Rum babas with poached pineapple & vanilla ice cream

Rum babas with poached pineapple & vanilla ice cream

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Cooking time

Prep: 1 hr Cook: 35 mins Plus proving and cooling

Skill level

Moderately easy


Serves 6

A restaurant-style pudding you can make ahead for a relaxed end to your dinner party

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

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For the babas

  • 75ml milk
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 3 tsp dried yeast
  • 175g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 50g butter, melted and cooled, plus extra for greasing

For the poached pineapple

  • 4 star anise
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 20 coriander seeds
  • 500g caster sugar
  • 1 small pineapple, peeled, sliced into rings and cored
  • 250ml golden rum, plus extra for serving
  • 50g butter (optional)
  • black pepper (optional)

For the vanilla ice cream

  • 400ml double cream
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod, seeds only

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  1. For the babas, gently heat the milk, then allow to cool slightly so it’s tepid. Add 1 tsp sugar to the yeast, then pour in the milk and allow to stand for a few mins until the mixture is foamy. Combine the flour, remaining sugar and ½ tsp salt in a bowl, then pour in the yeast mixture, eggs and the melted butter and mix until smooth and shiny. Cover with a tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place for 1 hr.
  2. Butter and flour 6 dariole moulds or small metal pudding moulds. Knock back the dough; then, using your fingers, form 6 little balls and place 1 ball into each mould. Leave to prove again until the dough starts to rise over the top of the moulds, about 30-40 mins. Meanwhile, heat oven to 180C/160C fan/ gas 4. Space the moulds out on a baking tray, then cook for 15 mins. Leave to cool for a few mins, then carefully loosen the babas away from the sides with a small sharp knife. Turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool.
  3. For the poached pineapple, put the star anise, bay leaves, coriander seeds and sugar into a large pan with 1 litre of water, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, add the pineapple and cook for 20 mins. Leave to cool for 5 mins, then take out the pineapple, drain and set aside. Add the rum to the syrup and allow to cool. Can be made the day ahead up to this point.
  4. To make the vanilla cream, whip the cream with the icing sugar and vanilla seeds to soft peaks. Set aside, then chill until ready to use.
  5. Halve the babas and drench in the rum syrup until soaked through. Serve with the pineapple chopped into chunks, plus a dollop of cream extra syrup for everyone to drizzle over. If you like, you can heat the 50g butter in a frying pan until browned, cook the pineapple rings on both sides until golden, then grind over black pepper before serving as above.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, October 2011

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fstoney_2004's picture
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*amazingly* delicious!!! i was so unsure about trying out this recipe - i've never heard of rum babas before, and soaked bread didn't sound too appealing. however, the taste of the babas was sublime - the end product was as light as fairies, sticky and sweet. i don't drink alcohol and don't like cooked pineapple, so i had mine with poached pears and vanilla cream. my dad loved it and mum said that we should definitely make some more very soon! (i had doubts about the recipe - but follow everything as it says, it gives brilliant results. also, it is more like a batter than a dough. i used a ladle to spoon it into my pudding moulds)