There´s a special dessert in our bakery that arouse interest in many commensals, the Baba Au Rhum, also known as torta borracha or bizcocho borracho for our Latinos clients.
The first thing to spot out is the name. It is attributed different names to different variations of the dessert, but to understand better the attractive moisture sponge cake adorned with Chantilly cream and fresh fruits we enjoy today, it’s necessary to take a look to its history.
As many things in cuisine, various European countries take credit for its origins, many countries will tell you it’s their own and they might all be right; everyone has contributed something to this European sweetie, but certainly France and Poland are involved.
The original Baba au Rhum was created for Stanislas Leszczynski (1677 – 1766) Duke of Lorraine and Bar in Northern France, who had been before King of Poland. Stanislas was the father of France’s Queen Marie, wife of King Louis VX. At one of his first banquets, Stanislas chose for the dessert a traditional Polish sponge cake made with dried fruit, mostly raisins. The cake was to be doused in a sweet Hungarian Tokay wine and covered in an apricot sauce. When the cook’s assistant discovered that the kitchen’s stores were out of the required wine she added rum to the sponge cake.
In the 1800s, an offshoot of Rum Baba, the Savarin, was created. The Savarin is slightly different to the traditional Rum Baba. For a start, the mould is circular with a hole in the middle and is served with Chantilly cream. The Savarin, or Savarin au Rum, was named after Jeanne Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755 -1826), a French attorney, who dedicated himself to the education of early French foodies. The dessert is a close relative of the Eastern European baba, which includes dried fruit in the dough and is served without a filling. The dessert became very popular in France, but the people called it Baba Au Rhum and soon dropped the name Savarin.
Whatever the truth is behind the original invent, the dessert is currently a best seller in Bonjour. We serve it with rhum or without it, according to the client’s preference. That said, and a little bit of history revealed, how are you going to order it in your next visit to Bonjour?