Bananas aren’t what you’d call a traditional accompaniment to baba au rhum, but it’s February and they were all I had around. I shouldn’t have been so surprised that they worked so well, they’re a natural pairing with rum. I made a separate batch of syrup without the alcohol for the girls, and judging by the action this past weekend, babas are going to become a staple around here. They’re all little Joan wanted to eat, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Begin yours by putting the dry ingredients in your mixer.
Stir to combine and with the machine running, add the milk.
Now the eggs, one at a time.
The dough will get shaggy at first…
…but will become smooth and elastic after several minutes of beating.
Add the butter a tablespoon or so at a time and beat until it’s completely incorporated.
In the end you’ll have a very rich and stretchy dough. Let it sit for about fifteen minutes.
Meanwhile, butter your form (or forms). Here I’m using a popover pan, but you can use an 8-cup bundt pan, a loaf pan…even muffin molds will work.
Spoon an eighth of the batter (about 2 1/4 ounces) into the forms.
Let it rise for about 45 minutes until it’s a little more than half way up the mold. It’ll dry out a little on top. That’s OK. Preheat your oven, meanwhile, to 400.
Bake 12-15 minutes until they look about like this:
When they’ve cooled enough to handle, turn them out of the mold (they’ll fall right out) and paint on a significant amount of syrup. You can submerge them in the syrup for a more thorough soaking. The babas may lose a little of their height, but they won’t fall apart. If they don’t seem to be taking in enough syrup, you can poke a few holes in the sides with a toothpick. For maximum soakage, shave off the crust on the bottom of the baba with a bread knife, then immerse in syrup.
Just prior to serving paint on a little apricot glaze. If they’ve grown completely cold at this point, a 15-second shot in the microwave (on high) will warm them slightly and give them a nice, soft texture.
Spoon the warm syrup over, add your fruit and serve immediately to rave reviews.