The Neapolitan dessert par excellence: Rum Babbà

The Neapolitan dessert par excellence: Rum Babbà

Symbol of Naplespatisserie, the babbà has very peculiar and, indeed, ancient origins! It reached Naples from Paris, city were the chefs of bourgeois families were usually sent to improve their culinary skills. But Parisians didnt invent it because, according to the legend, this sweet, rum-filled little mushroom was born off an accident, caused by an angry King Stanislao Leszczynsk of Poland. Kept against his will in the Lorraine region of France one day, while conceiving and writing improbable political pamphlets and documents, he dropped - luckily, we may add - a bottle of his favorite tipple, rum, onto a cake called kugelhunpf.  

Infused with rum syrup, these moist, petite cakes are the mother of all liquor cakes

Nicolas Stohrer, the chef who created its distinctive shape, was probably inspired by a polish cake called babka ponczowa, called baba in French and then transformed into babbà by Neapolitans 

The Neapolitan dessert par excellence: Rum Babà

In Paris again, the baba savarin, a baba filled with fresh fruit salad and glazed with apricot jam, was invented 

Baba, typical italian cake ftom Naples

The secret of this delicious cake lies in its slow leavening, which results in a soft, spongy texture, perfect to absorb liquors: rum, limoncello, sugar syrupsSimple or filled with whipped cream and fruit, babbà remains one of Naplesbest known culinary expressions, even though its history leads us quite far from the city.

Receive More Stories Like This In Your Inbox

SPONSORED

Recommended

Sardinian Fregola with clams

I was re-arranging my pantry recently and found a package of Sardinian fregola . Memories came flooding back of my trip to this wonderful island back...

Asparagus & goat cheese ravioli with burnt butter, sage & hazelnut sauce

Making your own pasta isn’t difficult, and I was reminded whilst making these ravioli just how satisfying, relaxing and therapeutic it can be. I...

Leftover Wine? Don't waste it, make ciambelline al vino!

L eftover wine from that party last eve? Don’t toss it – make these simple Italian cookies instead. I first came to learn of these wonderful little...
An old fishing boat on the shore of the stormy sea in Pescara, Abruzzo

Looking at the sea from a mountain top: Abruzzo

Up to 1963 the proud region of Abruzzo was not a region in its own right, but cohabited with Molise, even if Frederick of Swabia had already, in 1233...
Pistachio tiramisù is a just as delicious alternative to classic tiramisù © M. Becci

A delicious taste of Sicily: heavenly pistachio cream

A friend recently brought me the precious gift of a jar of Sicilian pistachio cream made from the pistachios of Bronte. Almost as soon as she was out...

Weekly in Italian

Recent Issues