 degrees) water

  • 1 package active dry yeast

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 4 large eggs

  • cup unsalted butter, room temperature, plus melted butter for the mold

  • 1 ½ quarts berries (such as strawberries, blackberrries, or raspberries)

  • 3 cups fruity red wine (such as Lambrusco, Merlot, or Gamay)

  • 1 ½ cups sugar


  1. Make the savarin: Place 1/2 cup warm water in a small bowl, and sprinkle yeast over water; let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Sift flour, sugar, and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the center, and pour the foamy yeast and eggs into well. Mix with your hands, gradually drawing in the flour, and work to form a smooth and floppy dough. Cup your hand and beat the dough, lifting it up and letting it drop back into the bowl so it hits with a slap, until it is elastic and very smooth, about 5 minutes. You could also mix and knead the dough in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment.

  2. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel, and leave it in a warm place until the dough has doubled in bulk, 45 to 60 minutes.

  3. Brush a 1 1/4-quart ring mold with the melted butter, and chill it in the freezer. When butter has set, butter it again. When the dough has risen, add butter and work it into the dough with your hand. Alternatively, you can place the dough in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and work the butter in. Transfer the dough to the prepared mold, letting it drop from the spoon so it is evenly distributed around the mold. Place in a warm spot to rise until the mold is full, 30 to 45 minutes.

  4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake the savarin until brown and beginning to pull away from the sides of the mold, 20 to 25 minutes. Turn it out onto a rack to cool. The savarin may be baked ahead and stored in a plastic bag for up to 3 days.

  5. Make the syrup and glaze: In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, heat wine with 1 cup sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Raise heat, and bring the syrup to a boil; simmer for 2 minutes. Place the savarin on a rack over a rimmed baking sheet, and spoon the hot syrup over the top. The savarin should puff up dramatically and lighten as it absorbs the syrup. Reheat the syrup that falls onto the baking sheet, and continue basting until only about 1/2 cup remains. Set this syrup aside, and transfer the savarin to a serving platter.

  6. Fill the center of the savarin with berries. Combine the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and the reserved syrup in a small saucepan over low heat, and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Continue to simmer until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon, 3 to 5 minutes. Let the glaze cool slightly, then brush it over the savarin and the berries. The savarin may be kept for up to 2 hours. Serve at room temperature.

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