My first time to try baba au rhum was in St Petersburg (Russia) when I was still a young, very good-looking student, our Russian teacher took us to one local bakery and treated us with some sweet delicacies. Tamara Sergeevna, our teacher recommended me to taste her favorite sweet – baba au rhum! Since then this cake is one of my all-time favorites.
When I studied at Le Cordon Bleu (Paris), I was so happy when I found that we will do baba au rhum during the second course.
Today I’m sharing with you baba but not “au rhum”, baba au Cointreau, orange-flavored liqueur! But if you are Rhum lover, just stick to Rhum!
Step 1 Preparation for baba dough
- All purpose flour 250 gr
- Trimoline (inverted sugar) 20 gr or Glucose or Maple sirup
- Salt 5 gr
- Vanilla extract 3-4 ml
- Butter 100 gr
- Water 25 ml (warm but not over 30ºC)
- Fresh yeast 20 gr or 3-4 gr of dry yeast
- Eggs 250 gr
Mix the yeast with warm water, then eggs, trimoline or glucose, vanilla…whisk well, add 80% of flour and salt, whisk well again and add the rest of flour and finally butter, butter should be soft like pomade. Whisk well all together for 1-2 minutes. Then put it into the well-buttered mold. Leave it to rest for at least 30 – 40 minutes at the room temperature, or you can put it in the oven with a bowl of hot water to push it risen faster! After the resting time, bake the cake at 170ºC for 25-30 minutes.
Step 2 Preparation for Cointreau sirup
- Water 600-700 ml
- Sugar 200-300 gr
- Orange 1-2 pieces
- Cointreau 60-70 ml
Prepared the sirup, it depends very much on the mold you use, as we will pour the sirup into the mold and leave it overnight until the cake totally soaked into the Cointreau sirup. The sweetness and the Cointreau also depends on how sweet you like, to me 300 gr of sugar is good enough for 700 ml of water, and if you are heavy liquor lover you can increase the amount of Cointreau (or other orange-flavoured liquor like Grand Marnier).
According to our school in Paris, the amount of liquor is just about 20ml per one liter of sirup, what I found not strong enough, but the baba au rhum I bough from Stohrer ( 51 Rue Montorgueil, Paris), where baba au rhum was first invented by chef Nicolas Stohrer, back to the 18th century, the rhum taste was very strong! You also can slice orange and add it into sirup to enhance more flavor.
Before pouring the sirup into the mold, right after the oven you need to check the cake by taking out from the mold, just to make sure the cake is well-baked, with golden brown yellow and not stick to the mold.
Before put the baba back to the mold for soaking in sirup, you also can apply an apricot glaze (nappage) to make it more shining!
Enjoy the baba au Cointreau next day with crème Chantilly!