Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Baba au Rhum de la version la maison

Remember this?  The Whiskey Baba I enjoyed at a local restaurant?

Baba whiskey cake

Apparently the photo was so enticing that a friend on Facebook saw it and wanted a homemade version.  I hadn't planned on trying my hand at this but this friend and I experienced the other worldliness that was a network TV production.

He deserves a lot more than a simple recipe for Baba au Rhum after working on a program based on the premise that JFK was assassinated to cover up an alien invasion.  Hey it was the era of the X-Files and it's an adventure I'll never regret.  But what recipe to use?  At it's heart  Baba au Rhum  is a yeast cake dessert so finding a "good" recipe is important.  The recipe originating in France sent me on an email path to Virginia Willis.  Chef Willis is a graduate of Anne Willan's La Varenne Cooking School in Paris. Turns out that Virginia had to make Baba au Rhum as a final exam dish.  Yikes!  Of course she aced it.  However in my kitchen my humble efforts are not nearly as visually appealing or as tasty as Chef Willis's final exam but for friends like Michael, I did my best.

First you need a suitable molds for your little yeasties.  Like this.

Ateco 3-Inch Tall Rum Baba Mold
These I do not have in my pantry.  However I did have this.
Which according to Chef Willis would work just fine as would a muffin pan or ramekins.  This is a two rise recipe if you are making these for an event, they actually work better if made on one day and served the next.
rum baba 2

This my dough after massaging in the butter, rum and currants.

rum baba 3

This is out of the oven and post rum bath.  In all honesty I let these go too long in the oven.  They should have more of a golden coloring instead of mahogany.  Lesson learned.

rum baba 1

This is the traditional serving method with whipped cream and the rum sauce.  Despite my baking failures it still had a wonderful flavor and a creamy interior (thank you rum bath).  However I couldn't leave it at the traditional.  I decided to put my CSA rhubarb spin on it.

rhubarb 3

Instead of the rum sauce I drizzled that delicious rhubarb sauce that I used with the rice pudding liberally over my baba and chowed down.  Of course the rhubarb plays nicely with the whipped cream and even pairs up with the rum flavoring of the baba.  I don't know if this offering would have passed muster at La Varenne but I can assure you that aliens had nothing to do with the dish.  Bon Appetit Michael.


the dogs' mother said...

I do believe in aliens, I do, I do!

Looks delish, especially with the rhubarb addition.

Big Shamu said...

Well Froggy, you would have loved this short-lived series. The 20 hours it lasted just came out on dvd late last year.

MakingSpace said...

Cooking school final exam project, emails to famous chefs, CSA rhubarb, and alien invasion-inspired desserts. Bon freakin' appetit!!!!

I agree with your rhubarb addition by the way.

Big Shamu said...

But I left out the crop circles...

Dani said...

MS said it all!

Susan said...

omg yum & omg yum to the rhubarb (very Canadian dontcha know) & coconut (my fav) rice pudding !! yum, yum, yum ! xoxoxo S + the Dee girl

Captain Obvious said...

How very French of you.

Looks tasty

If you ever want to try a more homestyle riz au lait, brulee some sugar on top of your riz au lait. Good texture contrast.