Rum Babas, Babas au Rhum, are little cakes soaked in a sweetened rum syrup and sometimes topped with a Chantilly Cream. The same size as a cupcake but not really a cupcake because these are made with savarin cake which uses yeast as the leavening agent.
Savarin Cake, made with yeast, was the signature bake for Semi-Finals Week on Collection 8 of the GBBO. It could be ANY version as long was made out of Savarin Cake. Several contestants make Rum Babas and I decided to follow suit.
Savarin Cake isn’t really a batter or a dough. It’s somewhere in between. Not quite pourable like a batter it’s more like a very soft stretchy dough. It ACTS like bread dough so that’s how I treated it.
If made without loads of sugar it’s actually just an enriched bread roll. It ONLY starts to taste like a cake AFTER you soak it in the syrup, so don’t skip that step or you’ll serve up bread rolls instead of cake!
In fact, the first time I made Laura’s Recipe from the GBBO Site I didn’t soak them because I was just recipe testing for amounts and size. My kids thought they were bread rolls and ate them with butter.
You Can Make Rum Babas in a Muffin Tin!
I didn’t have any sort of mini bundt pan or savarin pan for small cakes. What I DID have was a muffin tin. But I didn’t know if it would work for these Rum Babas.
It took a little sleuthing to find a recipe that made JUST 12 rum babas AND if it did, would they fit in a muffin tin. But looking over lots of recipes I realized that rum babas can be one BIG cake or mini cakes of various sizes and shapes, so I decided my muffin tin would work.
Once I figured out that I could make a recipe in a muffin tin, and that I would base my cake recipe off of Laura’s but I would definitely add more sugar.
I also switched out Laura’s citrusy rum syrup for a very basic version to keep it simple, just lemon and rum for flavor. Don’t leave the rum out, it takes the super sweet syrup and makes it so tasty! I don’t like rum but decided to use it anyway and WOW it makes such a difference.
Other changes I made to Laura’s Recipe was leaving off the glaze and all the fruit. I also didn’t make a mascarpone whipped cream. Mostly because I can never find mascarpone!
You can ALWAYS change up the syrup flavors, or add more fruit to your finished rum babas. Or even use pipettes full of syrup on the top. After watching that semi-final I feel like anything goes when making and decorating the Rum Babas.
Chantilly Cream on Top of the Rum Babas
SO EASY. And so delish If you think Chantilly cream is some fancy pants extra recipe you don’t want to make just add a little sugar and vanilla to whipping cream before you whip it and there it is, Chantilly Cream. Yes, that is literally ALL there is to it.
Savarin Cake? REALLY?
I know a yeasted cake soaked in rum syrup seems so weird but looking back on some of the things we’ve baked in the Bake-Along is seems fairly tame. We’ve made:
Which Yeast Should I Use? Active or Instant?
- 1/2 cup + teaspoon OR 120 mls milk
- 2 1/2 cups or 300 grams bread flour (ap works fine too)
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast-see notes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup sugar OR 50 grams sugar
- 2 eggs
- 5 1/2 Tablespoons OR 90 grams soft butter
Lemon Rum Syrup
- 4 cups water
- 1 1/4 cup OR 250 grams sugar
- 1/2 cup OR 120 mls Rum, spice rum works fine
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1-2 Tablespoons of sugar
- 1 Tablespoon of Vanilla
- warm the milk in a saucepan until just warm, about 90˚
- meanwhile put the flour, salt, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer
- stir together the dry ingredients
- when the milk is warm pour it into the bowl with the flour, add the butter, and eggs
- stir on low with the bread hook until combined, then drop the bowl and scrape it down
- put the bowl back up then increase the speed one notch and knead for about 5 minutes, stopping halfway through to scrape it again
- when the dough is soft and silky it's done, it will be a very sticky dough
- generously grease a clean bowl and scrape the dough into it
- cover with greased cling film OR a greased plate or lid, something to keep it from drying out while it's rising
- let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size
- meanwhile, make the syrup and let it cool
- mix the water and sugar over medium heat, stir to dissolve the sugar then just bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until thick
- wash your lemon with hot water to get off as much wax as possible
- peel off just the outer peel and add it to the syrup
- after 10-15 minutes, when the syrup is started to thicken, remove the syrup from the heat and add the rum
- alternately you can add the rum while you finish cooking the syrup to get cook off the alcohol, I did this because I knew my kids would want to try one of these
- preheat the oven to 350˚
- grease a muffin tin divide the dough between the cups, you can do this with greased scissors
- you can also put your muffin tin on a scale, fill a piping bag, fill each cup to measure it precisely, use greased scissors to cut the dough
- OR put the dough on a scale, weigh it, divide it by 12 and cut it up in pieces
- bake in the preheated oven 15-20 minutes, do not overtake these
- when they're done remove from the oven and cool a few minutes
- then dip the hot babas in the syrup for 8 seconds, (10 seconds was too long!) and then soak the bottoms the same way
- set them on a cooling rack and allow them to drip and cool completely
- when cool make the Chantilly Cream
- whip the heavy cream with the sugar and vanilla until it holds peaks
- pipe on top of the babas
- add little slices of lemon, sprinkles, fruit or pipettes of the syrup
- You can use EITHER dry yeasts in this recipe
- if you use active dry yeast use 2 1/2 teaspoons and put it in the warm (not HOT) milk and stir to get it activated
- if you use instant just throw it in the bowl with the dry ingredients
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Amount Per Serving Calories 625Total Fat 42gSaturated Fat 26gTrans Fat 2gUnsaturated Fat 13gCholesterol 143mgSodium 293mgCarbohydrates 52gFiber 1gSugar 32gProtein 6g
This nutrition information was calculated using a computer program, results may vary.