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Award-winning chef-patron of Maison Bleue, Pascal Canevet shares a classic French dessert




After a tough year it’s good to return to a firm favourite that’s simple to cook but tastes so satisfyingly good.

One lesson I’ve learnt during lockdown is that we all enjoy getting a little creative in the kitchen and cooking something new. It was especially good to spend time chatting with customers during our weekly online ‘cook along’ on Instagram; with Karine filming and me in my kitchen at home. Special thanks to all who stepped up and joined in with the fun.

Based on the traditional French classic, I’ve added my signature twist to create this irresistible Baba Au Rhum recipe.

Baba Au Rhum (43659517)
Baba Au Rhum (43659517)

These individual dough cakes are deliciously moist and rich; soaked in rum and sugar syrup, they are traditionally served with Chantilly cream and are delightfully light and easy to make.

I’ve mixed the lively citrus burst of lime with the sweetness of pineapple and warmth of rum. Even the ingredients make my mouth water and with a warm undercurrent of aromatic vanilla this dessert is the perfect combination for a winter’s evening.

BABA AU RHUM

Serves 4

You will need individual baby savarin rum baba tins or small dariole moulds.

Ingredients:

45ml of semi-skimmed milk

25g of fresh yeast

335g of plain flour

45g of caster sugar

1 pinch of salt

5 eggs

110g of butter, chilled

Diced pineapple

Lemon and Lime zest

Chantilly cream

For the rum syrup:

175g of sugar

275ml of water

125ml of dark rum

1 vanilla pod

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Warm the milk gently over a low heat and stir in the yeast to dissolve. Add the flour, sugar, salt and yeast mixture into a mixer and combine using the dough hook, medium speed, to form a dough.

Keep mixing and slowly add the eggs, one at a time, until fully combined in the dough.

Remove dough from the mixer and place into a bowl. Dice the butter and dot over the dough before covering in cling film. Set aside and leave at room temperature to prove and double in size.

Once the dough has doubled in size, beat in the butter until thoroughly combined. Spoon the dough into a piping bag fitted with a 2cm nozzle. Butter baby savarin rum baba tins and pipe the dough until it fills half the tin. Set aside to prove again – it should double in size.

In the meantime, place the pineapple in a saucepan on medium heat. Add the vanilla pod, lime and lemon zest and cook for about 10 minutes or until the pineapple begins to soften.

To make the rum syrup:

Bring 175ml water to simmer and add the sugar, stirring constantly to dissolve, then bring to the boil. Add rum and 100ml of water and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Bake the babas for around 10-12 minutes. Remove from the tin and dip them into the rum syrup for 5-10 minutes to soak up all the flavours.

To serve:

Place the baba onto plates and fill the centre with the pineapple. Drizzle a little rum syrup and pipe Chantilly cream on top. Voila!

WINE PAIRING

We recommend a dessert wine:Cadillac Passion de la Bertrande 2008 from Anne-Marie Gillet. If you are not sure about dessert wines’ I recommend you try this – it’s sweet without being cloying.Our local wine merchants nethergatewines.com has a selection of dessert wines to try and offers free local delivery.

Discover Pascals new range of takeaway fast food: LÉA. A ‘pick and mix of delicious dishes’, LÉA is available Tuesday to Saturday from Maison Bleue.

 Pascal Canevet is chef-patron of award-winning Maison Bleue, an intimate fine-dining restaurant serving a modern French menu

 Churchgate Street, Bury St Edmunds

 See maisonbleue.co.uk

 Call 01284 760623