This cake started off as a variant of a kouglof. That’s a brioche elaborated with raisins and baked into a crown shaped mould with a layer of almonds. It is imbibed in kirsch and dusted with icing sugar. It’s a traditional Christmas cake and the shape is supposed to be a turban; an allusion to the Orient Kings. The baba, named after Ali-baba, is imbibed in rum and topped with whipped cream. This was revisited by Stohrer in Paris.
Stohrer invents the baba, and Queen Elizabeth tasted
He used smaller cork shaped mould and removed the raisins. An extremely airy and light cake is then submerged in a vanilla citrus syrup. It is glazed with apricot jam to keep it shiny. It is served cold or at room temperature, sliced in half, with a shot of brown rum and a generous amount of whipped cream.
It is basically an airy yeast cake drenched in syrup. There are variations all over central Europe, and all are very delicious (savarin, savarina, etc.).
Today I present a baba drenched in citrus syrup, and topped with fresh orange, and a splash of Cointreau. I had something very similar in Paris last time, in a yuzu syrup.
Baba aux agrumes by Stohrer
Exotic citrus is a trend right now, there’s also combava or something. A little extra is the Grand Marnier Chantilly.
Ingredients for half recipe
|Baba for 16 small ones
– 200g flour
– 70g butter
– 8g dry yeast
– 8g honey/glucose
– 2g salt
– 250g eggs
– 1 L of water
– 500g sugar
– zest of an 2 organic oranges
– zest of an organic lemon, and its juices
– the two zested oranges cut in supremes
– whipped cream
– Grand Marnier
Measure the ingredients. The butter is cold or soft, but the eggs should be a room temperature.
Rub the flour, yeast, salt and honey to the butter in a bowl using the finger tips. Add one egg at a time and incorporate well. A very elastic and sticky mass will form. To work this, using one hand, gather it up with the fingers, lift and throw it back into the bowl. Work this about 5 minutes, and with a spatula clean the hand and let rest five minutes.
Baba dough is sticky and elastic
Place this dough into a piping bag and fill the moulds half-way. Place in a warm area and let rise for 1.5 hours. Bake at 175C/350F for about 25 minutes.
Babas will double in volume
Meanwhile prepare the syrup. Bring the sugar and water to a boil. Remove from the heat, add the zests. Cover with a cloth and let the zests infuse. Squeeze the juice of the lemon and add.
Cut out the orange segments, and squeeze the remaining membrane over the syrup to collect juice. The rest is fibre and I eat it.
When the babas are cooked, they are unmolded and cooled. The syrup is warmed up, but it’s certainly nowhere near boiling. The babas are placed in the syrup, either with a slotted spoon or with ones clean hands, they are submerged, given a little squeeze even to coax them into drinking up the syrup. They are left to cool on a rack over a basin to catch the dripping syrup. When cool, they can be glazed with some diluted marmalade. I make my own.
Home made is always better
Place on muffin papers and keep in the refrigerator.
Baba à l’orange
When ready to serve these delicious babas, cut lengthwise, and serve with an orange segment and a sprinkling of Cointreau. This is so good. For the extra gourmand, why not accompany this with some Grand Marnier flavoured Chantilly.
With Grand Marnier chantilly and a sprinkling of Cointreau