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Before starting this Rum Baba Yule Log recipe, make sure you have organised all the necessary ingredients.
In the stand mixer bowl, shape the flour into a fountain.
Add the sugar and salt.
Mix with the flat beater for a few seconds until thoroughly combined. The sugar and salt should not come into direct contact with the yeast, as it would lose its rising properties.
Add the whole eggs...
... the fresh yeast...
... and warm milk.
Mix at low speed with the dough hook.
This kneading method allows the flour to incorporate gradually.
When the flour has completely incorporated, beat at high speed until the consistency is thicker...
... and the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl. This operation should take a good 10 or 15 minutes. Make sure your food mixer is stable on the kitchen worktop to avoid any accident.
Add the soft butter, cut into cubes.
When fully incorporated...
...scrape the dough stuck on the sides of the bowl.
Cover with a clean tea towel and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in volume.
When the dough has risen (1.5 or 2 hours later)...
... punch down with your hands...
... and transfer the dough on a floured kitchen worktop.
Using a scraper, divide the dough ball in 2. The quantities given are for 2 logs, each log for 6 people. If you wish to make one big log instead, you will need to use a mould with a larger diameter.
Place the dough in a round mould, slightly greased. The mould should be filled up to 3/4. Leave in a warm place for the dough to rise again, until the dough is higher than the mould and rounded.
Fold back the top part of the mould...
... and lock with the appropriate rod.
Bake at 180°C (gas 4) for 20-25 minutes.
The baba biscuit will swell inside the mould and will take a cylindrical shape. 20 minutes later, open the mould and bake for a further 5 or 10 minutes. Make sure the biscuit is cooked in the centre.
When cooked, take out of the oven...
... and gently remove from the mould. Let cool. Up to this stage, the biscuit can be prepared in advance. It can be kept at room temperature for 2 or 3 days, or frozen for later use.
For the syrup: Organise all the necessary ingredients.
Pour the water in a saucepan. Split the vanilla pod in half, lengthwise. Add to the water...
... followed by the castor sugar.
Add some lemon peel shavings (use a vegetable peeler...
... the star anise and cinnamon sticks (or powder).
Bring to a gentle boil and let infuse for about 15 minutes.
Let cool. I recommend preparing the syrup the day before so that all the flavours develop.
For the mascarpone chantilly cream: Organise all the necessary ingredients.
Soak the gelatine sheets in a bowl filled with cold water.
In a saucepan, place 50 grams of whipping cream, castor sugar and seeds from the vanilla pod (scraped with the tip of a knife beforehand).
Combine with a whisk and bring to a boil.
When the gelatine sheets are soft, take them out and drain.
When the cream starts boiling...
... add the soft gelatine sheets.
Gently whisk until the gelatine is completely dissolved. Set aside.
Combine the mascarpone with 250 grams of whipping cream.
Combine well with a whisk.
Add the cream and gelatine preparation.
Using a hand mixer, beat for 2-3 minutes.
Cover the bowl with cling film.
On the day: Heat the syrup and bring to a boil. Flavour the syrup with dark rum. The quantity of rum varies according to the desired alcohol and flavour intensity.
Baste the baba biscuit with the hot syrup.
For a moister result, you can steep the whole biscuit in syrup. The syrup should be hot for the biscuit to be thoroughly steeped. Steep time varies between 45 minutes and 1.5 hours, depending on how fresh the baba biscuit is.
Baste the baba biscuit frequently with HOT syrup. Do not hesitate to heat up the syrup again if it gets too cold.
To check whether the biscuit is sufficiently steeped with syrup, simply press the biscuit with your fingers and see if it soft enough. The steep operation can be quite long.
Gently lift the baba biscuit with two cranked spatulas...
... and transfer onto a drip rack. Let cool down completely.
Baste with a dash of dark rum (optional). Let cool.
In a saucepan, melt the clear glaze with 5cl of water. Whip the glaze until smooth (it should contain no lumps).
Coat the baba biscuit from one end to the other...
... by pouring the hot glaze directly on the biscuit.
This will ensure a regular, even layer of glaze on the whole surface.
For the mascarpone cream: Pour the cream (it should be slightly jellified) into the food mixer recipient.
Beat on high speed for a few minutes...
... until you obtain the consistency of a Chantilly cream.
In a piping bag fitted with a flat ribbon nozzle...
... scoop the mascarpone cream.
Pipe the cream on top of the biscuit in a wave or twist shape.
Preferably, try to pipe the cream in one stroke, so there is no visible break on the biscuit.
Sprinkle gold flakes over the surface to give a festive look to this delicious dessert.
Refrigerate until ready to serve, for the chantilly cream to set correctly.
I hope you enjoy this Christmas dessert as much as the team did! And don't hesitate to share your story or questions about this recipe...