For almost 10 weeks now I’ve been working on my Patisserie Challenge. It’s a lot of fun. So far most of the recipes very quite easy. It’s important to get the basics right, but I’m kind of eager to start with a bit more challenging projects. When it comes to patisserie it’s all about creating little pieces of art. At least that’s how I see it.
This weekend I made some Cream-Filled Babas. Baba pastry is basically a simple yeast pastry. What makes them special is soaking in a deliciously aromatic sugar syrup and adding a little bit of a pastry cream. I think they are a really good pastry. Simple to make and very moist. But what I think makes them even better is adding a little bit of nice alcohol at the very last moment. If you have some home made liquor at home, go ahead and have a shot with your baba. If not, go ahead and make some 😉
adapted from Christophe Felder
For the Babas Pastry:
- 10 g fresh yeast,
- 50 ml whole milk,
- 225 g flour,
- 3 eggs,
- 50 g butter, softened,
- 20 g sugar,
- 5 g salt.
- Mix the yeast with milk and 2 tablespoons of flour. Whisk it until smooth. Cover and let raise for 30 minutes.
- Add the remaining flour. Add 2 eggs and beat until smooth. Add the remaining egg until the dough is smooth.
- Add the butter. Beat for a couple of minutes. Add sugar and salt and beat a bit longer, until fully incorporated. Cover the dough and let raise for another 30 minutes.
- Butter the baba moulds. Put the dough in the pastry bag and fill the moulds until 2/3 full. Use a small spoon covered in a bit of flour to flatten the pastry in the moulds (that will make them rise evenly). Let them rise in the moulds for another 30 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 180 C. Bake the babas in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes, until golden brown.
For the Pastry Cream:
- 250 ml whole milk,
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped,
- 60 g sugar,
- 3 egg yolks,
- 25 g cornstarch,
- 25 g butter, diced and softened.
- Bring the milk, vanilla seeds and half sugar to boil.
- Whisk the egg yolks, cornstarch and the rest of the sugar together in a separate bowl.
- Whisk the egg mixture into the milk. Cook for about a minute, until it thickens, whisking constantly.
- Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter.
- Put it in a small shallow bowl and over the cream directly with a foil.
For the sugar syrup:
- 1 liter of water,
- 500 g sugar,
- zest from 1 1/2 orange (only the orange part),
- zest from 1 1/2 lemon (only the yellow part),
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split, seeds removed,
- 2 sticks of cinnamon,
- 2 star anise.
- Bring water with sugar to a boil.
- Take of the heat and add the remaining ingredients. Let infuse for 10 minutes.
Assemble the babas:
- Soak the babas in a lukewarm syrup. Turn them often and after 30 minutes drain on a kitchen rack for 10 minutes.
- Melt some apricot preserves and brush them lightly on the babas.
- Spread some pastry cream on each baba.