Baba au rum

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The method of preparation, as well as the recipe itself, does not differ much from that of savarins. Put flour, dry yeast and sugar in a bowl. Add the warm milk and mix everything with a spatula. Then add the eggs and melted butter and mix everything and finally add the drained raisins and homogenize the composition, which will be quite soft, but do not be scared, so it must be. Cover the bowl with a towel and let the dough rise until it doubles in volume. When the dough has risen enough, with the help of a spoon it is distributed in the forms for savarines, previously greased with butter and lined with flour, or as I did, it is put in silicone forms. Silicone molds are very practical because they do not need to be greased and do not stick. The original recipe stipulates that the "babele" be baked in some tubular shapes, but not having such a thing, we improvise. ;)

Bake the "beans" until golden, then take out on a grill to cool. For the syrup, boil the water with the sugar, then add the rum essence. Take each cake and dip it in syrup with a spoon, then place it on a plate. Finally, the remaining syrup is distributed in the holes of the cakes. Whip the cream together with the powdered sugar, until it becomes firm. I used Sanlacta natural cream, but it still wasn't as firm as it would have been if I used vegetable cream. But the taste is much better. Finally, I have not yet discovered the natural whipped cream that will stand up and fully satisfy me. Decorate the cakes with fresh or frozen fruit. I put frozen raspberries.

Tropical Baba with Rhum by Sebastien Thieffine

Baba has always been a favorite dessert of mine. It reminded me of my childhood, although we couldn’t have it, because it had rum in it, so perhaps it was like a forbidden fruit. The textures and earthy flavors here & # 8212 rum, muscavado sugar, exotic fruits and spices & # 8212 play well with fall menus, while the tropical fruits brighten the palate and bring our Southwest Florida sensibility to the forefront.

Yield: 16 servings

Baba Syrup

  • 1000 g water
  • 500 g granulated sugar
  • 5 star anise
  • 8 coriander seeds
  • 2 vanilla beans
  • Peel of 1 orange
  • Peel of 1 lemon
  • 275 g dark rum
  1. In a saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil, then add the spices and citrus peel and cool.
  2. Add the rum.


  • 15 g fresh yeast
  • 340 g whole milk
  • 285 g bread flour
  • 500 g whole eggs
  • 560 g cake flour
  • 6 g salt
  • 70 g granulated sugar
  • 425 g unsalted butter, room temperature
  1. Make a poolish with the first 3 ingredients, then add the eggs, cake flour, salt and sugar and mix in a 5-qt stand mixer fitted with the paddle on 1st speed. Increase to 2 nd speed once the gluten is developed, and add the butter in small pieces, mixing until it is all incorporated and the dough is smooth.
  2. Proof the dough in a bowl, then fold to deflate the gas, and shape / place it in tart rings. Proof dough again, and just before baking place a Silpat on top the rings, and bake at 360˚F until a tester inserted into the baba comes out clean.
  3. Once the baba are baked, cold-soak them in the syrup for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator.

Muscovado Mascarpone Cream

  • 1000 g heavy cream
  • 500 g mascarpone cheese
  • 100 g muscovado sugar
  1. Mix all ingredients together with a hand blender. Reserve in refrigerator until ready to use.
  2. Whip to soft peaks before using.

Pineapple Foam

  • 340 g pineapple puree
  • 32 g granulated sugar
  • 7 g Versawhip
  • 3 g xanthan gum

In the bowl of a 5-quart mixer, mix all ingredients together and whip to soft peaks. Place in pastry bag.

The original form of the baba was similar to the baba or babka, a tall, cylindrical yeast cake (babka is still baked in Poland and Polish-influenced western Ukraine as well as in Polish communities over the world). The name means "old woman" or "grandmother" in most Slavic languages babka is a diminutive of crone.

The modern baba au rum (rum baba), with dried fruit and soaked in rum, was invented in the rue Montorgueil in Paris, France, in 1835 or before. Today, the word "baba" in France and almost everywhere else outside eastern Europe usually refers specifically to the rum baba.

