I’m generally not a fan of cakes that are soaked in liquids because they usually end up on the mushy side. But (because there’s always a but), this baba au rhum is a true exception.
Baba au rhum
Before I dive into why, I just have to say that the name of this cake makes me giggle. It doesn’t sound particularly elegant, or French for that matter, but if you could only see the beauty it becomes once it’s all dressed up and ready to be served.
Traditional baba au rhum is made in a ring-shaped mold (like [easyazon_link identifier=”B0006BDD84″ locale=”US” tag=”monpetitfour-20″]this[/easyazon_link]), and it’s filled with pastry cream or whipped cream, then topped with an assortment of fruits.
It’s also a cake that’s really made with yeast-leavened dough rather than cake batter. The dough itself is not particularly sweet, which is why the au rhum part of the name is so important. Instead, once the cake is baked, it gets soaked with a sweet rum syrup that makes this cake a real treat.
The leavened dough is also the reason why this cake never ends up mushy, but instead perfectly moist; it’s got enough sturdiness in structure to handle all the liquid.
Because rum plays such a big flavor role here, I decided to impart my own twist on traditional baba au rhum by adding [easyazon_link identifier=”B007B9I8NY” locale=”US” tag=”monpetitfour-20″]raisins[/easyazon_link] to my cake, and orange (both juice and liqueur) to the syrup.
While this version of the cake may not be very classic, the flavor combination definitely is, and for good reason. Raisins, orange, and rum are truly a wonderful trio.
I couldn’t help but also drizzle some [easyazon_link identifier=”B009RVKB7A” locale=”US” tag=”monpetitfour-20″]dark chocolate[/easyazon_link] ganache over the entire cake to really turn this into a dessert I could swoon over. You can do the same, or simply leave out the chocolate and enjoy a slice of this cake for breakfast, since it’s just as lovely in the morning.
for the cake dough
- 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water, 115°F
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan, softened
- 4 eggs
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup heaping raisins
for the syrup
- 6 tbsp orange juice
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp orange liqueur
- 2 tbsp rum
- 2/3 cup water
for the ganache
- 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
- 3 tbsp milk
- Start by creating the cake dough. Add the yeast to a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer). Add the warm water and let the yeast rest in the water for 5 minutes, until bubbly and frothy.
- Add the unsalted butter, eggs, granulated sugar, salt, and 1 cup of flour. Mix on medium-low speed until relatively smooth. Add the remaining cup of flour and raisins, and again mix until incorporated and smooth.
- Butter a bundt pan, then scrape the cake dough into the prepared pan. Smooth it out so that the dough is evenly dispersed. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the cake rest for 1 hour in a warm place.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake the cake for 30 minutes, or until the cake is golden. Meanwhile, create the syrup by combining all the syrup ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook the syrup over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and the syrup is heated through.
- Once the cake is ready, turn it out onto a large baking sheet. Slowly pour the syrup all over the cake, making sure to pour very slowly so that the cake has a chance to absorb the liquid.
- To create the ganache, simply warm the milk in a bowl in the microwave for about 10 seconds. Add in the dark chocolate chips and mix with a spoon until the chocolate is smooth and melted. Drizzle the chocolate over the cake, then serve.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 12 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 337