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BackstoryIn order to share the recipe for Baba au Rhum, I will have to share a bit of French and Polish history. When King Stanislas Leczinksi of Poland lost the throne when Poland was partitioned in 1766 he journeyd to Paris, where he was set up in style, by his friend King Louis XV of France, in a chateau in the suburbs. There he indulged in his favorite past time, cooking. One day as an experiment he made guglhupf batter but poured it in individual molds and, when the cakes were baked, soaked them while still warm with boiling-hot rum syrup. The result was sensational and Stanslas named them Ali Baba, after one of the heroes of his favorite book "Thousand and One Night."
- 3 3/4 cups (500 grams)sifted bread flour
- 1 1/4 cup (300 gram) butter
- 1 heaping tablespoon (20 grams) sugar
- 2/3 ounce (20 grams) yeast
- 7 whole eggs
- 1/3 cup (1 decilitre) warm milk
- 6 tablespoons (50 grams) currants
- 4 tablespoons (50 grams) golden raisins
- 1 1/2 teaspoon (10 gram) salt
- Sirop à Baba (Syrup for Babas):
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup (2 1/2 decilitre) rum
- Method: Put the sieveed flour into a large wooden bowl, make a well in the middle, put salt and yeast into this well, having diluted the yeast with warm milk. Add eggs and work the paste with the hands to mix well.
- Detach those portions of it which stick to the walls of the bowl and add to the paste. Distribute softened butter in small quantities over the paste. Cover and keep the paste in a warm place until it has doubled its original bulk. Then add sugar and knead the paste so that it may absorb the butter. Add raisins and currants anhd mix well. Put the paste into well buttered large moulds, filling the moulds only up to one-third of their height. Bake in a hot (350ºF) oven for 45 minutes and allow to cool before turning out of the mould. Pour syrup over the cake and sprinkle with the liqueur recommened: rum, kirsch or other.
- Sirop à Baba (Syrup for Babas): Cook sugar & water until it reaches 220ºF. Add rum and cook an additional 10 minutes.
- Bon Appetit!