Love Italian desserts? Try making these limoncello babas at home. An Italian dessert soaked with limoncello syrup. If you know and love The Silver Spoon cookbook, you’ll love The Italian Bakery: Step-by-Recipes with the Silver Spoon is available here.
LIMONCELLO MINI BABA
- 6½ oz (¾ cup/180 g) unsalted butter
- 7 oz eggs
- 10½ (2½ cups/300 g) strong white bread flour
- 7 oz (1⅔ cups/200 g) type “00” flour or all-purpose flour
- ¼ oz (7 g) fast-action dried yeast, (or use 1 ounce/25 g fresh brewer’s yeast)
- 1½ oz (¼ cup/40 g) superfine caster sugar
- ½ oz (1½ teaspoons/10 g) salt
- Vegetable oil, for greasing
- 17 fl oz (2 cups/500 ml) water
- 7 oz (1 cup/200 g) superfine caster sugar
- 7 fl oz (scant 1 cup/200 ml) limoncello
- 10 fl oz (1¼ cups/300 ml) heavy whipping cream
- 3 oz (scant ½ cup/80 g) candied lemon slices
- Cut the butter into small cubes, place in a bowl, and leave to soften.
- Beat the eggs together in a bowl. Sift the two types of flour
- into the bowl of the stand mixer, stir in the yeast and sugar and then start to mix. Add the salt and beaten eggs to the flour and continue to mix until incorporated. Add 5 ounces/½ cup plus 2 tablespoons/150 g of the softened butter, a few cubes at a time, and continue to mix on low speed until the dough is elastic that comes away easily from the sides of the bowl.
- Lightly oil a clean bowl with vegetable oil. Transfer the dough to the oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap (cling film), and leave to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- Use the remaining butter to grease the individual baba pans (tins), then lightly dust with flour and place on a baking sheet. Deflate the dough then divide it equally into 24 balls. Put one ball of dough into each mold—the molds should be approximately half full. Loosely cover with kitchen foil, and leave to rise in a warm place for about 20 minutes or until they have doubled in volume.
- Preheat the oven to 475°F/240°C/220°C Fan/Gas 9, remove the foil and bake the babas in the preheated oven for 15–20 minutes or until golden, risen, and springy to the touch. Leave to cool a little then remove from the pans and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, to prepare the syrup, place the sugar in a small saucepan and pour in the water. Set the pan over low heat.
- Let the sugar dissolve, gently swirling the pan from time to time. Once the sugar has dissolved completely, increase the heat to medium, add the limoncello, and bring to a boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
- Dip the babas into the syrup until they are soaked, then place on a cooling rack to drain for 10 minutes. Whip the cream using an electric whisk and transfer to a pastry (piping) bag fitted with a star piping tip (nozzle). Make a vertical cut in each baba, but do not cut all the way through, and insert a candied lemon slice into each cut. Place the baba on serving plates, add a spoonful of syrup to each and then pipe the cream on top.
Reprinted from The Italian Bakery: Step-by-Recipes with the Silver Spoon by The Silver Spoon Kitchen. © 2021 Phaidon Press.