This Baba au Rhum Punch Is an Adults-Only Dessert
If you're a fan of rum and have a sweet tooth, you're going to love this week's episode of Pastries with Paola. Following a Blueberry Panna Cotta with Blueberry Chia Pudding, Paola is now making Baba au Rhum Punch, her take on Baba au Rhum—and make no mistake, this is an adults-only dessert. It starts with a homemade brioche that's infused with a rum soak, covered with a citrus glaze, and finally, topped with a fruity rum punch coulis. She describes it as "infused with delicious Caribbean rum with French influences, and it's topped with tropical, fruity flavor."
"This dessert is gonna satisfy your sweet tooth while getting you a little buzzed," Paola says.
Read on for her step-by-step method and follow along with the video above.
Start with the Brioche Dough
To make the brioche, grab your stand mixer (outfitted with a dough hook) and get the active dry yeast, granulated sugar, and warmed whole milk into the bowl, stirring it all together. Let the mixture stand for about five minutes until it becomes frothy, then add in your all-purpose flour and kosher salt, beating on medium-low speed for about one minute until the flour is mostly incorporated. The eggs go in next one at a time, followed by the unsalted butter (just make sure the butter pieces are soft so they can incorporate evenly). When you touch the dough, Paola notes, you'll know it's done if nothing transfers to your finger. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough sit for an hour in a warm, draft-free place so it has time to rise.
Meanwhile, Make the Rum Soak
Next, get started on your rum soak. You'll need light brown sugar, more kosher salt, cinnamon sticks, and water, as well as lime juice and dark rum. The sugar, salt, cinnamon, and water come to a boil on the stovetop first. Then, once the saucepan is off the heat, you'll add in the lime juice and rum. Just like the brioche dough, this needs a little time to sit, so give it 30 minutes to infuse.
Prepare Your Rum Punch Coulis, Too
Paola's trusty immersion blender comes in handy for this next step—making a simple fruit coulis. Blitz up the peaches and strawberries in a bowl, and then transfer the puree to a medium saucepan along with the granulated sugar, lemon juice, and lime juice. Give everything a mix and turn on the heat to medium, bringing the mixture to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to a simmer, stirring often to ensure nothing sticks to the bottom and burns. Once it's done, run the coulis through a strainer to remove any pulp. Finally, add in the rum, stir, and let the coulis cool to room temperature.
Bake the Baba
The brioche dough should have doubled in size after the initial resting period. Give it a few punches in the bowl, and then remove it and gently stretch the whole mass into an 18-inch length. Next, place the dough in the buttered Bundt pan and arrange it into a wreath shape, pressing down so it's even. Give it another 20 to 30 minutes to rise again, covered with a clean dishcloth, and then bake it in the preheated oven at 375°F until it's golden-brown, about 20 to 30 minutes. (When a toothpick is inserted in the center of the cake, it should come out clean.)
Get Going on Your Glaze
The final accoutrement for this dessert is the citrus glaze, which calls for granulated sugar, dry apple pectin, water, and lemon juice. Paola notes to mix together the pectin and sugar in the saucepan before adding any of the liquid. Once it's melted into a paste-like structure, Paola says, you're good to go. This should take about six to eight minutes.
Soak, Poke, and Serve
After the cake is out of the oven and has cooled for 10 minutes, invert it from the pan onto a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Here's where all. that. rum. flavor. comes in. Unmold the cake and poke holes all over it, and then put it back into the Bundt pan. Next, poke the top and drizzle on half of the rum soak (cinnamon sticks removed). After a final flip and unmolding back onto the wire rack, cover the top in the remaining rum soak. All that's left to do is brush on the citrus glaze so the whole baba is lightly covered.
Once that's done, cut yourself a slice, pair it with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream, then pour the coulis on top to finish it off.
"There is so much tropical flavor," Paola says as she tries it. "That fruit punch flavor resonates through, the rum really makes it."
Stay tuned for our next episode of Pastries with Paola featuring Lemony Sumac Pie with Ritz Cracker Crust.