November 04, 2016

When stories make great recipes

This week was easy-peasy. Two recipes that I did not find particularly difficult. Do not get me wrong; I did not have them perfectly executed but like we say in French: C’√©tait pas mal, it was not bad.

First was the Passion fruit and Raspberry tart. The recipe is a sweet pastry dough filled with a passion fruit cream and a jellied raspberry coulis. One of the technique to master is the chablonnage. Chablonnage is a French culinary word to describe the action of coating a biscuit in order to keep it waterproof from any moist mixture that might come next.
For example, you may want to apply a thin layer of egg wash on the bottom of your raw pastry dough before to put it into the oven or in this case spread a thin layer of chocolate glaze before pouring in the raspberry coulis. That way, the biscuit keeps its crunch.

Passion Fruit and Raspberry tart

That was not a little mouse that bit into each of our tarts during the practical but a chef with a very sweet tooth. Sixteen tarts in a row to taste, review and give a feedback. The glazing is good but the crust is a bit too thick. Oui chef!

Then we had the Rum Baba. Let me tell you the story of the Rum Baba. The legend tells that Stanislas Leszczynski (1677-1766), fallen king of Poland and Duke of Lorraine would have find his Kugelhopf too dry one day and decided to pour some Malaga wine on it to give it some moist.

Kugelhopf by Chef Danniel

Another version of that story says that Nicolas Stohrer, the duke’s pastry chef invented the Rum Baba. He made that cake out of a dry brioche that was eaten in Poland for centuries at Christmas and Easter time and call Baba, a polish name for “Grand-mother”. The pastry chef got the idea of flavoring the dough with Saffron, of pouring Malaga wine on the cake and of serving it with a cream and dry grapes.
In 1725 Mary, the daughter of the Duke got married with Louis XV. She would not move to the Palace of Versailles without her pastry chef. So Nicolas Stoher came with her. Et voilà, the Baba is introduced to the court.
Five years later Nicolas Stohrer opens his pastry shop on Montorgueil Street, in Paris. His descendants substituted Rum for the Malaga wine and his shop is still open nowadays. What a story!

Mini Rum Baba by Chef Danniel

Back to the kitchen, the chef demonstrated both the Kugelhopf and the Rum Baba. We only did the Rum Baba in practical for the great pleasure of my mother. As I did not mention before, we are taking home the pastries we are making in the kitchen. I usually give them to our lucky neighbors but my mother held on the Rum Baba.

Rum Baba by Chef Sandrine

I thought I had poured too much Rum on my Baba as my thumb is way smaller than the neck of the bottle of Rum but apparently I did not pour enough.
Mum blind tasted my Rum Baba versus the one I got from the pastry shop. With a guilty smile she said she likes the one from the shop better because there is more Rum... She is sharper than the Chef.

Next week is going to be another story for another great recipe… maybe a recipe that you will have at your exam… this recipe comes up regularly at the examReally?


  1. you're lucky today with the questions....all about rum baba and passion fruit tarte...��...pity that I couldn't access this morning ��