Friday, August 6, 2010

Baba au Rhum

This June for our anniversary, I cooked dinner at home. For dessert, I made baba au rhum. They are little yeasted cakes soaked in a rum syrup and served with fresh berries. I had been wanting to try this recipe for a while. The baba were really good...however, it is the first time I have gotten drunk from a dessert! Just be warned, the rum in the syrup is not cooked off and these are very alcoholic and definitely for adults only! Also, I bought baba au rhum molds for this recipe, but I probably could have just used a muffin tin. The shape wouldn't have been right, but no big deal. The recipe also called for a piping bag and pastry tip but I was lazy and just used a freezer bag with the tip cut off. It did break open towards the end and I had to spoon the dough which wasn't easy. Maybe that's why it called for a heavier pastry bag.

Baba au Rhum

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Baking Handbook

2 cups bread flour
1/2 cup warm milk
1/2 ounce yeast
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled plus more for pans
3 whole eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons sugar
Rum Syrup (recipe below)
Fresh berries for serving
1. In bowl of electric mixer, whisk 1/2 cup of the flour, the milk, and the yeast together. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise until doubled, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
2. Butter baba molds or muffin tin and place on baking sheet.
3. Place doubled flour mixture on mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add the whole eggs and egg yolks one at a time, beating on low until well mixed after each addition. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of flour, sugar, and a pinch of salt. Beat until smooth with no lumps, about 2 minutes. With mixer on low, gradually pour the melted butter down the side of the bowl and mix until incorporated and dough starts to pull away from the side of the bowl, about 4 minutes. (Make SURE the butter is cool or your dough will curdle).
4. Place dough in a large freezer bag or pastry bag with 1/2 inch tip. Pipe dough into pans, filling each halfway. Let the dough rest in a warm place until it reaches the tops of the molds, 30 to 40 minutes.
5. Heat oven to 375. Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until golden and a cake tester comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Immediately turn out the baba onto wire rack to cool.
6. When completely cool, drop 2 baba at a time into the rum syrup. Let it soak- the longer it soaks, the more syrup/alcohol it absorbs. I pushed each baba down with a spoon and soaked for about 30 seconds each. Serve immediately with berries.
If you're not going to eat all the baba right away, soak only the ones you will eat now. Save the rest and add the rum syrup when you're reading to eat them, otherwise they will just get all soggy and fall apart in the fridge.
Rum Syrup
2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup dark rum (like Meyer's Dark Rum)
Combine sugar, rum, and water in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium and continue cooking until liquid is clear, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Use immediately or reheat before using.
This makes a lot of syrup and most of it doesn't get used... you do need a lot so you can actually soak the baba. But I couldn't think of a way to use the leftover.

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