Some classics never go out of style, like this light, yeasted cake – soaked in a rum syrup with a dash of vanilla, orange juice and zest (dessert always tastes better when soaked in rum!) and served with a giant dollop of sweetened whipped cream. In French, this is often referred to as a savarin. The traditional champagne-cork-shape moulds are tough to find, so use a muffin tin to achieve a similar shape. Don’t have rum on hand? Use bourbon instead. Alternatively, substitute earl grey tea for the alcohol.
1 teaspoon (5 ml) instant yeast
¼ cup (60 ml) of warm water
¼ cup (60 ml) warm milk
2¼ cups (560 ml) all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon (2 ml) salt
1 tablespoon (15 ml) sugar
4 tablespoons (60ml) butter, melted
Orange and Rum Syrup
2½ cups (625 ml) sugar
3 cups (750 ml) water
1 cup (250 ml) orange juice
zest of 1 orange
⅛ cup (30 ml) rum or bourbon (or 1 earl grey tea bag or latte)
1 vanilla pod halved and scraped
3 cups (750 ml) whipping cream, chilled
½ cup (125 ml) icing sugar
2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla extract
Amarena cherries for garnish (optional)
For the dough: In a mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Make a well in the centre and add the eggs and butter. Bring the dry ingredients to the centre a little at a time until incorporated. Knead the mixture well and form into a ball. Cover with a damp cloth and allow the dough to rise. Meanwhile lightly grease a 12-hole muffin tin.
Punch down the dough and knead again. Divide equally in 12 and form into balls and place each in muffin tin. Allow to proof in a warm spot until doubled in size.
Heat the oven to 400 °F (200 °C). Place muffin tin in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 325 °F (160 °C) and bake for a further 15 minutes or until golden brown. Meanwhile make the syrup.
For the syrup: In a saucepan, combine sugar, water, alcohol (or tea bag) and orange juice. Add the zest, vanilla stirring occasionally. Bring to a boil until sugar is dissolved and mixture is viscous. Remove from heat.
Soak Baba: Remove babas from tin and immediately place in syrup.
For the Chantilly cream: In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the cream, sugar and vanilla and beat at medium speed for 1-2 minutes. Increase the speed and beat for an additional 3-4 minutes or until cream thickens. Do not overbeat as the cream will turn to butter. Scrape into a large piping bag fitted with a star tip and refrigerate if not using immediately.
To assemble: Pipe the cream on cooled baba and garnish with cherry.
Beautiful, solid reamer that looks good on a countertop and is sturdy enough to juice fruit excellently. Classic Wax finish Olive Wood Lemon Press, $22.00;
Versatile stainless steel piping tip that will allow you to create swirls, rosettes and shells. Open Star Cake Decorating Tip 6B, $2.19 (USD);
Vancouver Island Salt
Hand-harvested and made for gourmands! Also perfect for giving a soupçon of savoury to sweet dishes. Flake Sea Salt – Chef’s Bucket, 1 kg, $34.95;
A punchy flavour great for baking or simply sipping! Double Bergamot Earl Grey Black Tea, $3.95 (USD) for box of 18 bags; stashtea.com
This original recipe article first appeared in the Winter 2021/22 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.