The original baba was introduced into France in the 18th century via Lorraine. This is attributed to Stanislaus I, the exiled king of Poland. [1] [2] The Larousse Gastronomique has reported that Stanislaus had the idea of ​​soaking a dried Gugelhupf (a cake roughly similar to the baba and common in Alsace-Lorraine when he arrived there) or a baba with alcoholic spirit. Another version [3] is that when Stanislaus brought back a baba from one of his voyages it had dried up. Nicolas Stohrer, one of his pastry chefs (or possibly just apprentice pastry chefs at the time), solved the problem by adding Malaga wine, saffron, dried and fresh raisins and custard. The writer Courchamps stated in 1839 that the descendants of Stanislaus served the baba with a saucière containing sweet Malaga wine mixed with one sixth of Tanaisie liqueur.

Stohrer followed Stanislaus's daughter Marie Leszczyńska to Versailles as her pastry chef in 1725 when she married King Louis XV, and founded his pastry shop in Paris in 1730. One of his descendants allegedly had the idea of ​​using rum in 1835. While he is believed to have done so on the fresh cakes (right out of the mold), it is a common practice today to let the baba dry a little so that it soaks up the rum better. Later, the recipe was refined by mixing the rum with aromatized sugar syrup.

The baba is also popular in Naples, and became a popular Neapolitan specialty under the name crone or father. [4]

The pastry has appeared on restaurant menus in the United States at least since 1899. [5]

In 1844, the Julien Brothers, Parisian pastry chefs, invented the Savarin, which is strongly inspired by the baba au rum but is soaked with a different alcoholic mixture and uses a circular (ring) cake mold instead of the simple round (cylindrical) form. The ring form is nowadays often associated with the baba au rum as well, and the name Savarin is also sometimes given to the rum-soaked circular cake.

That classic French dessert baba au rhum is making a comeback

This article was published more than 1 year ago. Some information in it may no longer be current.

French classic dessert baba au rhum traces its roots back to Nicolas Stohrer.

The first time I tasted a baba au rhum was in pastry school. We had been learning the French classics such as éclairs and St-Honoré, and eventually tackled this bread-like cake, heavily infused with a boozy syrup. The dough is essentially a brioche mixture with so much butter added to it that the texture becomes soft and oozing. It needs to be piped, like a thick cream, into donut-shaped molds for baking. After the crust has taken on a tawny color, the cakes are flipped out of their pan to dehydrate in a low oven. Once cooled, they are soaked and soaked for days like a sponge, swelling until every crumb is saturated. In keeping with tradition, the cake is painted with a glossy glaze and then topped with whipped cream, fresh cream whipped with vanilla.

As I took a bite of my first baba in class, the cake flooded my palate with the fragrant syrup, carrying hints of citrus and vanilla. When it intermingles with the cream, the bittersweet heat of the rum softens. I was surprised that such elegance came from what initially seemed like a bloated bun.

As with most recipes that have endured for generations, the baba au rhum has faithfully been in and out of fashion on French menus. Now, after decades of being relegated to the back of the recipe box, along with frog legs and snail, the baba (and, actually, the frog legs and snail, too) is enjoying a comeback.

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Stohrer's Parisian pastry shop opened in 1730. It still sells an iteration of the dessert today.

Since its invention in the 18th century, the baba au rhum has been considered a monument in France’s culinary legacy. Its origins have taken on a mythical quality. Some say the name derives from babka, another yeast cake from Eastern Europe. Others say that Stanislas I, the exiled Polish king for whom this dessert was first made, happened to be reading a Middle Eastern folk tale in One Thousand and One Nights at the time he tasted it and named it after a character, Ali Baba.

What seems to be consistent is that after Stanislas I was dethroned, he settled in Alsace, where one of his pastry chefs, Nicolas Stohrer, doused a stale yeast cake with Malaga wine. When his daughter, Marie Leszczynska, married King Louis XV, she took Stohrer and the recipe with her to Versailles, and, somewhere along the way, rum replaced wine. In 1730, Stohrer opened his famed pastry shop on Rue Montorgueil, where it still exists as the oldest Patisserie in Paris, selling that same baba au rhum.

Since its invention in the 18th century, the baba au rhum has been considered a monument in France’s culinary legacy.

