Friday, July 8, 2011

Rum Baba

A delicious party dessert, the original form of the baba was similar to the babka, a tall cylindrical yeast cake (babka is still cooked in Poland and in Polish communities over the world). The name means 'old woman' or 'grandmother' in the Slavic languages; babka is a diminutive of baba. The modern "Baba au Rhum" (Rum Baba), with dried fruit and soaking in rum, was invented in Paris in 1835 or before.

63g/2.2oz butter, melted, cooled
7g/0.25oz dry yeast
30g/1oz cold water
250g/8.8oz flour (high gluten, at least 10.5% protein content)
4 large eggs
23g/0.8oz sugar
3g/0.1oz salt

1 vanilla bean
895g/32oz water
500g/18oz sugar
zest of 2 lemons+2 oranges

100g/3.5oz dark rhum
whipped cream if desired, or pastry cream

Dissolve yeast in cold water. In a stand-up mixer with paddle attachment place flour, sugar, salt and eggs. Mix 5 seconds to combine then add the water+yeast mixture and mix at medium high speed for 2 minutes.
Add cooled butter, keep mixing another 7 to 10 minutes.
Let rest, covered for 20 minutes, not more.
Pipe mixture in individual molds, ⅓ of the height of the mold.
Let rise, covered, in a warm spot until dough is about ¼ of an inch (6mm) from the top, then uncover and let rise to the top of the mold. The whole proofing can take up to 40 minutes.
Preheat the oven at 190C/375F and bake individual babas for about 15 minutes. A large savarin can take up to 40 minutes to bake. Unmold while still hot, place on a cooling rack for 30 minutes before soaking in syrup.

In a large pan add water, sugar, vanilla seeds and zests, bring to a boil then let cool for 30 minutes.

Place the babas on a cooling rack with a tray underneath and ladle the warm syrup on top or soak the babas for 3 minutes then let drain the excess syrup for 10 minutes. Ladle the dark rum and let drain the excess. Serve with whipped cream or with pastry cream and in the summer with slices of fresh fruit.

1 comment:

chelemi said...

I have not eat a Baba au rum for a long time. When I was a young girl in France my mother use to make that cake often because it was my father favorite cake. I have never made one but I think I will try.