Wednesday, November 18, 2009

my submission

I recently heard about a contest that Bon Appétite magazine is having for bloggers. It is the Bon Appétit Blog Envy Bake-Off. Readers will vote for the tastiest-looking treats in each dessert category—cakes, cookies, pies, and more. The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen will bake the top scoring dessert in each category and select an overall winner. The winner will receive a trip for two to New York City and dinner with Bon Appétit Editor-in-Chief Barbara Fairchild and Restaurant Editor Andrew Knowlton.

Voting began Sunday, November 1st. Entries are rolling. The contest will end Sunday, December 13th.
If you would like to cast your vote for this entry or another just go to Bon Appétit Bake-Off

I have been searching through recipes finally landing on this Baba au rhum. A rum baba or baba au rhum is a small yeast cake saturated in liquor, usually rum, and sometimes filled with whipped cream or pastry cream. It is most typically made in individual servings 100ml-capacity dariole moulds, but sometimes can be made in larger forms similar to those used for Bundt cakes.

This particular recipe came from The Brasserie by Philippe Mouchel.  Chef Mouchel’s career has been stellar to say the least. He was raised in Normandy, and began his career at 16 at French Michelin starred restaurants such as Restaurant Roger Verge in Mougins, and it wasn’t long before he was working under the legendary French chef Paul Bocuse at his restaurant in Lyon. He traveled around the world opening one greatly acclaimed restaurant after another, before landing in Melbourne to open his most recent restaurant, The Brasserie by Philippe Mouchel, along the riverside at Crown Casino. Philippe’s fresh take on contemporary French cuisine has established the brasserie as a favorite among Melbourne’s dining set.

This lovely cake with the orange cream and citrus salad to me is a fresh twist on a very traditional holiday dessert.

Even if this doesn’t win the Bon Appétit Bake-Off challenge, it is a winner none the less.


Baba au rhum with Bitter Orange Cream and Citrus Salad

Cooking Time Prep time 35 mins, cook 45 mins (plus proving, soaking)


210 gm.  flour
¾ tsp. dried yeast
3 eggs
2 Tbsp. Butter, softened
1 tsp. honey
1 Tbsp. apricot jam

Citrus salad

300 gm. sugar
600 ml.  fresh orange juice
2 each of orange and grapefruit, peeled and segmented

Bitter orange cream

3 egg yolks
50 gm. Super fine sugar
25 gm. Flour
1 cup milk
125 gm. Fine cut orange marmalade
150 gm. whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks

Citrus syrup

250 gm. Sugar
1 orange and 1 lemon, rind removed with a vegetable peeler
1 vanilla bean, split and sees scraped
200 ml. Golden rum (or to taste)

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine flour, yeast and a pinch of salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add eggs, butter and honey and mix until dough is elastic. Divide dough among 4 lightly greased 100ml-capacity dariole moulds, cover with a damp tea towel and stand in a warm place until double in size (30-40 minutes). Bake until golden and babas sound hollow when tapped (15-20 minutes). Remove from moulds and place in a shallow dish. Keep warm.

Meanwhile, for citrus salad, heat sugar in a frying pan over medium heat until dark caramel (10-15 minutes). Add juice (be careful as it will spit), bring to the boil and cook, stirring to dissolve caramel, until reduced by one third (5-10 minutes). Cool, add citrus segments, cover and refrigerate.

For bitter orange cream, whisk together yolks and sugar in a bowl until combined, then add flour and whisk to combine. Bring milk just to the boil over medium heat (5-7 minutes); gradually pour over egg yolk mixture, whisking to combine. Transfer to a clean saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring continuously, until thick (3-5 minutes). Set aside to cool, then refrigerate until chilled. Stir in marmalade to combine and fold through cream. Cover and refrigerate until needed. Makes 2 cups.

For citrus syrup, combine all ingredients except rum in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves and syrup is warm (3-5 minutes). Add rum; pour over warm babas and turn frequently to soak in syrup until almost all is absorbed (10-15 minutes).

Meanwhile, combine jam and 2 tsp water in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until jam dissolves. Brush over babas, and then serve with citrus salad and bitter orange cream.

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