Orange and ginger rum babas with caramelised oranges and ginger
- March 2014
- Serves 4
- Hands-on time 1 hour, Oven time 20 min, plus rising and proving
Go retro with this fabulous orange and ginger rum baba recipe. They require more effort than your usual bake but it’s totally worth it.
- 614 kcals
- 15.6g (8.9g saturated)
- 101.6g (81.5g sugars)
Per rum baba with orange
For the babas:
- 110g plain flour
- 7g sachet fast-action yeast
- 15g caster sugar
- Zest 1 orange
- 100ml warm milk
- 2 medium free-range egg yolks
- 55g unsalted butter, melted and cooled a little, plus extra for greasing
- 2 pieces stem ginger in syrup, very finely chopped
- Vegetable oil to grease
For the oranges:
- 250g caster sugar
- 80-90ml dark rum (to taste)
- 4-5 oranges depending on size, peeled and thinly sliced
For the ginger cream:
- 300ml double cream
- 3 tbsp stem ginger syrup (from the jar)
- Thumb-size piece fresh ginger
- For the babas, mix the flour, yeast, caster sugar and orange zest in a mixing bowl with a couple of large pinches of salt. Stir briefly to combine, then add the milk and the egg yolks and stir vigorously to form a loose dough. Pour in the butter and add the ginger then, using a wooden spoon or your hands (messy but effective), mix them in. Knead the dough in the bowl for around 15 minutes by pulling it out, then slapping it down until it becomes elastic, shiny and a lot less sticky – it should begin to come away slightly from the inside of the bowl as you pull it. If you can enlist helpers, it will save your arms (see tip).
- Once you can pull the dough out to a length of 15-20cm without it tearing, it’s ready. Transfer to a cleaned, lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise somewhere warm for 45-60 minutes or until doubled in size. Don’t worry if it’s slow to start rising – it will happen eventually.
- When the dough has risen, heat the oven to 190°C/fan170°C/gas 5. Push the dough down in on itself and give it a quick knead in the bowl (very lightly oiled hands will help here). Divide the dough among 4 well-buttered 175ml metal pudding basins (weigh the dough, then divide by 4 to make sure they’re even), then cover the basins lightly with cling film and leave to prove for another 20 minutes until puffed up (or chill overnight – see Make Ahead). Bake for 20 minutes until risen, golden and springy to the touch. Cover with foil after 15 minutes or so if they’re going too brown.
- While they’re proving, prepare the oranges. Put the caster sugar in a large, heavy-based saucepan with 250ml cold water and heat gently, without boiling, until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a rapid boil and cook until you have a deep golden caramel – don’t let it get too dark or it will be bitter. Once it has reached the right colour, quickly pour in the rum with another 70ml cold water and remove from the heat – be very careful as the caramel will spit quite fiercely. Swirl the pan to mix the liquids and melt any solidified caramel (return it to a low heat if needed). Leave to cool for 2 minutes, then add the orange slices and stir gently to coat. Leave to cool.
- When the babas are ready, remove them from the oven, prick a few holes in the tops with a skewer, then immediately pour over a few spoonfuls of the syrup, making sure you have plenty left for a generous serving each. Leave briefly to soak in, then run a knife round the edge of the moulds and carefully remove the babas onto a cooling rack.
- Mix the cream and ginger syrup together. Grate the fresh ginger into a clean muslin cloth or unused J cloth, then wrap it up and squeeze hard to push all the juice out into the cream. Whip the cream gently until pillowy. To serve, divide the orange slices among bowls, add a baba, then spoon the syrup over the tops of the babas so it pools in the bottom of the bowl. Serve the ginger cream on the side. The babas are best eaten on the day they’re made but will still be wonderful the day after.
If you have a stand mixer, you can start the dough by hand, then when you’ve mixed in the butter and ginger (step 1), transfer to the mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment to knead it. It will save you a lot of effort, although making the whole thing by hand will give your arms a good workout and leave you feeling very proud of yourself.
These rum babas are at their best fresh, but you can make them up to the end of step 3 the day before, then keep them in the fridge overnight. The next day, take them out of the fridge for 30 minutes to come to room temperature, then bake as normal. You can prepare the oranges and ginger cream the day before, too – keep the cream in the fridge and cover the oranges, then set aside somewhere cool.
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