Baba au Rhum
Baba au Rhum are sweet breads that are soaked in rum syrup.
Adapted from the Madame Benoit Cookbook
- For the Dough:
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 pkg (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
- 2 cups unbleached white flour
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- For the Dough add-ins:
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup butter, at room temperature
- 2 tbsp dried currants
- For the Rum Syrup:
- 1 cup granulated cane sugar
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup rum
- To make the rum syrup, place the sugar and water in a small heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cook until you have a light syrup, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Cool completely before adding the rum. Stir well and transfer the rum syrup to a large bowl.
- To make the babas, whisk the 1 teaspoon of sugar into the warm water, in a small bowl, until it is dissolved. Stir in yeast; set aside for 10 minutes. Into a large bowl, sift the flour; make a well in the middle. Pour in the eggs and the yeast mixture. Using your fingers, gradually work the flour into the liquid ingredients until you have a soft dough. Knead in the bowl for 2 minutes. Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.
- Punch down the dough. Add the 1 tablespoon of sugar, the butter and currants. Work until combined well. Knead for 3 to 4 minutes. Fill greased baba molds (I use muffin pans, which is what my mom always did) half full with the dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk. Bake in a 450 F oven for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 F. Bake until the babas are golden, 20 to 30 additional minutes.
- Reserve and put aside about 1/2 cup of the rum syrup to drizzle over the babas at serving time. Remove the babas from the pan while still hot, and immediately immerse them in a bowl filled with cooled rum syrup. Roll the babas around so they soak up the syrup on all sides. Using a ladle helps. Alternately, place the babas in a single layer in a baking dish and pour the rum syrup evenly over them. If possible, allow the babas to absorb the rum syrup overnight, covering them to prevent them from drying out. The syrup should soak right through to the centre of the babas.
- Serve warm or cold with a drizzle of fresh rum syrup from the 1/2 cup that you put aside. Serve alone or with a dollop of freshly whipped cream.