I've read that these baba rum cakes where actually produced first in Poland.  Then later a french patissier introduced them to France.  My first encounter with these delicious rum cakes wasn't in Poland or France. My first taste of baba rum cakes was actually in Italy, around the Amalfi coast.  We spent time around the area of Sorrento a few years back and every where we went it was limoncello and baba rum cakes.  Some drenched in limoncello, some in rum, and some filled with pastry cream.  Some big, some small.  Either way you have them they are delicious and fairly easy to make.  Essentially it is brioche type dough that is baked and then soaked in rum.  It is pretty straight forward just takes a little time to make the dough and let it rise properly. Once you have them you will definitely keep these in you repertoire of go to desserts that can be easily made in advance.  Here is the recipe

1/2 cup of warm milk

1 tbsp of fresh yeast

8 oz of bread flour

8 oz of cake flour

6 eggs 

1/2 tsp of salt 

2 1/2 sticks of butter 

1 tsp of vanilla

3 tbsp of sugar

 

Rum Glaze

3 cups of sugar

4 cups of water 

1 cup of Rum (I used Pyrat) Dark rum works well too

1 slice of orange peel

egg wash

baba molds or timbal molds

For the Dough,

Dissolve yeast in the milk.  In a stand mixer add sugar, salt, flour, and eggs.  With a dough hook start to stir.  Then add the milk mixture and vanilla. Mix on low for 5 minutes and then turn up and mix on medium high for another 5 minutes.  The dough should be nice and elastic.  Then gradually add the soft butter to the dough until well incorporated (5-10 min)  The dough should start to pull away from the bowl at this point.  Then place the dough in a greased bowl and cover to allow to rise for 2 hours.  Punch down and then place into the refrigerator over night.  

Rum Syrup,

Place sugar and water in a pot and bring to a boil.  Cook for 3 minutes and then add the rum.  Cook for another 2 minutes and then turn off and keep warm.

Preheat Oven to 400 degrees

The next day allow the dough to come to temperature for 30 minutes.  Then spray your molds with non-stick spray and fill them half way with the baba dough.  Cover them and allow to rise until they fill the forms.   Brush the babas with egg wash and place in the oven.  Bake for roughly 15-20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Let them rest for one minute and then transfer a few baba's at a time to the warm rum mixture.  Soak the hot baba's in the hot syrup for 1-2 minutes or until there are no more bubbles (air pockets in the pastry get filled with the rum syrup).   The baba's can served with any variety of garnishes including whipped cream, pastry cream, cherries, etc....   Served hot or cold.  Enjoy!

 


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