Calvados baba

Matt Tebbutt replaces rum with apple liqueur in his version of boozy baba - here served with vanilla cream and Bramley compote
By Matt Tebbutt
Calvados baba
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes plus 1 hr 15 mins rising
  • Effort: medium


For the baba

  • 250 g self-raising flour
  • 10 g salt
  • 40 g caster sugar
  • 20 g fresh yeast
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tbsp warm milk
  • 150 g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing

For the compote

  • 25 g butter
  • 2 bramley apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1-2 tbsp caster sugar
  • ½ vanilla pods, split

For the syrup

  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 50 ml calvados, more if required
  • ½ vanilla pods, reserved from compote

For the custard

  • 250 ml double cream
  • 250 ml milk
  • 85 g caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod, split
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 125 ml double cream


1. For the baba: sift the flour into a bowl and add the salt and sugar. In a jug, crumble the yeast in 150ml of warm water and, once dissolved, stir it into the dry ingredients.

2. Whisk in the eggs, warm milk and soft butter. Cover and leave to prove in a warm place for 1 hour.

3. Divide the dough into 6 savarin moulds greased with butter. Leave to rise for 15 minutes in a warm place and preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.

4. Bake the cakes in the oven and, once golden-brown and risen, remove and leave to cool

5. For the compote: cook the bramley apples with the butter, sugar and vanilla pod in a saucepan until the apples break down to a soft pulp. Remove the vanilla pod to use for the syrup and set the compote aside to cool. Clean the vanilla under cold running water.

6. For the syrup: heat the sugar with 200ml of water in a small pan of water, add calvados to taste and the split vanilla pod. Simmer until the liquid thickens to a syrup.

7. For the custard: in a saucepan, heat the cream, milk and vanilla pods until simmering.

8. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until pale, thick and smooth. Gradually pour the hot milk mixture over the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Pour the combined mixture back into the pan and continue whisking.

9. Heat the custard, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon - the custard should be slightly thicker than usual.

10. Leave the custard to cool.

11. Whisk the cream in a bowl until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed from the bowl. Stir the cream into the custard.

12. Dip the cooked babas in the syrup to absorb the calvados, but only for a maximum of 1 minute.

13. Serve the babas filled with the compote and the custard spooned over.

Rate This Recipe