For French chefs today, the baba’s rich past makes it ideal for reinvention. “It’s a cake so rooted in Parisian history that we wanted to reintroduce it with a modern palate in mind,” says chef Cyril Lignac, who is known for creating one of the French capital’s best babas. He says that, for him, it was crucial to respect the tradition of the pastry, while adding contemporary touches. It takes him three days to create his version, which he decorates with an artisanal French cream spiked with vanilla-infused bourbon.

Patissier Yann Couvreur takes a more audacious approach, replacing the rum with unconventional syrups such as elderflower to impart more flavor and balance sweetness. Inspired by a cake his mother used to make, he also created a version with rice pudding, a creamy rice pudding, placed in the center. For Couvreur, the most crucial step to making the perfect baba is in the proofing of the dough. “The more slowly it proofs, the more silky the baba will become,” he says. "The crumb will be finer and nicer."

Yann Couvreur’s take plays with the flavoring of baba’s sweet syrup, infusing it with unexpected essences such as elderflower.

Despite their different techniques, most chefs agree that the best babas are never too sweet, have an airy crumb and, above all, are very well imbibed. Of all the iterations I have tasted over the years, the one by Alain Ducasse has never been surpassed, and I recently returned to Benoit, his Michelin-starred restaurant, to see if it still stands up.

The historic bistro had been family run since 1912, guarding its recipes closely, until Ducasse took over in 2005. The location was as charming as I had remembered, a perfect mélange of lace curtains, time-worn floors and brass hooks for hats and daily newspapers. After a lunch of gougères, velouté of spring peas and duck confit, I passed on the cheese course and put in my order for dessert. Two generous slices of cake arrived, set on one side of the plate in anticipation of the cream, which was dolloped out liberally from a chilled silver canister. Bottles of Armagnac, one younger and fruitier and the other deeper with caramel notes, were placed on the table. I choose the latter and it was drizzled onto the cake.

At Benoit (above), the signature dessert on the menu is a Savarin, which is a baba in a bundt shape. The restaurant serves it with bottles of Armagnac so diners can tweak the sweetness to their tastes.

The baba was delicious - rustic and yet delicate. The cream was whipped to the perfect consistency, just holding its shape but drooping slightly on the plate. When drenched in the spirit, its sweetness was balanced with spice. Though Benoit’s dessert is technically a Savarin (the same cake infused with a different spirit, in a bundt-shape instead of a Champagne cork-shape) the difference between the two desserts has become so blurred, they are now interchangeable. And after a few boozy bites, who would notice?

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Passionfruit Baba with Rum

This is the recipe for the very first baba au rhum I tasted in pastry school. It was adapted for the North American kitchen and first published in my book, The Measure of My Powers: A Memoir of Food, Misery and Paris.

Yann Couvreur’s take plays with the flavoring of baba’s sweet syrup, infusing it with unexpected essences such as elderflower.

83 grams all-purpose flour

167 grams pastry flour

10 grams granulated sugar

5 grams fine sea salt

150 grams eggs, at room temperature

80 grams unsalted butter, melted

Place the flours, sugar, salt and yeast into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, being sure to keep the salt and yeast separated in the bowl (salt kills fresh yeast when they are in contact with each other, so it is best to keep them apart until you are ready to mix). Whisk the water and eggs together in a pitcher and set aside.

Start the mixer on low speed and pour ⅓ of the egg mixture into the flour mixture. As the flour and egg begin to incorporate in the middle with a ring of flour along the edge, add egg more egg mixture and gradually increase the speed of the mixer to medium, incorporating more of the flour into the egg. Once it becomes incorporated again, add the remainder of the egg mixture and allow the mixer to fully incorporate the remainder of the flour into a dough, scraping the sides of the bowl and the hook as needed. Once the dough comes together (it will be soft), bring the speed of the mixer back to a low speed and begin to add the melted butter, little by little until it is fully incorporated. Knead on medium speed for another 2 minutes.

Place a piping tip ½-inch in diameter into a piping bag and fill it with the dough. Place a set of 12 2½-inch silicone Savarin molds on sheet trays and pipe in the dough, dividing it roughly among the molds. There should be enough dough to come just above the indentation in the Savarin mold but not cover it.

