Baba Rhum with Orange Cream . . .

Our initial taste of Baba Rhum was many years ago while atending a private dinner party in Montreal. And we were smitten immediately. In fact, we remember standing on the edge of the dessert table crowd conjuring ideas as to how we could quietly move the remaining Baba Rhum to our vehicle and high-tale it for the provincial border! This dessert is beyond fabulous. Slightly time consuming but easily worth the effort.



 65 ml milk
 35 ml thickened cream
 1¾ tsp dried yeast
 210 gm plain flour
 2½ tbsp caster sugar
 2 eggs, lightly whisked
 65 gm butter, melted
Rum syrup
750 gm caster sugar
150 ml dark rum


Orange cream
30 gm caster sugar
2 egg yolks
2 tsp each plain flour and cornflour
150 ml milk
400 ml orange juice
¼ tsp agar-agar (see note)
400 ml thickened cream, whisked to soft peaks



1. Preheat oven to 180C. Heat milk and cream in a small saucepan until lukewarm, add yeast and set aside in a warm place until foamy (5 minutes). Mix flour, sugar and 1 tsp sea salt on low speed in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, then add egg and yeast mixture and mix to combine. Increase speed to medium and mix until smooth (5 minutes). Reduce speed to low and gradually add butter, mixing until combined, then increase speed to high and knead until dough is smooth and elastic (5 minutes). Divide dough among 4 greased 150ml dariole moulds, cover with a tea towel and set aside to prove until dough reaches tops of moulds (1-1½ hours). Bake until golden and cooked through (15-20 minutes), cool slightly in moulds, turn out to cool completely, then transfer to a large airtight container until required.


2. For rum syrup, stir sugar and 1 litre water in a saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves, then simmer until syrupy (5 minutes). Set aside to cool, then stir through rum, pour over rum babas and set aside to soak (2 hours), turning in syrup occasionally.


3. For orange cream, whisk sugar and yolks in a bowl until pale (3-4 minutes), sift flours over, stir to combine and set aside. Bring milk to just below the boil in a small saucepan over low heat. Add milk to egg mixture in a thin, steady stream, whisking continuously, then return to a clean saucepan and whisk over medium heat until mixture comes to the boil and thickens (1-2 minutes). Transfer to a bowl, cover closely with plastic wrap and set aside to cool. Reduce orange juice in a small saucepan over medium heat to 125ml (15-20 minutes). Add agar-agar, whisk to combine and bring to the boil. Strain through a fine sieve into a large bowl and refrigerate to cool. Fold in milk mixture, then fold in whipped cream. Serve with rum baba, with extra rum syrup drizzled over.