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How to cook the perfect rum babas – recipe - MW

These innocent but passionate looking cupcakes were no longer popular in the UK when the companion to the sweet 70s cart, the Black Forest cake, though glad they were still easily found in La France, where they are still easily found in France, often comes with an accompanying rum award.

Often attributed to Stanislas, an 18th century duke of Lorraine and formerly Polish king who also invented the madeleine and the macaron on similar evidence, the babas seems to be an evolution of the Alsatian kugelhof, made with a similar, rich and leavened dough, then soaked in alcohol before serving. Stanislas, apparently, found the original too dry: baba is anything, but I'm sorry for its disappearance from more sophisticated desserts - as the legendary chef Pierre Koffmann says, This individual cupcake gives a wonderful finish and elegant at a meal. Handy for the head of the family, they even cooked better than a few days ago, which gives them maximum time to absorb all this rum.

Flour
Niki Segnit describes the baba in side-by-side cooking as the point where the dough becomes dough - Koffmann cupcakes, in fact, are fortified breads, made from yeast dough, an extremely delicious yeast. Those with a higher fat content in the form of butter and eggs in flour, such as Babas à Larousse Gastronomique, Leiths Baking Bib and French cuisine by Anne Willan, tend to be closer, sweeter, like a sponge. Sea without sugar cakes. Anne-Sophie Pic, Michelin star chef, who uses half the avocado, creates more honeycomb unity - almost, in places, like a mouse.

Once soaked in rum syrup, it is of course delicious, but the looser the structure, the more it can be absorbed and the lighter the overall result. For this reason. I would be wrong on the simpler side, and, like Larousse, look for strong flour, instead of the usual Koffmann dough, or soft flour, to help on the open front (Koffmann names the French T45, but that turns out to be thin on the ground in the middle of the mess of spelled and brown rice in my local supermarket).

Pic and Leiths use milk instead of water in their powders, but I don't think it makes much difference in taste or texture; The main flavor, before soaking, should be butter and just a little salt, which makes the final product not too sweet.

As a descendant of the kugelhof, it makes sense that the original babas should be much larger than the current individual pieces. Many recipes suggest they can also be made in a larger pan, and I put Leiths on top by baking its version in a decorative tin can. Although it sounds impressive, I would be careful to do the same, for the simple reason that it is much more difficult to soak such syrup in syrup, so it risks drying out.

Fruit controversy
You can taste citrus peel, like Leiths, but most often, in case of controversy, is the addition of dried fruits, often dipped in rum - Willan chooses grapes, raisins. Such things, as any ice cream lover can attest, combine very well with rum, but in my opinion, they add too much to the overall sweetness of this dish; If I sowed this particular lily with anything, it would imply a contrasting flavor, like sour cherry or bitter candy peel ... but I don't like it, because I like simplicity. of the dish without them. If you have a particular desire for fruit, I advise you to accompany them with fresh berries or aromatic candies from Koffmann.

Syrup
This demand is nothing but sugar and water, but I think it is reasonable to make it strong enough, as it reduces the risk of the mixture becoming too thick for babas to be able to. absorb. Although there is no recipe I'm trying to suggest, but I'm going to get browned, instead of white sugar, because I think this flavor works well with rum.

Strangely, most are also silent on the specifics of alcohol - certainly the defining characteristic of this dessert - with only a couple calling for black rum. I also tried it with golden rum (the bland white thing seems like a waste of time; if that's all you have, be generous with it), but if you buy a special bottle, molasses Le dark dark type makes it our priority.

For a really excellent finish, instead of adding rum to the syrup, sprinkle it over the finished cakes, as recommended by Larousse and Leiths; Do not allow anyone to drive later.

Pic to infuse his syrup with vanilla, Koffmann also added orange and lemon zest, while Willan was quite attractive in search of coriander seeds, dividing the crowd. A mixture of oranges and vanilla is more common, but you can use cinnamon, star anise, cardamom or any other spice you like.

The soaking

The recipes use a variety of techniques to bring this syrup to babas, from painting cakes straight from the oven (Leiths) to adding babas to a boiling pan (Larousse). But the more successful is the more Pic: she soaked them in cold syrup and let them soak in water, which eliminates the delicate step of turning them over until you judge they absorb the amount liquid. max.

Koffmann realized that Bab Babas must be very humid and the best way to make sure of this is to cook a few days in advance and let them harden and slightly rancid. Like old bread, you will find that they will desperately need to absorb the liquid. That's right - if you have time, send them a week in advance.

Serving suggestions in the recipes I've tried include Pic chestnut sauce and vanilla ice cream, and Koffmann whipped cream, but I'm not sure you need more than plain whipped cream, a glass of rum - and a few fresh herbs, if you have to.

Perfect Rum Babas

The recipes use a variety of techniques to bring this syrup to babas, from painting cakes straight from the oven (Leiths) to adding babas to a boiling pan (Larousse). But the more successful is the more Pic: she soaked them in cold syrup and let them soak in water, which eliminates the delicate step of turning them over until you judge they absorb the amount liquid. max.

Koffmann realized that Bab Babas must be very humid and the best way to make sure of this is to cook a few days in advance and let them harden and slightly rancid. Like old bread, you will find that they will desperately need to absorb the liquid. That's right - if you have time, send them a week in advance.

Serving suggestions in the recipes I've tried include Pic chestnut sauce and vanilla ice cream, and Koffmann whipped cream, but I'm not sure you need more than plain whipped cream, a glass of rum - and a few fresh herbs, if you have to.


Perfect Rum Babas

It is best to make these in medium savarin or ring moulds, though you can get by with small dariole basins or even fairy cake tins.

Prep 20 min plus proving and soaking
Cook 20 min
Serves 4

4g dried yeast
3 tsp demerara sugar
75g butter, plus extra to grease
200g strong bread flour
1 tsp fine salt
2 eggs, beaten

For the syrup
400g demerara sugar
1 vanilla pod, split
200ml dark rum

Put the yeast in a bowl with 75ml warm water and a pinch of the sugar, stir to combine. then leave until bubbly on top. Meanwhile, melt the butter and set aside, then whisk the flour, salt and remaining sugar in a large bowl or food mixer.



Mix the yeast and half an egg, followed by the rest of the egg. After mixing well, gradually incorporate the butter until a fine paste is obtained.

Carefully lubricate the molds with butter and divide the dough between them, filling each hole with no more than half. Keep in a well-drained place until the dough emerges near the filling of the mold.

While the babas are proving, and if you’re planning to serve them imminently, make the syrup. Heat the sugar in 500ml water, then addthe vanilla pod and its seeds. Stir to dissolve the sugar, then, once it comes to a simmer, take it off the heat and set aside to cool. Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan)/350F/gas 4. When the syrup is cool, add the rum.

Cook the babas for 20-25 minutes, until they are golden, then leave to cool on a rack. Let stand for several days, if possible, then soak in the syrup and let stand for two hours, turning occasionally. Drain and serve with additional syrup in a side jar.

Rum babas: deserving of revival, or a dessert best left in the past? How do you make yours, and which other retro classics would you like to get reacquainted with?

MW

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