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Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place (such as your oven turned off with just the light on) until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour. If you are proofing the babas in the oven, remove them and preheat the oven to 325F.

When the oven is ready, place the babas in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, then rotate the pan and bake for an additional 10 minutes. They will be light golden brown on the undersides. Remove the pan from the oven and carefully remove each baba from the mold. Place them on a rack on top of a sheet tray and return to the oven for 10 more minutes to evenly brown the crust. Turn the oven off without opening it and allow the babas to dry for 1 to 2 hours or overnight. Cool them to room temperature and store in a dry place until you are ready to soak them.

450 grams granulated sugar

150 grams passion fruit puree (I prefer the brand Boiron)

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150 grams good quality dark rum

3 strips grapefruit peel

Place all the ingredients in a large pot and bring the mixture just to a boil or until all the sugar crystals have dissolved. Pour the syrup into a large casserole dish and allow it to cool to room temperature. Once the babas are at room temperature, place them in the syrup in a single layer. Allow them to soak on one side for a day, and then flip them to soak on the other side for another day, keeping them refrigerated throughout the soaking process.

For the Chantilly cream

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500 grams whipping cream

40 grams confectioner’s sugar, sifted

Seeds of 1 vanilla bean

Whisk together the cream, sugar and vanilla bean seeds until the cream creates stiff peaks. Place in a piping bag fitted with a large star tip.

A bottle of great aged rum

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Place one soaked baba in a shallow bowl with the well facing up. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of the remaining syrup. Pipe a rosette of Crème Chantilly into the center of the well and serve alongside a bottle of great aged rum. Drizzle on the rum to taste.

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Where do we go out when we're on vacation? Top 50 best bars in the world in 2019

What are the best bars in the world in 2019? Where do we go when we travel and what are the stories behind the hottest bars in the world?

What are the best bars in the world in 2019? Where do we go when we travel and what are the stories behind the hottest bars in the world?

Every time we go on vacation we look at what we can visit: museums, parks, castles or amusement parks. But when we get to a new city, we ask ourselves where we eat, followed by where we go out tonight. And to make it easier to find the answers, we have prepared below the list of the most important bars in the world.

We begin our journey across the ocean. And if the skyscrapers and Broadway shows could keep us busy all the time, when we get to New York we have to stop at the Dante Bar in Greenwich. With a history of more than 100 years, it has just been voted first in this top. Its story began in 1915 when it was opened as a cafe, but has become a real phenomenon since 2015, when it was reopened by its owners, Australians Linden Pride and Natalie Hudson.

But Dante is just one of the six bars in New York that entered this top, along with him are The NoMad (4th place) and Attaboy (7th place). And also from the city that never sleeps comes the bar that received the title for the best newly opened bar. This is Katana Kitten, the Japanese-style bar opened in the West Village by Masa Urushido.

Dante (New York City)

Europe is also very well represented in this top, especially thanks to London bars. The capital of the United Kingdom has no less than ten places on the list, starting with The Connaught (2nd place) and The Savoy (5th place). However, Three Sheets (16th place) is the one that raises high expectations from the three years since its establishment. The modern location in East London has a simple weekly menu in three parts, but full of flavors and textures that make waves.

Baba au Rhum

Today & # 8217s Viennoiserie offering is a fairly uncommon food, one that you might spot on the occasional dessert menu. But honestly, there's no good reason for it. A baba au rhum (rum baba) is so simple, so accommodating of schedules, and so delicious that there & # 8217s simply no excuse for any scarcity.

Babas were supposedly invented by Nicolas Stohrer, pastry chef to exiled Polish King Stanislas Leszczyńska (who arrived in France when his daughter married Louis XV). Or maybe they were invented by the good King himself. Or maybe by neither one. The true history is a little fuzzy (but you know how people like stories). Certainly, Nicolas Stohrer & # 8217s Parisian pastry shop, opened in 1730, and the oldest continuously-run pastry shop in Paris, was the first to sell them, and the first to use the now-classic rum, in 1835.

