Baba au Rhum {R for Rum}

The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries or the way she combs her hair.

– Audrey Hepburn

I really miss my camera! Don’t be fooled with the rather plain (ugly) photos of my dessert. I can’t wait to get my camera back because it was a very tough job to get good photos of this recipe with my old one. At the same time, this French dessert does have a rather plain exterior while it’s actually much more exciting and beautiful inside.

A couple of years ago, during a trip in France, I tried an amazing dessert called baba au rhum. As boring as it may look, it is actually a very spongy yeast cake bathed in rum. I tried it in a restaurant run by a lovely lady we know, and this Christmas she herself presented me with the cookbook La cuisine des bistrots. The baba au rhum recipe was one of the recipes in the book, so I knew I had to make it.

Sometimes life brings us surprises. Or coincidences? I don’t know. A couple of years ago I tried this dessert for the first time. I was so impressed. I guessed it would be difficult to make. The cookbook does say for this recipe: Difficulté – dificile. So it sort of was difficult. I never imagined that a couple of years later I would be making it for my blog (which didn’t exist then either). Or maybe it’s the other way around, maybe I unconsiously brought this coincidence to myself.

Ron cacique in baba au rhum

Ingredients for the babas:

90g butter + 1 teaspoon for the mold

10ml milk

3 eggs

1 1/2 cups flour

10g baker’s yeast

1 tablespoon sugar

salt

Ingredients for the rum sauce:

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon rum + more rum to pour later

40ml water

Set the milk to room temperature. Pour the baker’s yeast into the milk. Stir and let it rest in the milk for 10 minutes. Cut the butter into small cubes and leave it to set to room temperature. Sift the flour into a big bowl. Make a hole in the middle. Beat the eggs with the sugar, then add it along with the milk and baker’s yeast into the middle of the flour. Knead until a smooth and elastic dough is formed.

Place the butter on top of the dough, cover with a cotton cloth and leave to rest for 45 minutes. Butter the mold. Knead the dough again to fully incorporate the butter cubes. Pour into the mold. Leave to rise for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Bake the baba for 25 minutes. Take it out and let it cool.

Prepare the rum sauce by mixing the sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring to boil then let it simmer for 15 minutes. Take off the heat and add the rum.

Pour the rum sauce onto the baba. Pour more rum directly from the bottle just before serving the baba au rhum.

Notes:

  • I used a big round mold with a whole in the middle, however this dessert is more typically made in smaller individual molds.
  • This dessert is typically served cold with cream or ice cream.

Baba au rhum French recipe

My baba au rhum recipe is my contribution to the ingredient challenge for this month I have with Shanna from Curls and Carrots, with our chosen ingredient being rum. Check out Shanna’s lovely banana, rum and raisin bread. Oh, when you pop over there, do wish her a happy birthday as it was her birthday this weekend.

Enjoy your dessert!

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25 Comments

  1. Pingback: Rum-A-Dum-Dum | CURLS AND CARROTS

  2. Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward 2014-01-23 at 01:54

    Sofia, This looks amazing. It seems only great food and good things come from your trips to France. I cannot WAIT to try it (Seriously, I’m drooling while typing). Yum, yum, yum! Have a fantastic end of the week. Besos, Shanna

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-01-23 at 12:46

      Oh Shanna you must try it. Do calculate starting it a few hours beforehand though… Have a fantastic weekend, besos!

      Reply
    2. Sofia 2014-01-23 at 12:49

      PS: Now we need to think about “S”

      Reply
      1. Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward 2014-01-23 at 17:42

        Ahhhh, yes!!!!! Email me your thoughts, and I’ll get shopping (and cooking)! What fun. 🙂

        Reply
        1. Sofia 2014-01-23 at 22:38

          I’m going to brainstorm on it 🙂

          Reply
  3. Sunny 2014-01-23 at 10:29

    Oh yum! I might be able to make this, though that means I’ll have to buy a bottle of rum and I’m not sure how I’ll deal with the rest of it 😉

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-01-23 at 12:45

      haha I had to buy a bottle of rum to make this too! I’m sure we’ll find something to do with the rest of the rum 😉

      Reply
  4. chef mimi 2014-01-23 at 16:21

    My French mother always made this and I hated it because it was so strong! Now, I love it!

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-01-23 at 22:30

      Maybe with some ice cream it’s smoothed out!

      Reply
  5. pianolearner 2014-01-23 at 18:42

    I’ve seen Rum Baba on the telly a few times (It was big in the UK in the 1970’s apparently). I’ve yet to try it. Yours looks lovely.

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-01-23 at 22:31

      Really? I didn’t know it was big once in the UK! If you like a heavily liquered recipe, yeah try it 🙂

      Reply
  6. Joyce 2014-01-23 at 21:57

    This looks so good. I normally have an unreasonable fear of working with yeast, because I am afraid that I will do something wrong and ruin the whole recipe. I’ve never seen a cake made with yeast, and yet it makes sense to make the cake more bread-like so that it will survive the soaking. I think I am going to save this recipe and give it a try soon. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-01-23 at 22:38

      Maybe you worked it out, maybe it needs to be yeast spongy like to survive the soaking! I hope you give it a try, its fabulous! xx

      Reply
  7. dedy oktavianus pardede 2014-01-25 at 15:35

    Never had baba au rum before, sounds simply easy dessert..
    btw, have you ever try the rhum custard that fambeed with rhum in your plate before???

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-01-26 at 17:12

      I haven’t tried that, sound good. The dessert is quite simple, the difficult part (for me anyway) is remembering to start 3 hours before you want to have it!

      Reply
      1. dedy oktavianus pardede 2014-01-27 at 17:33

        Give it a try Sofia,
        i guess it’s probably became you’re fave too, just me me, hehehe

        Reply
  8. Laura Lynn 2014-01-26 at 19:08

    That sounds like a lovely dessert. I literally JUST took baklava out of the oven. I wonder if I added a tbsp of rum to the syrup if it would be good? Sounds like it would be…or I’d ruin 2lbs of walnuts, pecans and hazelnuts to say nothing of the filo pastry and butter…on the other hand…

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-01-26 at 19:09

      Oh my goodness, you make baklavas?!? YUM! Oh why not add some rum to some just to see what happens.

      Reply
      1. Laura Lynn 2014-01-26 at 19:12

        I’m standing here with my sister arguing the pros and cons. I think we are taking 1/2 the baklava (it’s a grand recipe) and putting rum in the syrup and pouring now…let it soak a bit and see. By Sunday for the Big Game it will be perfect!

        Reply
  9. Laura Lynn 2014-01-26 at 19:14

    Oh and we’re mailing the rum free portion to my brother in San Francisco. Best type of food gift. It gets better after a few days, holds up well in the mail and tastes impressive as all get out!

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-01-26 at 22:53

      Lucky brother you have to have sisters that send him baklavas! Ooh do tell me later how it turns out with the rum. xx

      Reply
  10. Dalo 2013 2014-02-02 at 21:40

    Looks great…loved to have rum cake as a kid (made me feel like an adult). Hope your camera makes it through 🙂

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-02-03 at 16:24

      It’s also a great winter cake, really helps warm up. Thanks, I hope my camera makes it through too, the old camera had retired and it’s not happy at all at getting back to work.

      Reply
      1. Dalo 2013 2014-02-03 at 17:45

        Ha, ha…I would not be happy either!

        Reply

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