Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Velvet Underground - Dharma Bums and a Killer Savarin Recipe

Sometimes statistics, odds and probabilities dumbfound me.

How can it be that I have led a somewhat active existence for close to 1/2 a century, and yet I still run into concepts and ideas, many of which are based in my camps of interest......and yet these gems still have found a way to elude me?

Klecko is perplexed by this......but yet grateful for their eventual discovery.

Towards the end of last year I told you L.A.B. Rats about my quest for embracing silence.

As I have started participating in solitude, it's kinda like some cosmic key has turned over and opened some unknown passage ways.

Is Klecko going new age?

LOL.....not really, but the day we begin to observe changes in the patterns of the way we live, and don't address them, well thats regression city huh?

Like dead celebrities, blessings often times will come in 3's, so sit back, relax, and let me tell you what's been biting at the baker as of late.

#1 -

Like all good stories, this one starts with Sue McGleno, the 2 of us went to the gym together, and the both of us agreed to work out for an hour, maybe 75 minutes.

Well I followed the rules and at 80 minutes I approached my sweaty little goddess on the dreadmill and told her I was ready to roll.

"I got 20 minutes left" she informed me in a matter of fact fashion. When I explained to her that 81 minutes had now elapsed, I could tell she was getting irritated....

"You can't start the clock until you get out on the floor. It took me awhile to get dressed in the changing room."

Klecko has lived long enough to realize this was a war that couldn't be won, so instead of fighting....he simply went next door to Cheapo Discs to look at CD's.

Don't you just love that CLICK-CLICK-CLICKING of 21 people rifling through CD's at the same time.

My original intent was to find U2's Zooropa album, but Saint Paul is a city of Mick's and the U2 pile was Klecko just moved to his left.

There wasn't much space between U2 and the Velvet Underground, when I saw one of the "VU's" discs with a banana painted by Andy Warhol on it's cover....I stopped.

Funny, I have almost worshiped Lou Reed since I can remember, with zero embellishment here....I'll guess that I've listened to his Transformer-New York and Songs for Drella albums 5000 times, but with that said......

I have never purchased or played a single minute of his flagship bands (the Velvet Underground) music for even a second.

I ended up buying 3 of their discs, and earlier this week when I drove Tydus back to Iowa.....I slipped The Velvet Underground & Nico into the disc chamber and BAM-BANG-BOOM........

I simply couldn't believe what I was hearing, I hadn't heard an album I liked from wire to wire, upon first hearing since The Joshua tree.

Looking For My Man


Black Angel Song

These songs contained lyrics, riffs and concepts that Morrison and Dylan were trying to achieve.

Lou Reed is w/o a doubt an Icon that hasn't been realized to the depth he deserves.

#2 -

I've read some Kerouac, On the Road, that Burning Hippo's thing where he rotated writing chapters with Burroughs......but that's about it.

Then recently, somehow....and to be honest I can't say I quite remember how...but somehow I got my hands on The Dharma Bums.

The thing I love about Kerouac is his compulsive behavior. If he spent an hour watching television, he'd list every commercial that was on, how many cigarettes he smoked, who called him during the program.

He is neurotic with details.

When you mention the word detail, most people stop for a second, because this denotes that we should be silent, pay attention and be prepared to witness some level of truth......

Not always, some details are merely observations, and if you become friends with Kerouac get to hear them all.

Anyways, this book takes places in the Pacific Northwest. Kerouac mostly drinks wine and searches the "Buddha Trail" for enlightenment.

He introduces you to other acquaintances whose goals (or lack of) are aligned with his own.

That's it......the the book in a nut shell.

For 244 pages you basically get to read one big a** paragraph describing these things.

And for reasons unknown to me......I was 4 levels deeper than enthralled.

Kerouac would confess that he was an idiot (I say this in complete reverence)who doesn't know the truth, but maybe he's just hoping to stumble onto or into it, for awhile at least.