Whatever the case, it & # 8217s is fairly certain that the first baba was another bread or cake (possibly kugelhopf) that had dried out too much to be palatable. To remedy the situation, it was doused in a liquor-based syrup of some sort, and the resulting creation was a smash hit. The story says it was supposedly dubbed a & # 8220baba & # 8221 after Ali Baba, the famous hero of One Thousand And One Nights, a favorite character of King Stanislas. But, more likely, it was named after the same Slavic word, meaning & # 8220grandmother & # 8221 or & # 8220old woman & # 8221. (It was quite long ago you really can & # 8217t blame people for remembering the more entertaining version.)

A nearly-identical version of baba is called the savarin, named after famed gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin. They are made with the same dough, but a savarin is usually shaped like a donut, and is the larger of the two. Babas are more often seen in individual sizes, but are always thimble-shaped. Additionally, babas typically have currants or raisins added, whereas savarins do not. Here, I & # 8217ve made a plain version, so it's a bit of a cross-breed.

These days, bakers and pastry chefs don & # 8217t wait for other items to go stale before making babas these yeasted pastries are instead baked dry on purpose. Taste an un-soaked baba, and you'll be left with a mouthful of cottony crumbs. But soak those styrofoam-like breads in a liquor-laden syrup, and they happily drink it in, transforming into saturated cakes. Heavy and nearly dripping with the stuff, one esteemed chef even suggests leaning forward as you bite into one (per his indulgent suggestion of eating one hand-held, on the go), lest you soak your shirt with the runoff syrup.

Despite the recommendation, babas are hardly ever eaten by hand, served plated instead, with a traditional cherry garnish. A bit of whipped cream would not be out of place, but it & # 8217s wholly unnecessary, as the pastry itself is so incomparably moist that it & # 8217s nearly wet. I found these a bit on the sweet side, but my sous-chef thought them just right. If you like, you can reduce the amount of sugar in the syrup recipe, or you can add some lemon juice to bring in some bitterness.

This recipe may look long, but it's really incredibly simple. If you can make cookies, you can make babas au rum. The method uses a stand mixer for simplicity, but it can just as easily be done by hand if you don't have one. Also, I have seen many recipes that soak the babas whole, but I & # 8217ve cut the tops off. I tried to avoid it, but the syrup just didn & # 8217t soak through the top crust, leaving most of the interior dry as a bone. I imagine that if you have properly slender baba molds (or a popover tin), that problem wouldn & # 8217t not be nearly as bad my fat babas were baked in muffin tins, and just wouldn’t soak properly left whole.

With the tops cut off, however, the syrup had no problems infusing every crumb with its delectable flavor.

They may look a little slumped and homely, but one bite will show you that there & # 8217s nothing plain about these Janes. Could this be the perfect dinner party dessert? Itâ & # x20AC; & # x2122; s neat, easily made ahead of time, and as simple as it can be. All I know is I have a fridge full of them, and they're sure calling my name.

Baba au Rhum
Adapted from The Professional Pastry Chef, by Bo Friberg
Makes 12 individual babas, or 1 large one

For the dough:
3 ounces (about 2/3 cup) unbleached bread flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 cup milk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 ounces (about 1½ cups) cake flour

For the soaking syrup:
3 cups cold water
1 pound (2 1/3 cups) granulated sugar
1 orange, cut into quarters (optional)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons rum

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, yeast, and milk until smooth. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until fully risen and beginning to fall, about 1½ to 2 hours.

2. Oil 12 baba molds, or 12 cups of a nonstick muffin tin, for individual babas. For a single large one, oil a savarin mold, bundt pan (taking care to get in every crevice), angel food pan, or any other similar pan. Do not use butter, as this may pit the surface of the baba.

3. Remove the plastic wrap from the bowl, and whisk in the butter, eggs, and salt until combined. Add the cake flour. Using the paddle attachment, beat the mixture at low speed until fully integrated. Increase the speed to medium-low, and beat for 1 to 2 minutes, or until smooth.

4. For individual babas, divide the mixture evenly among the 12 prepared tins. The dough should come about halfway up each tin. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let sit at room temperature until each has risen to the top of the tin, about 30 to 45 minutes. For a single large baba, spread evenly in the prepared pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in size, about 30 to 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400º F.

