A couple of days ago I shared a late Victorian recipe for baba – the sweet yeasted ring dessert, which included dried fruit in the cake and had a heavily rummed sauce served with it and an apricot sauce. These days a large wineglass of rum would be 250ml… was that how much it was a hundred and thirty years ago?
Modern Practical Cookery published nearly fifty years after Mrs Marshall, has a more modest baba with a mere one or two tablespoons of sherry or rum ‘just sufficient to flavour the syrup’, and a lot less butter – well, actually, MPC uses margarine. Mrs M. uses one large mould, MPC suggests small moulds as an alternative and maybe serving the babas warm with cream served separately. If they are to be served cold however, ‘take them from the syrup and put a small quantity of whipped cream into the centre of each.
Modern Practical Cookery has another recipe using rum – a rum omelette, which sounds rather strange to me. It’s a fluffy omelette with the eggs separated, the whites whisked ‘to a very stiff froth’ and folded into the creamed sugar and egg yolks with a few drops of rum. It’s cooked in plenty of butter, popped under the grill to brown the top, then more rum is poured over and set alight. The last sentences adds, sufficient for one person… and I have an image of one lonely person sitting at a dining room table, eating their rum omelette all on their own… maybe with a butler standing by…
Here’s a link to Mrs Marshall’s baba recipe: