Serves: 6-8
Difficulty: Hard
Active time: 2 hours
Rising time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Standing time: 48 hours
Chilling time: 2 hours
Overnight storage: up to 24 hours in the refrigerator

There’s no doubt that rum babas are stickily scrumptious, but they’re not the prettiest pud on the dessert trolley. Happily, culinary training institute Ferrandi Paris has given the humble baba a much-needed makeover and created a veritable work of art. We won’t lie to you – this requires some serious kitchen skills; but your hard work will be rewarded with a dessert that looks (almost) too good to eat.


For the baba dough

  • ¾ oz (20g) fresh (compressed) yeast
  • 3½ oz (100g) pasteurised whole egg
  • 4 oz (120g) fine-milled soft wheat flour
  • 1 oz (30g) superfine sugar
  • 2½ oz (70g) best-quality butter
  • ¼ tsp (2g) Guérande salt

For the rose-flavoured mascarpone cream

  • ¼ tsp (3g) fish gelatin powder 200 bloom
  • 4¼ tsp (21ml) cold mineral water
  • 1¼ oz (35g) pasteurised egg yolk
  • 1½ oz (40g) superfine sugar
  • 2/3 cup (150ml) whipping cream, 35% butterfat
  • 5¾ oz (165g) mascarpone
  • 4 tsp (20ml) rose syrup
  • ¼ tsp (2ml) rose petal extract

For the raspberry and rose baba steeping syrup

  • 2½ cups (600ml) mineral water
  • 9 oz (250g) superfine sugar
  • Scant ½ cup (100g) raspberry purée
  • Scant ½ cup (100ml) rose syrup
  • ¼ tsp (3ml) rose petal extract
  • Scant ¼ cup (50ml) raspberry eau de vie

Steeping the baba

  • Steeping syrup
  • 2 tbsp (30ml) raspberry eau de vie

For decoration

  • 2¾ oz (75g) pieces of lychee
  • 14 oz (400g) rose-flavoured mascarpone
  • 7 tsp (35ml) raspberry eau de vie
  • Clear neutral glaze
  • 4¼ oz (120g) raspberries
  • 10 rose petals


Making the baba dough

1Dilute the yeast in ¾ of the egg in the bowl of the stand mixer and add the flour and sugar. Mix at low speed to a smooth dough. Increase the speed to medium for 5 minutes and add the remaining egg.

2Continue to mix until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl and reaches a temperature of 77°F (25°C).

3Add the butter and salt and mix at medium speed until the dough pulls away from the bowl again and slaps against the sides (79°F/26°C).

4Grease the mould with non-stick spray. Shape 9oz (250g) of dough by hand, making a hole in the centre, and place in the mould. Tap the mould on a work surface a few times to remove air bubbles.

5Cover, and let rise at 90°F (32°C) for about 45 minutes. Preheat the oven on convection setting to 325°F (170°C/Gas Mark 3) and bake for 20 minutes.

6Unmould and put the baba back in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove and let it dry out for 2 days at room temperature. Store in an airtight container.

Making the rose-flavoured mascarpone cream

1A day ahead, soak the gelatin in the water for at least 20 minutes.

2Whisk the egg yolk with the sugar until pale and thick. Bring the cream to a boil and gradually whisk it into the yolk mixture.

3Pour back into the pan and heat to 185°F (85°C), as for a custard. Squeeze excess water from the gelatin and add, along with the mascarpone, rose syrup, and rose extract. Blend until smooth.

4Press plastic wrap over the surface of the cream and refrigerate overnight in an airtight container.

Making the raspberry and rose baba steeping syrup

1Bring the water, sugar and raspberry purée to a boil. Add the rose syrup, extract, and raspberry eau de vie. Remove from the heat and let cool. Use at 122°F (50°C) or set aside in the fridge.

Steeping the baba

1In a large saucepan, heat the steeping syrup to 122°F (50°C). Immerse the baba, turning it over and basting with syrup from time to time.

2Once the baba is thoroughly soaked, lift it from the pan with a skimmer and place on a wire rack over a baking sheet. Baste generously with the raspberry eau de vie. Let drain and chill for 2 hours.

Assembling the baba

1Drain the lychee pieces thoroughly in a fine-mesh sieve. In the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the whisk, beat the rose mascarpone cream until stiff.

2Stick the 2 plates together using glucose from the decorating bag. Baste the baba generously with the raspberry eau de vie and chill. Brush the chilled baba with warm glaze, ensuring it is not too hot, or the glaze will not be absorbed. Divide the mascarpone cream between the 2 pastry bags.

3Place the baba on the gold plates and, using the pastry bag with the plain tip, pipe mascarpone cream halfway up the inside of the cake. Sprinkle the chopped lychees and whole fresh raspberries generously over the cream.

4Cover the fruit with cream, creating a slight dome shape. Using the bag with the Saint-Honoré tip, pipe flame shapes on the baba in a circular pattern, working from the outside toward the centre of the cake.

5Arrange the rose petals around the piped cream, and place a fresh raspberry in the centre.


First printed in our sister publication France Today

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