5. Bake the babas at 400º F for 20 minutes, or until golden and cooked through. Remove from the tins, and let cool thoroughly at room temperature. These can now be stored at room temperature for a day or so, if necessary (see note 4 below).

6. While babas cool, make the syrup. Stir the water and sugar together in a medium pan over medium-high heat until dissolved. Add the orange, lower the temperature if necessary, and simmer for 5 minutes. Take the pan off the heat, remove the orange, and add the rum.

7. To soak the individual babas (see note 2 below for instructions on soaking one large baba), cut the domed tops off each one. Discard these, or soak separately for baba & # 8220cookies & # 8221. Bring the syrup back to a boil, then turn the heat off. Place one or two babas in the pan of syrup, cut-side up, and press down to submerge. Each individual baba should take around 30 to 60 seconds to soak thoroughly. When done, no more bubbles should come out of the pastry. Make sure the baba is thoroughly soaked by removing from the syrup and cutting a small slit into the center of the baba, to look for any dry spots. If still dry, be sure to soak the remaining babas for a longer time.

8. Remove from the syrup and place, cut-side down, on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet (to catch excess syrup). Let drain until no more liquid comes out. When all babas are soaked, if you have syrup remaining, you can re-heat it to boiling, then pour or spoon it over any babas that may need additional liquid (they will feel firm in the center when pressed lightly thoroughly soaked babas will feel very soft). Serve as soon as possible, or refrigerate, tightly wrapped, until ready to serve.

1. The syrup will soak into the babas more readily if it is kept hot, just off the boil. However, you do not want to have the syrup on the heat while soaking the pastries, as the bubbling will disturb the soaking process, and the constant heat will reduce the syrup too thickly. You can reheat the syrup as necessary between soakings.

2. The soaking instructions are only given for the individual babas. For a single baba, cut the domed top off the pastry, and place cut-side up on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Pour or spoon the boiling-hot syrup over, until thoroughly soaked through. You can re-heat the runoff syrup caught by the baking sheet, if needed.

3. Though the recipe (and the name itself) calls for rum, any sweeter liquor may be used. Brandy, bourbon, kirsch, William pear, or a combination would be good choices. (Maybe avoid using things like gin or tequila, though.)

4. Some like to let the unsoaked babas dry out for up to a day, uncovered, so as to better soak up the syrup. Proceed at your discretion. They will keep for a few days at room temperature in plastic bags. The syrup will also keep for several days, refrigerated.

Place the flour in a large bowl. Place the yeast on one side of the bowl and the salt on the other side. (Make sure the salt is not placed on top of the yeast, as it can kill it, making it inactive). Add the sugar and stir everything together with a spoon until evenly mixed.

Mix together the milk and eggs until well combined.

Add three-quarters of the combined eggs and milk to the flour and stir to combine.

Mix in the rest of the liquid and knead the dough on a worktop until it’s smooth and glossy, this will take approximately 10 minutes.

Add in the softened butter and work it through the dough thoroughly until it’s silky and stretchy. This should take approximately six minutes.

Place the dough back into a bowl and cover with cling film. Set the dough aside to rise for at least an hour, until doubled in size.

Grease and sugar the four 11cm / 4½in fluted rum baba tins (savarin molds). (Adding the sugar will help the fragile sponges come out of the molds).

Turn the dough out of the bowl, and knock it back by kneading it a few times.

Place the dough into a piping bag with a large plain nozzle. Pipe the dough into the four molds. Try and get them all as equal as possible.

Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / Gas 4.

Allow to prove for a second time until the dough has expanded almost to the top. Be careful not to over-prove at this stage, or you will get a muffin top around the edges.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes.

Meanwhile for the syrup, put the sugar and rum in a small saucepan with 200ml / 7fl oz water and bring to a rolling boil.

When the babas are cooked, take them out of the oven and allow to cool a little before carefully removing the cakes from their tins. They will be very fragile.

Place the babas onto a dish and pour over half the syrup. Allow them to soak up all of the liquid then turn them over and repeat with the rest of the liquid. Transfer to the fridge to chill.

Meanwhile for the Chantilly cream, whip the cream with the icing sugar and vanilla seeds. The cream must be firm enough to pipe and hold its shape on top of the babas. Transfer the cream to a piping bag and keep in the fridge until needed. Prepare the fruit as necessary.

