A rum baba is made from a sweet enriched dough, which is then soaked in a rum syrup to make it incredibly moist and rich. Adam Gray pairs his cakes with beautifully fragrant citrus poached pears and a ginger-spiced ice cream. You could serve the ice cream with a little biscuit crumb for added texture, if liked.
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To make the ginger ice cream, put the milk, double cream, ground ginger, stem ginger and vanilla pod in a heavy saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and infuse for 1 hour. Pour through a fine sieve
250ml of semi skimmed milk
125ml of double cream
1/2 tbsp of ground ginger
50g of stem ginger, chopped
1 vanilla pod
Cream the egg yolks and sugar together. Pour the flavoured cream onto the sugar and egg yolks, then return the mix to the saucepan
3 egg yolks
50g of caster sugar
Heat gently, stirring occasionally until the mix reaches 81°C or coats the back of a spoon. Cool to room temperature. Pour the mix into an ice cream machine and churn. Freeze until needed
To make the baba, warm the milk and stir in the yeast to dissolve. Combine the flour, sugar, salt and yeast mixture into the bowl of a mixer. Using the dough hook, mix on a medium speed to form a dough
45ml of semi skimmed milk
25g of fresh yeast
335g of plain flour
45g of caster sugar
1 pinch of salt
Add the eggs one at a time with the mixer running until they are fully incorporated. Tip the dough into a bowl. Cut the butter into 2cm dice and put over the dough
110g of butter, chilled
Cover with cling film and leave at room temperature to double in size
To make the rum syrup, bring the sugar and 175ml of water to a simmer in a heavy saucepan, stirring until the sugar has dissolved, then bring to the boil
175g of sugar
175ml of water
Mix the syrup, rum and 100ml of water and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and leave at room temperature
125ml of dark rum
100ml of water
To make the spiced poached pears peel the pears. Place with all the rest of the ingredients in a heavy saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and leave the pears to cool in the cooking liquor
3 conference pears
190g of caster sugar
450ml of dessert wine
150ml of orange juice
1 1/2 lemons
Once cool, slice into 8 wedges and remove the core. Sprinkle the wedges with a little caster sugar and caramelise with a blowtorch
caster sugar for dusting
Once the dough has doubled in size, beat the butter thoroughly into the dough with the mixer. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a 1-2cm nozzle
Pipe into 8 buttered dariole moulds, 5cm across the base and 5cm high. Half fill the moulds. Let the mix prove again in the moulds until it doubles in size
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4. Bake the babas for 12 minutes or until cooked through. Remove the cooked babas from the moulds and tip them into the rum syrup for 5-10 minutes
To plate, slice a soaked baba in half and place overlapping on the right side of the serving plate. Arrange three caramelised pear wedges to the left of the baba and top with a ball of ginger ice cream
Serve extra rum syrup in a small jug
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