Exactly 10 years ago, I was living in Paris. I was an exchange design student who could barely afford her monthly living expenses, but I was happy. Because there were bakeries and patisseries in every corner of the city, thousands of them, and they were so attractive with their colourful and ever delicious cakes, cookies, pastries, quiches…
Today, I am living in Helsinki and I feel the need to at least see a proper bakery in this beautiful city. But to my surprise, bakery is not something you can see much in Helsinki, instead there are sad corners of supermarket chains where you can find sweet and salty pastries (of course there are a few bakeries here and there, but you cannot really call it a bakery tradition or something..).
Well, maybe one day I will open a bakery, who knows? Maybe a bit French style.. with a Turkish touch…?
If there is such a dream, then I thought, I should start working on some French recipes. And so I am beginning my French bakery experience with a very traditional recipe: Baba au Rhum or otherwise known as Rum Baba.
For this lovely dessert, you should have a special mold similar to the one in the picture. This is actually mini Savarin cake mold but you can use this for Rum Baba as well. And silicone is a lovely material to work with. You can find this mold in Chez Marius (www.chezmarius.fi) in Helsinki. Well actually, if you love baking as much as I do, then you MUST visit this little shop, it is a heaven for all the bakers and baker-wanna-bes!
Do try to buy fresh raspberries and not frozen ones!
For Rum Baba:
12 ml honey
250 ml flour
a pinch of salt
75 gr. butter
5 gr. fresh yeast
250 gr. confectioner’s sugar
1 lt. water
1/2 vanilla pod
1 rind of orange
1 rind of lemon
250 ml dark rum (I used Baltic dark rum)
For decoration and serving:
200 ml. heavy cream
25 ml. confectioner’s sugar
50 ml. dark rum
500 gr. FRESH raspberries
1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
2. Put the eggs in a mixing bowl. Add honey and whisk it.
4. Slowly add flour to the mixture and whisk it constantly. When you get a nice consistency of something between liquid and honey, stop adding more flour. Therefore, I’d say 250 ml flour might not be always used totally. It depends very much on the flour you use. So, as I said in the beginning, add bit by bit.
6. Grease your mold. Pour the batter inside a pastry bag and squeeze into each piece of mold half-way. When you are done with all, cover the batter-filled mold with a little damp cloth and let it ferment. When it doubles in size, they are ready to bake (sorry, but unfortunately I forgot to take the picture of the doubled batter, but I guess you can imagine “double”). Put the batter in the oven, on medium shelf. It will take about 15 minutes to bake, but check it constantly – when the colour turns to golden brown, you might want to check it briefly with the help of a knife, not to burn it. Take them out of the oven when they are ready and cool down for a few minutes.
8. You will also add half a vanilla pod in the syrup. For this, follow the photos: cut one vanilla pod in two, then with a sharp knife cut this one half you will use in two as well. Then scrape the seeds inside. Add them in the syrup. Boil the syrup in medium heat. Once boiled, reduce to a simmer.
9. Now here is the cream for decoration part (you can also make this beforehand, even a day before). Put heavy cream inside a bowl, add confectioner’s sugar and mix until it gets harder (which will be really quick).
10. When you take the babas out of the oven and cool for a few minutes, take them out of the mold. Sift the simmering syrup into a clean bowl. Put each baba piece inside the syrup and let it soak the syrup really well – when you touch it, you will feel that it will get spongy and heavy.
12. Now comes the final decoration. Take one of the babas. Put some cream in the centre of it – it is up to you how much you put.. Then decorate it with raspberries as you see in the picture – 5 raspberries around, 1 in the centre.
13. Sift some confectioner’s sugar on the whole thing – the amount of this sugar is not given above in ingredients part because it depends on how sugary you want it to be.. You can serve this immediately as it is still warm or you can serve it cool. Both taste fine!