Here’s a classic sweet that’s tasty, colourful and good fun to bake – ideal for impressing your dinner guests too.
Makes: 4 (Possibly 6, using smaller moulds)
Level: A tiny step up from “easy”
Time: About 75 – 80 minutes hands on and baking time + proving and resting time.
Equipment: Four 11cm/4½” baba tins (savarin moulds). You can use small dariole moulds, but these will not give the characteristic hole in the middle.
For the Babas
- 225g/8oz white (strong) bread flour
- 7g sachet fast action action
- ½ tsp salt
- 50g/2oz caster sugar, plus extra for lining tins
- 2 medium eggs
- 75ml/2.5fl oz milk
- 100g/3½oz butter, softened
For the syrup
- 250g/9oz caster sugar
- 3-4 tbsp rum
For the Chantilly cream
- 250ml/9fl oz double cream
- 100g/3½ oz icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- fresh fruit, for garnishing*
*Red fruit such as strawberries or raspberries look good and taste good.
1. Sift the flour into a large bowl. Place the yeast on one side of the bowl and the salt on the other side. Add the sugar and stir everything together until evenly mixed.
2. In a separate bowl, mix together the milk and eggs until well combined. Add three-quarters of this mixture to the flour and stir to combine. Then mix in the rest of the liquid.
3. Knead the dough on a lightly floured work surface until it’s smooth and glossy: about 10 – 12 minutes.
4. Add in the softened butter and work it through the dough thoroughly until it becomes silky and stretchy: about 5 – 7 minutes.
5. Place the dough back into a bowl and cover.** Set aside to rise for at least an hour, until doubled in size. (**I use an elasticated shower cap.)
6. Grease and sugar the baba tins, or dariole moulds. (Adding sugar will enable the fragile sponges come out of the moulds more easily).
7. Turn the dough out of the bowl, and knock it back, kneading it a few times.
8. Place the dough into a piping bag with a large plain nozzle, or cut the end. Pipe the dough into the moulds. Try and get them all as equal as possible. To be really precise, weigh each one.
9. Allow them to prove for a second time until the dough has expanded almost to the top. Be careful not to over-prove at this stage, or you will get a muffin top around the edges. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180C / fan 160C / 350F / Gas 4.
10. Bake for about 20-25 minutes.
11. Meanwhile, for the syrup, put the sugar and rum in a small saucepan with 200ml/7fl oz water and bring to a rolling boil.
12. When the babas are cooked, take them out of the oven and allow them to cool a little before carefully removing them from their tins. Handle gently, they will be very fragile.
13. Place the babas onto a dish and pour over half the syrup. (Or dip them into a bowl of syrup.) Allow them to soak up all of the liquid, then turn them over and repeat with the rest of the liquid. Place in the fridge to chill.
14. For the Chantilly cream, whip the cream with the icing sugar and vanilla extract. The cream must be firm enough to pipe and hold its shape on top of the babas. Transfer the cream to a piping bag with a star nozzle and keep in the fridge until needed.
15. Wash, trim or cut and dry your chosen fruit.
16. To serve, pipe the Chantilly cream into the middle of the babas, then garnish with the prepared fruit.
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Happy Baking & Very Best wishes
If you enjoy my Rum Babas, you’ll also love this new sweet and tangy version – Limoncello Babas.