The Daily Telegraph - Saturday
The dough for these is best made in a stand mixer as it is very wet and more like a batter. You will also need doughnut or savarin moulds to bake them in (mine are 7cm diameter). Decorate with cream and marzipan, or add white marshmallows if you prefer, and to make this child-friendly replace the rum with orange juice.
Makes about 24
For the dough
265g strong white flour 1 tsp salt 5g fast-action instant yeast 40g caster sugar
80ml whole milk 4 medium eggs
100g unsalted butter, very soft and spreadable
For the syrup 120g caster sugar 500ml water Zest of 1 orange 125ml rum
350ml double cream 150g marzipan
75g icing sugar plus a few drops of water
Blue and black food dye Pretzel sticks
White mini marshmallows (optional)
h Add all the dry ingredients for the dough (flour, salt, yeast, and caster sugar) to the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Warm the milk in the microwave until tepid, then add to the bowl along with the eggs. Add the soft butter in chunks, then beat on a slow speed with the paddle attachment until the mixture is very smooth and elastic. h Cover the dough loosely with oiled cling film and leave to rise until doubled in size (about an hour and a half, but it will depend on the ambient temperature). h When risen, use a spatula to place the dough into a large piping bag. Cut a medium tip, then pipe into greased doughnut or savarin moulds. They should be about 50 per cent full. h Cover loosely with lightly oiled cling film, and leave to rise until doubled in size. The dough should be reaching the tops of the moulds. This second rise will be quicker than the first (perhaps around 40 minutes), so keep an eye out. h Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/Gas 6 and bake for 10-12 minutes. They should be golden on top. Meanwhile, prepare the rum soaking syrup. Add the caster sugar, water and orange zest to a pan. Bring to a boil, stirring intermittently.
Once all the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has come to a boil, add the rum. Simmer for a minute. Then remove from the heat. h When the babas have finished baking, slide them out of their tins (this should be very easy) and immediately soak them in the warm rum syrup for about 15 seconds on each side. Use a slotted spoon to remove and place on a wire rack to drain and cool. h Whip the double cream to soft peaks, then transfer a small amount to a piping bag with a 1M, 2D or similar piping tip attachment. Don’t add all the cream at once, as the cream at the top will become warm from your hands, and may also end up overwhipped by the time you get to piping it out. Pipe cream in a swirl on top of each rum baba. h Mould sheep faces using marzipan, then place one near the centre of each cream swirl. h Make a water icing by whisking together the icing sugar with a few small drops of water. You want to create a piping consistency, so be careful not to add too much water. Divide between two bowls. Add blue food dye to one, and black to the other. Transfer both to separate small piping bags. Cut a very small tip on both, and use to pipe facial features on the sheep. h Spoon a little blob of whipped cream on to all the sheeps’ foreheads, then poke pretzel sticks (or similar) into the rum babas so that they look like legs. Alternatively, you can also make sheep using white mini marshmallows. Just cover the baba with a layer of cream, place the sheep face in the centre, then arrange the mini marshmallows all around.