Prune and Armagnac babas

Prune and Armagnac babas
  • Serves icon Makes 12
  • Time icon Takes 40 minutes to make, 25 minutes to bake, plus 2 hours proving

These babas are a twist on the classic – using Armagnac-soaked prunes to give texture and taste to the rich dough. Serve at the end of a celebratory dinner or with afternoon tea.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
327kcals
Fat
7.2g (4.1g saturated)
Protein
4.5g
Carbohydrates
53.8g (37.3g sugars)
Salt
0.3g
Calories
327kcals
Fat
7.2g (4.1g saturated)
Protein
4.5g
Carbohydrates
53.8g (37.3g sugars)
Salt
0.3g

Ingredients

  • 500g soft, ready-to-eat pitted prunes
  • 175ml Armagnac
  • 75g unsalted butter, cubed and softened, plus extra, for greasing
  • 225g strong white bread flour, plus
  • extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp fast-action dried yeast
  • 4 tbsp milk, warmed
  • 1 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten

For the syrup

  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • Coarsely grated zest of 1 orange
  • 75ml Armagnac

Method

  1. Put the prunes in a small pan with the Armagnac and warm over a medium heat, until just simmering. Set aside.
  2. Grease 12 baba or dariole moulds, then dust with flour. Put the yeast in a bowl with the milk and 1 teaspoon sugar. Set aside for about 10 minutes or until frothy. Meanwhile, sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the eggs, remaining sugar and the yeast mixture. Mix together to make a soft dough.
  3. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, gradually mixing in the butter until smooth and elastic.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, add half the prunes to the dough and knead in. Divide the dough into 12 even pieces and roll into balls. Place 1 in each of the moulds and put in a large roasting tin. Cover the tin with lightly greased cling film and leave in a warm place for 2 hours, or until well risen.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. Remove the cling film and bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4 and cook for a further 15 minutes, until golden.
  6. Meanwhile, put the sugar, zest and 150ml cold water in a pan and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Simmer for 8-10 minutes, until thickened. Stir in the Armagnac and remaining prune mixture.
  7. Remove the babas from the oven and drizzle over half of the syrup. Cool for about 5-10 minutes, before turning out on a wire rack to cool. Douse the babas with the remaining syrup and serve with the Armagnac prunes. Decorate with redcurrants, if you like.

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