Rum babas, savarin-style, image © Christian Sarramon
This recipe is from bistro owner Bertrand Auboyneau, who describes it as 'a child's dessert with grown-up panache.'
Serves 10 to 12, depending on the size of the molds.
- 2 ½ cups (9 oz./250) g all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons (25 g) sugar
- 1 teaspoon (4 g) salt
- 1 egg
- Scant ½ cup (100 g) melted browned butter
- ½ oz. (16 g) fresh yeast
- ½ cup (125 ml) milk
For the rum syrup:
- ¾ cup (200 ml) high-quality rum
- 1 orange, preferably organic
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 lime, preferably organic
- 4 cups (1 l) water
- 2 ⅔ cups (500 g) sugar
For the Chantilly cream:
- 1 cup (250 ml) whipping cream, 30–35 percent butterfat
- 2 tablespoons (25 g) granulated sugar
- A few vanilla seeds
Special equipment needed:
A day ahead, prepare the baba cakes.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt.
Incorporate the egg and melted butter.
In a smaller bowl, dissolve the yeast in the milk.
Add the milk and yeast to the bowl with the dry ingredients, egg, and butter. Then move the mixing bowl near a heat source (a wall heater or radiator, for example) for about 20 minutes, so that the dough can rise. It should more than double in volume.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (170°C).
Divide the dough among individual savarin molds. Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden brown, and then turn them out of the molds. Leave to dry for 24 hours.
The next day, begin by making the rum syrup. Quarter the orange, slit the vanilla bean lengthwise, and grate the lime. Combine the rum, water, sugar, orange quarters, vanilla bean, and lime zest in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil, and leave to simmer gently for 10 minutes.
Pour the hot syrup over the babas, and feel free to add another dash of rum.
And since we said, “savarin-style,” we can’t forego the Chantilly cream! Combine the cream, sugar, and vanilla, and whisk together with an electric beater. When the Chantilly reaches the right consistency, dollop a little into the center of each baba.
French Bistro: Seasonal Recipes is an homage to the gastronomic bistro and features 60 hearty recipes using traditional methods and seasonal ingredients together with beautiful photography capturing the dishes themselves and the lively atmosphere of Parisian bistros. French Bistro is out now from Flammarion, 19.95. Buy it at a discount from Saga Bookshop.
We will be featuring more recipes from French Bistro in the coming weeks.