Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Syrup BADbas

Recently I thought it would be fun to have a go at making the some traditional babas. Despite my inexperience I created what I thought was a really rather lovely set of cakes that were soft, syrupy and oh so satisfying. However after explaining my process and displaying my results to another I was met with nothing short of complete consternation. Apparently what I had made were not worthy of the baba name, not sophisticated enough to be considered in the same company and despite their total deliciousness, nothing short of a total failure. So please don't make the same mistake as I and call these babas, for they are not. They are badbas, sweetly scrumptious badbas and all the better for it!

Prep time: 30 Mins
Baking time: Around 15 Mins
100ml Warm Milk
10g Fresh Yeast
3tbsp Caster Sugar
3 Large Eggs
325g Plain Flour
A pinch of Salt
135g Unsalted Butter (Cubed and Softened)

For the syrup
500ml Cold Water
250g Caster Sugar
1tsp Vanilla Paste

To the kitchen, if you dare! Pour the milk into a large mixing bowl, add the yeast, followed by the caster sugar then mix to dissolve. Beat in the eggs, then add a little of the flour, along with the salt. Mix vigorously with a wooden spoon to combine, then continue to add the flour, mixing all the time until you are left with a thick, sticky batter. Keep mixing for a further five minutes, which will be quite an upper body workout (unless you have an electric mixer of course!), then scatter over the butter. Cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place (such as an airing cupboard) for an hour.

Remove the bowl from your warm place (ooh err), and grease around a dozen good sized dariole moulds. By now the butter will be very soft indeed so mix it into your thick, proven batter. Again this will be a little tough on your guns, but stick with it for a further five minutes. Spoon your batter into your prepared moulds, about a two thirds of the way up of each, cover lightly (or place in a sealed container) and return to your warm place (?!) for a further 30 minutes. Halfway through this time preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

Uncover your dariole moulds and bake in the centre of the oven for around 15 minutes. At the same time you can prepare the simple syrup, which I have left booze free although you by no means have to! Add the water, sugar and vanilla paste to a large saucepan and place on a medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar, then turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Turn down slightly to an excitable simmer, then leave for around ten minutes, until reduced and (surprise surprise) lightly syrupy. Remove from the heat and set to one side for a short time until hot, but not boiling hot.

When the badbas have risen, are golden brown and soft to the touch remove them from the oven. Holding with a tea towel run a flat bladed knife around the inside of each mould, then carefully turn out onto a wire rack. Take each badba and submerge in the syrup, turning after ten seconds to ensure they are covered completely. Return to the wire rack and leave for a few minutes to cool and continue soaking. I like my badbas warm with cold cream or ice cream and a drizzle of the leftover syrup, but I'll the leave the serving to you!

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