To serve, pipe the Chantilly cream, using a star nozzle, into the middle of the babas. Garnish with the mixed fruit.

Baba au Rhum / Rum Baba

These little, sweet and impressive cakes, which were introduced to France in the 18 th century, are still treasured as a simple and classy dessert. Finishing the meal with a small yeast cake, saturated in rum and filled with pastry cream or whipped cream - who wouldn’t love that? You can read the history of this delicious cake here.

Ingredients & # 8211 Rum Baba / Baba au Rhum

► For the cakes:

  • 200 g wheat flour
  • 40 g regular sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 60 g warm milk
  • 12 g fresh yeast
  • 75 g butter at room temperature, chopped
  • a pinch of salt

► For the syrup:

► For garnish:

Directions & # 8211 Rum Baba / Rum Baba

Preparing the babas:

Place milk and yeast in a bowl and stir to dissolve.

Put together flour, sugar, salt and eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with dough hook attachment. Mix at low speed, add yeast mixture and continue mixing until combine. Don’t forget to scrape down sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula. Add the butter gradually and knead on medium speed until smooth and elastic (7-8 minutes). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature until double volume (about 2 hours).

I have silicone molds so it wasn’t necessary to grease them. If you use tin pans or traditional baba molds, you need to butter them. Place the dough in a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip (1 cm) and fill each mold for about 2/3 high. Let them stand at room temperature for 20-30 minutes. They will increase in volume just near the edge.

In the meantime, preheat oven to 190ºC (375ºF) in a convection oven. Place the molds into the oven and bake them 5 minutes at 190ºC (375ºF), then decrease the temperature slightly to 180ºC (355ºF) and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until golden. Let them stand for a few minutes.

Preparing the syrup:

Place sugar and water in a small pot and cook over high heat until sugar dissolves, then add the rum and stir to homogenize.

Assembling Rum Baba / Baba au Rhum

Remove babas from the molds/pan and immediately immerse them in syrup roll them so they soak up syrup on all sides. Take them off the syrup and place on a tray. Decorate with cream and candied cherries. Keep in the fridge until serve.

Baba au Rhum

Place milk and yeast in a small bowl stir to dissolve.

Place flour, salt, and eggs in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with dough hook attachment add yeast mixture and mix on low speed to combine and knead, about 5 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl with a spatula knead on medium speed until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix together butter and sugar. Add a few small pieces of butter mixture to dough with the mixer on low, add remaining butter mixture, a little bit at a time. When all the butter mixture has been added, increase speed and continue mixing until smooth, shiny, comes away from the sides of the bowl, and is elastic, 6 to 10 minutes.

Butter a large bowl, transfer dough to prepared bowl, and cover with plastic wrap let stand in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

Lift dough from bowl and drop back into bowl to deflate repeat process once or twice. Cover bowl and transfer to refrigerator to chill for at least 8 hours and up to overnight.

Butter 20 5-ounce baba molds and place on a baking sheet. Divide dough into 20 equal pieces pinch each piece of dough to form balls. Place each ball of dough into prepared molds.

In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk and milk. Brush dough with egg yolk mixture, reserving remaining. Spray a piece of plastic wrap with nonstick cooking spray cover dough, cooking spray-side down, and let stand in a warm place until doubled in volume, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees in a convection oven (425 degrees in a conventional oven).

Working from the outside inward, brush each baba very lightly with reserved egg yolk mixture. Transfer molds to oven and bake until baba just begins to turn golden, about 5 minutes. Reduce temperature to 375 degrees (if using a convection oven 400 if using a conventional oven) and continue baking until deep golden-brown and internal temperature reaches 205 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 5 to 10 minutes more.

Remove from oven and let cool in mold for 5 minutes. Unmold onto a wire rack and let cool completely. Poke bases of babas all over with a toothpick. Working in batches, gently drop babas into hot rum syrup, submerging completely let soak until there are no more bubbles. Place on a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Repeat process with remaining baba serve drizzled with additional rum syrup, whipped cream, and cherries, if desired.

