Paris, France — It’s new, it’s ingenious, it is a combination of two of the world’s most mythical desserts, France’s baba au rhum or rum baba and Italy’s tiramisu. The daring dessert, dubbed the baba misu, was dreamed up by one of the world’s leading pastry chefs, France’s very own Philippe Conticini. It is the latest in his litany of babas coming in on the heels of the spicy apple baba and the berry fruit baba.
This version is rooted in the taste of coffee and mascarpone Chantilly cream. The cake part is soaked with coffee syrup (replacing the typical rum or kirsch) and its creamy filling is an unctuous affair of arabica coffee cream and mascarpone Chantilly. And in the middle of it all a dollop of creamy cocoa cream. Traditionally the beloved baba was a sponge cake to which raisins were added and once baked it was copiously flavored with a rum syrup. Its origins can be traced back to the gourmet tastes of the Polish King Stanislaw Leszczyński who lived in exile in the French province of Lorraine and who found that the local kouglof cake was too dry. He was said to be a fan of the Arabian Nights and baptized his creation after his favorite character, Ali Baba. The Parisian pastry house of Stohrer, whose owner frequented the Polish court and which is still in existence today, would perfect the recipe making it one of the house’s specialties in its shop on the rue Montorgueil in Paris.
©The Gourmet Gazette