For the dough:
- 6 tablespoons warm water (about 100°F)
- 11/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in fourths, at room temperature
For soaking and assembling:
- 1 recipe soaking syrup (2 cups water, 1 cup sugar)
- A few tablespoons raspberry purée (or apricot jam)
- 2 cups assorted fresh berries, such as blueberries, blackberries, and sliced strawberries
- 3 tablespoons poire (pear) eau-de-vie (or brandy)
- Whipped cream
Makes 8 servings
To make baba dough, pour water into a bowl and sprinkle yeast and sugar over it. Add egg and mix. Put flour in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and add yeast mixture. Mix on low until blended. Beat until smooth on medium-low, about 8 minutes. Add butter and beat on low until the butter is absorbed. Remove bowl from mixer and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 15 minutes.
Brush a ring mold with clarified butter and fill with dough. Cover mold and let rise 30 minutes, or until dough fills mold. Position a rack in upper third of oven and preheat to 350°F. Put savarin on parchment-lined jelly-roll pan and bake 20 minutes, until golden. Unmold onto cooling rack and cool completely.
Bring soaking syrup to boil and turn off heat. Place cooling rack over a parchment-lined jelly-roll pan. Spoon hot syrup over savarin, a few tablespoons at a time, soaking pastry until it cannot hold any more. Leave savarin on rack until cool.
Put about 2 teaspoons of water into a sauté pan, add the raspberry purée, and warm the sauce. Add 1/2 to 1 cup assorted berries. Sugar to taste and bring to a boil. Add 1 cup berries, and stir gently. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Transfer savarin to serving plate and drizzle with eau-de-vie. Fill center of savarin with whipped cream and top with warmed, saucy berries. Spoon whipped cream into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch star tip, and pipe a ring of rosettes around the base. Serve immediately.