“Rum babas are light sweet yeasty cakes soaked in rum syrup. We make ours in little deep moulds and serve them with pineapple and more syrup. Serve with Coconut Chantilly for the ultimate dose of indulgence”
For the baba mix
• 15g fresh yeast (or 1 sachet fast action yeast)
• 100ml warm milk
• 230g plain flour
• A good pinch sea salt
• 3 whole eggs, beaten
• 125g butter, softened to room temperature
• Extra butter, melted for darioles
• Some warmed Apricot Glaze
For the rum syrup:
• 140g caster sugar
• 1 strip lemon zest
• 1 strip orange zest
• 150ml dark rum
For the pineapple:
• 1 small pineapple
• 1 cinnamon
• 100g caster sugar
• 1 star anise
1 If using fresh yeast, crumble it into the warm milk and stir until dissolved (do not do this with fast action yeast).
2 Sift together the flour and salt into a deep bowl (stir in the fast action yeast at this point if using).
3 Mix in the warm milk and eggs to form a soft dough then gradually work in the softened butter. Cover with Clingfilm and leave in a warm spot in your kitchen (e.g. on top of your fridge or in an airing cupboard) until risen and doubled in volume. This can take up to 3 hours depending on the surrounding temperature.
4 Prepare the pineapple. Dissolve the 100g of sugar in 150ml of boiling water and add the whole spices. Infuse until cold, then remove the spices with a slotted spoon.
5 Cut the pineapple, neat 1cm dice. Reheat the syrup until almost boiling and pour over the pineapple and leave until cold. Strain off the syrup.
6 Make the rum soaking syrup. Dissolve the 140g sugar in 200ml boiling water and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the zest strips, stir in the rum, remove from heat and cool.
7 Brush 8 dariole moulds (100ml size) with melted butter to coat evenly. Knock back the risen dough and beat for a minute the spoon into a piping bag fitted with a large plain nozzle.
8 Pipe into the prepared moulds about half full, place on a baking sheet and cover loosely with a sheet of Clingfilm lightly oiled.
9 Allow to prove until risen just under the rim. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200 C, Gas 6.
10 When the baba mixture is risen, remove the Clingfilm and bake on the tray for about 8 minutes until golden brown then remove and cool, then remove from the moulds, loosening with the tip of knife.
11 Put the babas in a deep sided dish and pour over the rum syrup. Leave to soak for about 10 minutes then strain off the syrup into a saucepan. This can be boiled down by half and served as a pouring sauce, if liked.
12 Brush the soaked babas with some warmed apricot glaze to make them shiny and serve with the pineapple around and some Crème Chantilly alongside.
For the Coconut Chantilly:
• 250ml coconut milk
• 1 vanilla pod
• 30g icing sugar
Simply whip the cream with the vanilla seeds and sugar to soft peaks. Fold the coconut milk into the Chantilly and serve.
Recipe and image courtesy of Luke Tipping at Simpsons