Wow......this book was written in 1958, 5 years before the birth of Klecko, and w/o becoming Kerouac redundant.....I just got to tell you, when he mentioned trying to understand silence.....the hook was set, and being that I just recently finished this book, I'm guessing it's going to influence the outcome of my life.

Jack Kerouac is the kid who sat next to you in study hall, the kid you hated....just not enough to punch him though. He was a jester, a fool, a mad man....and a genius.

If you erased all the obsessive werido's in the world.....I might be his biggest fan.

I have Dharma Bums in my hand, if you want my copy....let me know.

Oh last thing I wanted to ask, inside the book, on the front page, there is a name and phone number listed.

I never understood people who placed marks of identification on their books, it isn't wrong, it just kinda creeps me out.

Have you ever asked to borrow a book from one of these people? and when you can tell how nervous they are.

They usually will remind you in no uncertain terms of your responsibilities, like as if you were going to take their 9 week old baby down a bob sled course.

Anyways.....Libbey Hulser 612 655 3777, this name and these digits are the ones listed on the front page.

The prefix "612" is Minneapolis, so the 2 of us are practically neighbors.

I can't tell you how many times I have been tempted to call the number to find out if Libbey is still alive, did she like the book, did she lose the I need to return it.

But mostly it just seems the the nexus for a great story.

Sometimes information is placed in your sight line to tempt fate,but Klecko's maturing and turning his back to impulse...finally, I've decided it might be best for all parties if Libby Hulser simply remains in my mind.

#3 Savarin's

30 years I've baked. 30 year's I've labored and daydreamed all at the same time.

3 decades can produce many chapter, all of them have had a purpose, but I must say that there are parts of "Chapter Now" that I really enjoy.

Since Hennessy has come aboard, an optimism has rekindled throughout the bakery.

She is so ambitious, and devoted to everything she does.

In fact, she's kinda happy to a fault....LOL.

If Hennessy tells you that she likes something about what you have done, or what you are is certain to be complimentary, Klecko loves this as you can imagine.....but sometimes her grand gestures become deluded because you'll hear her telling some guy how wonderful he danced last night, only to realize that the dude has no legs.

An eternal optimist.

Hennessy chooses to be optimistic and open minded. You can't ask for anything more from a colleague....or a friend.

Anyways, last year I was talking about how I have spent most of my life in breads and one day I hoped I would dedicate time to mastering a signature dessert.

It was a little more than a passing comment, but it wasn't carved in stone.

Several hours passed and Hennessy storms into our office with a tattered up tattery cook book and points to a picture.....

"Savarins, that's it. There is your signature. It is a yeast based item which you are familiar with, all you would need to do is work on a glaze, pastry cream and compote.

Yeah, they are kind of timely, but I think that says - you."

Then her chocolate covered hands slap the book down in front of me, and woosh...she was gone.

Klecko was kinda touched.

Now if you are not hip to what a Savarin is, it's kinda like one of those Epiphany crowns you see.

You mix up a dough, kinda like a Brioche, but it's consistency is a little tackier, a little stickier. You form it into a ball, and then you stick your thumb into the middle and slowly-gently pull the dough away from the middle forming a halo looking thing.

Then you place it into an appropriate size Bundt pan, and when it bakes off,let it cool a bit, but not all the way. Then you transfer the Savarin to the serving plate and then paint a booze laced glazed over it. Most of the time some form of apricot it utilized.

Next you whip up a pastry cream. Some people go light, almost like a whipping cream, but I want mine to have some viscosity. Klecko chooses a thicker pastry cream because after piping said cream into the cavity inside the crown, next you will place either fresh fruit or a compote over that.

Savarin's come in single unit sizes or traditional 9" birthday cake sizes.

There really is no wrong way to go here, but I do think the 9" gives a more dramatic effect.

When you take that first slice off the cake, and people see that 3 berry compote onto of that alabaster colored pastry cream.....just look at their faces.

It will be as if they just saw Jesus and a monkey on unicycles.

