This pastry is often overlooked at pastry shops, because often it is presented in a plain fashion. Do not be fooled by it's simplicity, because this pastry packs up a tremendous amount of "flavor", also known as liquor (most of the time rum). Most of the time, the Rum Baba will be filled with pastry cream or whipped cream, and topped with fresh fruit. It's individual servings make it easy to serve and to eat. Also a perfect dessert for 2.
"King Stanislaw I of Poland and Lorraine" "Maria Leszczyńska"
This is another pastry that was invented almost by accident, or to the result of trying to fix another type of pastry. In this case, the Larousse Gastronomique refers to the exiled Polish king, Stanislas. This was in the 18th Century, during of on Stanislas' voyages. He was bringing back a Babka from Poland, and when he arrived to Alsace-Lorraine, the dessert was dry. One of his pastry chefs (Nicolas Stohrer) had the idea of adding Malaga wine, saffron, fresh raisins and pastry cream. Nicolas Stohrer then followed Stanislas' daughter, Maria, to Versaille as her patissier in 1725 when she married King Louis XV. He then founded his Patisserie in Paris in 1730. The idea of using rum to soak the baba, did not come until 1835, from one of Stohrer's descendants. The dessert finally appeared on US restaurant menus aroung 1899.
This refreshing dessert is a great treat on a hot summer day or after a romantic dessert. It can be plated with a coulis, fresh fruit, different creams and soaked in different alcohols. This versatile dessert is worth the trouble to make it.
Recipe to follow at a later date. Below is an example of a modern "Baba au Rhum" sold at The Frenchway Cafe.
Eat well, sleep well and till tomorrow!