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Italian Rum Baba

(Serves 8)
Italian Rum Baba
A rum baba or baba au rhum is a yeast cake saturated in liquor, usually rum.  A baba is typically filled with
some type of dried fruit and is sometimes served with whipped cream.  A rum baba may be made in
individual servings (about a 2" tall slightly tapered cylinder) but can also be made in larger forms similar to
those used for Bundt cakes.

For this recipe you will need a small, deep bundtform or kugelhopf pan. Your bundtform pan should
measure between 6.5 and 8.5-inches in diameter and 3.5 to 4-inches deep.
Ingredients:

Baba:
1/2 cup raisins
1 tablespoon gold rum
5 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/2 cup milk
1 package dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1-2/3 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Rum Syrup:
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup gold rum
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup apricot preserves

Whipped Cream:
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla

Seasonal Fruit (optional)


Directions:

To Make the Cake:
Combine the raisins and rum in a bowl and set aside.  Use 1 tablespoon of
the butter to coat the inside of the pan.

Heat the milk in a small saucepan to 110-115° F.  Stir in the yeast and
sugar. Allow it to sit about 5 minutes until it gets foamy.

Pour the yeast mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer.  With the mixer on
low speed, add the eggs.  Combine well.  Add the flour, salt, and remaining 4
tablespoons of butter.  Beat the mixture on medium speed 3-4 minutes. 
Scrape the batter down to the bottom of the bowl.  It will be very soft.  Cover
the bowl with a towel and set aside in a warm location.  Allow the dough to
rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Drain the raisins and fold them into the dough.  Spoon the dough evenly into
the prepared pan.  Cover the pan with a towel and set aside.  Allow the dough
to rise until it is almost even with the top of the pan.  This rising may only
take 30-45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375° F.  Bake the baba for 30 minutes, or until a cake
tester comes out clean.  While the baba is baking, make the rum syrup.

To Make the Rum Syrup:
Place the sugar and 1-1/2 cups water in a small saucepan.  Cook over
medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves.  Pour into a 4-cup heat-proof
measuring cup and allow to cool.  Add the rum and vanilla.  Set aside. 

When the baba comes out of the oven, allow it to cool for 10 minutes.  Turn it
out of the pan onto a baking rack placed over a baking sheet.  Loosen the
baba around the top edge with a knife if it does not want to come out  Pour
the rum syrup very slowly over the warm baba, allowing it to soak in. It will
look like you have too much syrup but it will all be absorbed.  Heat the
apricot preserves with 1 tablespoon of water in a small saucepan.  Pour the
mixture through a strainer to remove the chunks of fruit.  Brush the apricot
liquid over the entire baba.

To Make the Whipped Cream:
Put the cream, sugar, and vanilla into the bowl of an electric mixer.
Whip until the mixture forms soft peaks.

To Serve:
Cut the baba in wedges and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.
Optional:  Add some seasonal fruit to each serving.
Italian Rum Baba
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KUGELHOPF PAN
Fox Run Non-Stick Kugelhopf Pan
This pan features a premium non-stick
coating, which provides quick, easy
release of baked goods. Made of heavy
gauge steel to prevent warping and allow
even heat distribution for exceptional
baking results. Backed by a 5 year
warranty.
DESSERTS  >  ITALIAN CAKES PLAIN AND FANCY  > ITALIAN RUM BABA
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Active Yeast has coarse granules that should be dissolved in a warm liquid to 'bloom' or activate and get foamy; adding a pinch of sugar with the yeast encourages the blooming process. This takes about 5 to 10 minutes.

Instant Yeast includes bread-machine, rapid-rise and quick rise yeast.  They're finer in texture and can be added directly to dry ingredients; no blooming is necessary.  Many promise a shorter rising time but that isn't necessarily a good thing because dough develops flavor and texture as it rises.
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