Savarins are considered French, but in all actuality it was developed by us Pollacks.

That shouldn't be to surprising though, many a Euro kitchen has been filled with Poles over the years.

When I've mentioned that Pollacks had designed as many French pastries as the French, I've seen a person or 2 scoff, but think about it.

Who develops the majority of American recipes in most kitchens across the United States?

Answer.....the Mexicans.

Anyways.....Savarin's became the total rage not only in France but even in early America.

In some things I read, they were so commonplace that you'd often be served Savarin when riding cable cars in San Fransisco....

But like most things that hit epic levels...the Savarin went from white hot super nova to complete oblivion.

The world kinda blocked them from their mind like a violent crime.

But the thing that you will love so much with this concept is that you get to play with so many unique textures, the crumbwall of the crown. it's interior, the cream and the compote.

This recipe is really basic.....but it so jerks with the diners mouthfeel (in a good way of course) that I'd have to say it simply is a must on your to do list.

But-But-But......if you are not going to attempt this, just take a second to think.

This was the biggest pastry splash on the world at one time.

There has to be a reason why, so think of the separate component's of the recipe, and steal from it what you can and implement it into your baking arsenal.

OK, I've overstayed my welcome....Klecko - Out

I took the following from the Food site and shuffled it up a bit.


For the dough:

* 6 tablespoons milk
* 2 tablespoons warm water
* 1 heaping teaspoon sugar
* 1/4 ounce fresh yeast
* 5 tablespoons butter, slightly softened
* 1 3/4 cups flour
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 3 eggs

For the syrup:

* 1 1/2 cups sugar
* 1 tablespoons rum
* 1 tablespoon orange liqueur
* 2 cups water

To finish the dish:

* 1 pint strawberries
* 1 tablespoon honey
* 1 cup creme fraiche


In a small saucepan, heat 6 tablespoons of milk and 2 tablespoons water until just slightly warm. Pour into a bowl with 1 heaping teaspoon of sugar, whisk to dissolve. Add 1/4 ounce of fresh yeast and whisk to break up and dissolve the yeast. Pour into a standing mixer bowl with the paddle attachment. Turn on low, add 5 tablespoons melted butter. Add the flour and salt and mix just until it comes together. Raise the speed to medium, add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until it becomes elastic and smooth. Turn dough into a bowl, cover with a damp tea towel, and let it rest and proof for 10 minutes. Punch down and allow to rise another 5 minutes. The dough should not proof too long, or the savarins will become crumbly.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Butter each savarin ring. Using your finger, schmear baba dough in the ring to fill it up half way, using about 1 ounce of dough. It will stick to your fingers, but don't dip your fingers in flour to prevent this. Let the dough rise until it reaches the top of the ring, about 30 minutes. Bake the savarins for 15 minutes. Let the cool in their rings then turn them out.

To prepare the syrup, place all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Dip the savarins in the syrup then place them in a rectangular pan and drizzle more syrup over them. Cover and let them soak overnight. Add more syrup the next day if they'll absorb it.

To serve, cut up the strawberries and stir the honey into the creme fraiche. Serve the savarin on a plate with a spoonful of strawberries and a large dollop of honey-creme fraiche. You may put the leftover syrup in a decorative bottle and pour more of it over the dessert as you serve it at the table.


  1. Downy sins of streetlight fancies
    Chase the costumes she shall wear
    Ermine furs adorn the imperious
    Saverin, Saverin awaits you there

  2. LOL.......Finley gets the "Gold Star" of the day.

  3. So glad you're still discovering, and that you still want to - isn't life a wildly satisfying experiment? There is no formula and the results are different every time - when someone tells me they are bored, I seriously have no idea what they speak of.

    "...and the stars were icicles of mockery."

    Oh! and by the way - Perfect Day is my favorite song of all time - I may have listened to Transformer even more times than you. I knew I loved you most, but now - no words can describe the depth of my love.

  4. I love to be loved, and "Perfect Day".....Yeah