Rum Baba

by Thyme Recipes 1 Feb 20

The vibrant pink of poached forced rhubarb always makes an appearance on dessert menus at this time of year. In the Ox Barn, Head Chef Charlie has taken a classic and given it the lightest touch, using friend and ‘baker to royalty’, Clare Ptak’s recipe for Rum Baba, a brioche-like cake saturated in a rum syrup. He is serving it with his clementine curd, poached forced rhubarb and plenty of cream. There appear to be a lot of ingredients and process, but it is a relatively simple recipe.  Allow plenty of time and enjoy baking! 

Make 4-6 Babas 

For the Babas:

For the syrup:

For the rhubarb:

 For the clementine curd:

To serve:

For the Babas

  1. Butter 6 dariole moulds or 4 cups of a cupcake tin.
  2. In a small saucepan, warm the milk to warm. If it is too hot it will kill the yeast.
  3. Sprinkling the yeast, sugar and salt over the milk and stir to dissolve, leave for 10 mins.
  4. Briefly beat the egg and add the yeast before whisking.
  5. Sprinkle half of the flour over this and use a wooden spoon to bring the dough together (it will be very wet).
  6. Cover with a tea towel and place in a warm spot to rise for an hour.
  7. Sprinkle the remaining flour over the dough and use your hands to knead the dough in its bowl until it is soft and silky and shaped roughly into a ball.
  8. Incorporate knobs of softened butter, cover and allow to rise for another hour in the warm spot.
  9. Divide the dough between the buttered moulds or tins, filling them about halfway.
  10. Cover and place in a warm spot.
  11. Heat the oven to 200˚C/gas mark 6 and bake for 15-20 minutes.
  12. The tops should be golden.

 For the syrup:

  1.  Place all the ingredients except for the rum in a saucepan over a low heat and stir to dissolve.
  2. Turn the heat up and boil for 2-3 minutes to reduce.

 For the rhubarb:

  1. Chop the rhubarb into 2cm sticks and place them in a tray. Add two or three handfuls of sugar, to taste.
  2. Using a vegetable peeler, peel strips of orange and lemon onto the rhubarb and add the juice. Then add a tea spoon of the vanilla essence.
  3. Cover with tin foil and bake at 150°c for 15 minutes or until soft yet still holding its shape.

For the clementine curd:

  1. Zest the lemons into a bowl, add the juice, sugar and butter and warm over a pan of simmering water until the sugar is dissolved, taking care not to let it overheat.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and strain them through a fine sieve into the lemon mixture.  Stir until well mixed and thickened, 80 ºC on a thermometer.
  3. Pour into sterilized jars and seal immediately.  Will store in a cool, dark place for 3-4 months, but refrigerate after opening.

To Serve:

Place the babas in shallow bowls and generously pour the syrup over, add clementine curd to the plate, a good dollop of whipped cream and top with the rhubarb.