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Rum Babas Recipe
Mini-versions of these make excellent petits fours. It can be a sticky process, so be prepared and careful not to spill any syrup.
250gr/8 oz Plain White Flour
A big pinch of Salt
A big pinch of Caster Sugar
1 Sachet of Instant Dried Yeast (about 7gr)
420gr/14 oz Lukewarm Water (should feel the same temperature as your finger)
4 medium Eggs
120gr/4 oz Melted Butter
1 batch of 'Sugar Syrup Deluxe' (q.v.)
A Sherry Glass of Dark Rum or 1 teaspoon (5ml) Rum Essence
Apricot Glaze (optional - q.v.)
Equipment: an Electric Mixer is useful, but not essential. Rum Babas Moulds (if the precise shape is important) or baking trays & non-stick Parchment Paper.
1. Sieve the flour into a big mixer bowl.
2. Add the Salt and Sugar.
3. Dissolve the dried yeast in the warm water, then roughly mix this in to the flour.
4. Slowly add the butter and beat for about 3 minutes, until the dough tightens and the butter has been absorbed.
5. If using moulds, lightly butter these, if not line baking sheets with non-stick parchment paper.
6. If using moulds, half fill these with the mixture. If not, cut out discs of about 10cm/4ins, making a hole right through the centre of each with your fingers; lay these out on the baking trays.
7. Either way, allow these to rise for about an hour in a warm place, lightly-covered with cling film or put inside plastic carrier bag/s. They should have doubled in size.
8. Heat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas 4.
9. When the oven is hot, bake them for 20 minutes, then allow them to cool.
10. While they cooking, mix the sugar syrup and rum/essence and put this in a lasagne-type dish large enough to house all the pastries flat (you might need two)
11. Soak the baked babas in the syrup overnight in the syrup (in a fridge or cool place if possible), turning them over a few times if necessary.
12. Drain them from the syrup, and when they are dry, ‘paint’ them with the Apricot Glaze if you want them to look smarter.
13. Refrigerate, but serve at room temperature, perhaps with some whipped cream.