Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Baba au Rhum

A week in Cannes to visit the grandparents motivated me to make this baba au rhum- a light sponge cake drizzled in a rum syrup.  My French mother and France is where I got my passion for chocolate and all things sweet from.  After 8 months in Venice I thought, right, I think it's time to visit France again.  I needed to remember the taste of a freshly baked croissant. 

One afternoon, I told my aunt that we needed to go to the patisserie for some pastries.  I chose a chocolate tart, a raspberry and cream tart, lemon meringue tart, mille feuille with a cointreau custard, a coffee eclair and a baba au rhum. 

The baba au rhum was so incredibly popular that I decided to make my own and tell you all about it. 

The cake originates from Poland, with the name of 'babka' meaning 'old woman' or 'grandmother'.  The Rum Baba we know today has been Frenchified and is often made with dried fruit and soaked in rum.  The dessert was brought by French cooks to Naples and is found in many Italian pastry shops.  Grand chef Alain Ducasse uses the Baba au Rhum as his signature dessert in his Michelin starred restaurants.  

The 'Rum Baba' or Baba au Rhum is often eaten with cream or custard and can be served with fruit such as pineapples, passionfruit, mango or berries.  

120g - Self raising Flour or Plain flour with 8g/ 1 and a half teaspoons of baking powder 
50g - Unsalted Butter and 10g for the baking dish
150g - Caster Sugar 
5 Tablespoons - Milk
3 - Large Eggs, yolks and whites separated

Optional: Currants/ Chopped dried Fruit

For the Rum Syrup: 

150 ml - Water 
5 Tablespoons - Dark Rum
2 Tablespoons - Honey
200g - Caster Sugar

- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
- Cream the butter and sugar together then beat using an electric whisk.  
- Beat in the yolks one at a time

- Sift the flour and stir it in to the mixture
- Stir in the milk
- With a clean electric whisk, beat the whites of egg until risen
- Mix the whites of egg with the rest of the ingredients

In a buttered and lined dish, pour the mixture in.
Cook for 30 minutes or until risen and a knife comes out clean.

Meanwhile, prepare your syrup.

- Put the sugar, honey and water in a saucepan and allow to simmer until it has reduced.  Then add the rum.  Do not boil the rum!

Take out the dish from the oven and allow to cool. Drizzle the rum syrup onto the cake and serve.  Voila'!


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