1 envelope dried yeast:
1/2 cup warm water
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick/4 oz/113g) unsalted butter, softened and chopped
4 tbsp. raisins (optional)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup rum
Heavy cream, for serving
Seasonal berries, for serving (optional)
For the Cakes:
Stir the yeast into the water and let stand for 5 minutes to dissolve. Add 1/2 cup of the flour and, using an electric beater, mix until combined and the mixture is smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the sugar and salt and the remaining 1 1/4 cups flour, beating until the mixture is smooth. Cover and let stand in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.
Gradually beat in the softened butter, piece by piece until the mixture is smooth. If using, soak the raisins in lukewarm water, then squeeze out the excess water and work them into the dough. Set aside.
Butter ten 3/4-cup Baba molds. Place 2-3 tablespoons of the mixture in each mold, cover and let stand for 45 minutes, or until doubled in bulk.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 C). Add the cakes and bake for 20 minutes, or until puffed and golden and when tapped gently they sound hollow. Remove the cakes from the molds and place on a wire rack to cool.
For the Glaze
Mix the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Stir over low heat to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a boil and boil for 5-7 minutes, or until reduced by half. Remove from the heat, then stir in the rum. While the cakes are still warm, brush the tops with the glaze.
Serve warm or cool with the cream and seasonal berries, if desired.
Makes 10 individual size baba au rhum cakes.
Date: July 22, 2002