Baba Au Bourbon

2018-08-19T11:46:20+00:00 August 22nd, 2018|

This is a classic dessert with a twist. Usually, this recipe is served with Rum, but in our opinion bourbon is always a good idea. Basically, with this, you get a boozed soaked light and fluffy cake.

INGREDIENTS

Babas:

  • softened unsalted butter, as needed for greasing the mold
  • 3 large (170 g) eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup (99 g) granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/4 cup (57 g) whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons (42 g) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 1 1/4 cups (150 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (8 g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (4 g) instant yeast
  • 3/4 teaspoon (3 g) fine sea salt
  • zest of 1 orange

Soaking + Finishing:

  • 3/4 cup (170 g) bourbon
  • 1/2 cup (113 g) water
  • 1/2 cup (106 g) dark brown sugar
  • zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • apricot jam, as needed for finishing (optional)
  • whipped cream, as needed for serving (not optional)

PREPARATION

STEP 1

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter and flour the cavities of a popover pan (mine has 6 cavities; you could also use muffin cups, which will yield closer to 12 babas).

STEP 2

Make the babas: In the bowl mixer fitted with the whip attachment, whip the egg yolks and 1/4 cup (half) of the sugar until it’s pale and very thick (ribbon stage), 3-4 minutes. Set aside.

STEP 3

In a medium pot, heat the milk, butter, and vanilla bean scrapings until the butter is just melted; the milk shouldn’t be too hot. Test it with your finger, it should feel warm, not hot. If it’s hot, let it cool a bit before proceeding, add the milk/butter mixture to the egg yolks and stir to combine. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, yeast, salt, orange zest to combine. Add the flour mixture to the yolk mixture and stir to combine.

STEP 4

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, whip the egg whites on medium speed until they start to get frothy, 1-2 minutes. Slowly stream in the remaining ¼ cup sugar and continue to whip on medium high speed until the mixture reaches medium peaks, 2-3 minutes more.
Add about 1/4 of the egg whites into the batter. Mix to combine; this will help “temper” or lighten the batter. Fold in the remaining egg whites in 2 additions, very gently, just until incorporated.
Fill the prepared pan 2/3 way full (if you’re using muffin cups, fill the cups just over 3/4 of the way full.  Bake until the babas have risen very tall and are evenly golden brown, 20-23 minutes.

STEP 5

While the babas bake, make the soaking syrup: in a medium pot, stir the bourbon, water, dark brown sugar, orange zest, orange juice, vanilla bean, cinnamon stick, and cloves to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.

STEP 6

When the babas are baked, unmold immediately. Let them cool for a few minutes (no more than 10), then soak them in the syrup while they are still warm. Be generous – really dunk them. After you’ve dunked each one, dunk them all again—by the time you’re done, the syrup should be gone.
If using, warm the apricot jam in a small pot, then use the warm jam to glaze the babas. Serve warm, with whipped cream.

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