Baba au rhum

9-year-old: Baba au rhum has a lot of alcohol in it, right?

11-year-old: Yup.

9-year-old: But if it doesn’t have any alcohol in it, would it be called Baba?

11-year-old: ??!!

Baba au rhum

(Adapted from New York Times)

For 24 mini cakes:
113 g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
256 g all-purpose flour
2 tsp active dry yeast
3 tbs sugar
4 eggs
1 pinch of salt
80 g golden raisin soaked in 3 tbs rhum for 15 minutes

For the rhum syrup:
200 g sugar
1.5 cup water
1 cinnamon stick
3 whole cloves
5 green cardamom pods
Zest strips of 1 orange
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
180 ml dark rhum (or brandy, whiskey, etc.)

To assemble:
Rhum
Whipping cream (optional)

To bake the cakes:

  1. In a medium bowl, work the butter into the flour until the mixture feels like wet sand.
  2. Add yeast + sugar + eggs + salt.
  3. Use an wooden spoon to mix until the batter become smooth and sticky.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
  5. Let it rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
  6. Grease and flour a mini-muffin pan.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  8. Turn the dough on to a floured working surface.
  9. Divide the dough into 24 balls.
  10. Dust each dough ball with flour and place in the mini-muffin pan.
  11. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  12. Let the cakes cool completely.
  13. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.

To make the rhum syrup:

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat sugar + water + cinnamon stick + cloves + cardamom pods + orange peels over medium high heat until boiled.
  2. Lower the heat, and let the syrup simmer for about 15 minutes.
  3. Strain the syrup through a strainer and discard all solids.
  4. Let the syrup cool completely.
  5. Add vanilla and rhum.

To make baba au rhum:

  1. In a deep baking dish, place the cakes topside down.
  2. Pour the syrup over and let the cakes soak for 2-3 hours.
  3. Occasionally turn the babas over so all sides can get soaked.

To serve:

  1. Serve the soaked cakes with a splash of rhum and a spoon of syrup.
  2. Add a dollop of whipping cream if using.