30 April 2015 at 12.28pm | Comment on this article
We are celebrating summer at Royal Opera House Restaurants with an exclusive new take on the Rum Baba, served alongside a range of other delicious treats for Tea at the Royal Opera House. Rum Babas – delectable little sponge cakes – are traditionally, as the name suggests, served drenched with rum. However, when the original baba was introduced in France in the 18th century, sweet Malaga wine was one of the first alcohols used.
We have taken this as licence to select one of our favourite bottles from the Paul Hamlyn Hall Champagne Bar. Why don’t you try it yourself? Pick your favourite tipple to add to our homemade fruity syrup – be it Prosecco, whisky or even fruit juice for an alcohol-free version – and create your own version of the classic baba. Try out our recipe here:
For the babas
190g strong plain flour
30g caster sugar
1 pinch sea salt
90ml semi-skimmed milk
15g fresh yeast
2 eggs, lightly beaten
40g unsalted butter, cubed, plus extra for greasing
For the syrup
125g caster sugar
½ vanilla pod, split in half
pared zest of ½ orange
pared zest of ½ lemon
100ml double cream
10g icing sugar
crystallized rose petals (if you want to impress)
1 cup of your choice of drink or fruit juice
To make the babas
- Lightly grease 10 small muffin moulds or bun tins with butter and set aside.
- Put the flour, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.
- Warm the milk in a small pan (do not let it exceed 37°C). Put the yeast in a heatproof bowl then add a little of the warm milk and stir until smooth. Add the remaining milk.
- Pour the yeasty milk into the dry ingredients and add the eggs. Use an electric mixer to mix on low speed, giving a soft elastic dough. Gradually add the butter and mix until it is incorporated into a smooth dough.
- Transfer the dough to a piping bag. Pipe it into the prepared tins (about 40 grams per baba). Set aside to prove in a warm place until the babas have doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan. Bake the babas for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
To make the syrup
- Combine all the syrup ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.
- Individually soak each baba in the simmering syrup for no more than 15-20 seconds then gently remove with tongs or a slotted spoon and place the babas on a wire rack to cool.
- Whip the double cream until stiff peaks form, gradually adding the icing sugar as you do so. Transfer to a piping bag.
- Make a split in the top of each baba and pipe in the whipped cream. Garnish with crystallized rose petals.
- Put the babas in serving dishes and, on serving, pour a little chilled drink of choice (about 50ml) over each one. Chef gets to drink the leftovers!
You can sample our unique Ruinart Champagne Rosé Baba at Tea at the Royal Opera House. Other delicacies on the menu include green tea and peach macarons and elderflower and mandarin amandines, alongside afternoon tea classics – traditional and fruit scones, and select sandwiches. The tea is also accompanied with a complimentary fragrance from La Collection de Grasse by L’Occitane en Provence. View the menu.