Le Baba au rhum, par Laurent Danigo
The origins of Baba come from Poland where the cake “babka” meaning “granny, grandmother”, is prepared there during Easter. Having become Duke of Lorraine, the King of Poland Stanislas Leszcynski introduced it to France in the 18th century.
This dessert was invented by Nicolas Stohrer. This apprentice pastry chef working for the Duke of Lorraine would have sprinkled Malaga or Tokai (opinions differ) on a brioche from Poland (Kougelhof), the latter having dried out during the trip. Duke Stanislas appreciated this pastry and adopted it. The dessert made its debut at the court of the King of France in 1725 when he married Stanislas' daughter. The pastry chef then joined Versailles and at the same time opened his own pastry shop which still exists!
It was in 1835 that the descendant of the pastry chef Stohrer imagined sprinkling the babas as soon as they were unmolded, with rum. The Baba recipe changes over the years, the grapes and spices disappear to give way to a dough which is the ancestor of Savarin dough. Once cooked, it is immersed in a sugar syrup made from amber rum from the French West Indies.
For the rum, we prefer an old VO rum from the West Indies. The better the rum, the better the Baba. When tasting Baba in a restaurant or at home, the ideal is when it is accompanied by the bottle of rum that was used in the recipe. This allows you to appreciate this magnificent association even more.
Here is my choice:
For a classic rum baba: the Saint James VSOP and its vanilla notes
For a more complex dessert: the Depaz 2002 and its melted and delicious woodiness
For a powerful pastry: La Mauny par ExcellenceRhum and its spicy notes
And a little last with a Jamaican rum, why not start with a 12-year-old Appleton and its flavors of ripe fruit.
• 150g of T45 flour
• 2 medium sized eggs
• 11g of fresh baker's yeast
• 3.5g of salt
• 6g of sugar
• 3.5cl of water
• 37.5g cold butter
• 0.5L of water
• 100g of sugar
• 30ml of rum
1. Place the flours, whole eggs, crumbled yeast and half the water in the bowl of your stand mixer
2. Knead with the hook at low speed for about 5 minutes, until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.
3. Add the sugar, salt and the rest of the water. Mix again for 5 minutes on medium speed. Finally, add the butter all at once, and knead for another 5 minutes.
4. Divide the batter into your baking pan.
5. Leave to rest at room temperature for 1 hour, until the dough doubles in volume
6. Bake for 20 minutes at 210 degrees
7. Prepare the syrup with the water and sugar, and when boiling, add the rum. Then turn off the fire. As soon as the babas come out of the oven, dip them in the syrup before draining them.