These little, sweet and impressive cakes, which were introduced to France in the 18th 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 – Rum Baba / Baba au Rhum
► For the cakes (babas):
- 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:
- 800 ml water
- 350 g sugar
- 175 ml rhum
► For garnish:
- 300 g pastry cream (or whipped cream)
- candied cherries
Directions – Rum Baba / Baba au Rhum
► 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.
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