Raising a Glass to Baba au Rhum, Alain Ducasse’s ‘Favorite’ Dessert

It might be a French classic, but the baba au rhum (or rum baba) breaks traditional pastry rules. Enjoyed across Europe, the brioche-like cake is served soaked in liquor — usually rum — and a sometimes-flavored sugar syrup.

While most cakes aim for a light, airy, moist texture, this is exactly the opposite of the desired consistency for a perfectly baked baba au rhum. Similarly, pastry chefs typically use baking soda — or, in the case of puff pastry, steam — as a leavening agent to make a dough or batter rise. Babas, however, use yeast.

The combination of these two factors gives rum babas their unique texture and flavor. It also helps the sweet, enriched bread fulfill its raison d’être: delivering delicious, oozing bites of rum.

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A few different versions of the dish’s origin exist, though most say it arrived in France via exiled Polish king Stanislas Leszczynski in the early 18th century. Leszczynski is said to have found the yeast-based kugelhopf cake of his new home city, Nancy, to be too dry and so his pastry chef Nicolas Stohrer infused it with a rum syrup. The former king approved and named the creation after his favorite fictional character, Ali Baba.

The dessert went mainstream when Leszczynski’s daughter moved to Paris to marry King Louis XV. Stohrer moved to the capital with her and, in 1730, opened one of the city’s first patisseries. There, he introduced Parisians to the unique delight of the baba au rhum.

Nowadays, the dish is most famously endorsed by Alain Ducasse, the French chef who holds 21 Michelin stars worldwide. In 2005, Ducasse became the first chef to have three restaurants simultaneously hold three Michelin stars.

At his Louis XV restaurant, in Monte Carlo, baba au rhum is served tableside in opulent fashion, with a silver dome removed to reveal a glazed individual cake. The restaurant’s sommelier pours from a selection of fine aged rums, splits the baba in two, and scoops some lightly-whipped Chantilly cream on top.

“It’s Chef Ducasse’s favorite dessert,” says Marion Bianchini, pastry chef at Benoit, Ducasse’s NYC bistro. The dish features on the à la carte menus of many of his restaurants, she says, though not always with rum. “At Benoit, we serve it with Armagnac, which is traditional for French bistros.” (Expensive rum is the reserve of fine dining establishments, she says.)

Best practices when making rum babas include soaking the cooked cake in a warm sugar syrup for just the right amount of time, says Jansen Chan, director of pastry operations at the International Culinary Center in NYC. “If you don’t soak enough, the center isn’t always moist. But if you over-soak it, it can oversaturate and fall apart,” he says. “Once you’ve soaked for the desired time, drain until all excess syrup has been allowed to escape, and your baba is ready to go.”

Chan is another Ducasse disciple. During the three years he spent working for the French chef, Chan says he made the dessert “more times than I can probably count.” While it’s common to find recipes that see the baba soaked in a rum-infused sugar syrup, Chan advises against this so that diners can have a say in how much rum they consume.

The dessert is also common in southern Italy — in Naples in particular — where it was first introduced while the region was under French control. “When you get together with family on a Sunday, it’s traditional to bring mini babas from the local pastry shop,” says Fortunato Nicotra, the executive chef at New York institution Felidia.

The Italian restaurant has been serving babas for all of the 24 years Nicotra has worked there, though it switches the choice of liquor depending on the season. “In summer, we serve a limoncello baba because it’s more refreshing than dark rum,” he says.

At the Patisserie Chanson Dessert Bar in New York’s Flatiron District, executive pastry chef Rory Macdonald recently added an innovative take on the dessert to his six-course, omakase-style tasting menu.

Diners witness real-time soaking of a passionfruit baba in front of their faces, using a coffee siphon. Rather than simple syrup, a rum cocktail is heated to infuse the dessert. The dish is served with a banana and passionfruit sorbet, and the excess cocktail is drained and served warm as a drink pairing. “Rather than just coming out of the kitchen with a prepared rum baba, it’s nice to show people the process,” Macdonald says.

Baba au Rhum

Rum baba variations abound. This recipe produces a straightforward take flavored with orange, vanilla, and aged rum, and shaped in a traditional baba mold.


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