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I've been wanting to make these for years after having some really good ones in Paris. Now I'm finding these are hard to duplicate!

I find I'm not getting enough rum flavor. There is definitely sweetness from the syrup, and a bit of orange from the orange zest, but I can't add more rum to the syrup because there is already a cup for the syrup made with 2 c water and 1-1/4 c sugar. I tasted a sample dipping of the baba and it actually gave me a buzz! (Granted, I am sensitive to alcohol.) I read a thread about alcohol and how to burn it off, so I put the syrup in a wide pan and boiled for 5 minutes or so. None of the recipes I looked at (and there were many!) said anything about using rum extract but I wonder if that's a possibility.

I don't know much about brands of rum, but I am using Whalers Dark Rum.

Does anyone have experience making baba au rhum, and if so, with what results? How can I get a more intense rum flavor? Has anyone making these ever used rum extract?

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  • I have the same problem. I think quality rum-s have a too strong alcohol flavour, while for the rum babá/baba au rhum one rather expects a sweet, raisin-like aroma. Therefore I'm considering for the next baking to use some cheap mixed "rum", like inländer-rum or similar (contains c.a. 20% real rum) or to use some porto-wine or sherry to add flavour. – G. B. May 25 '20 at 16:12
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    I'm pretty sure half the "thing" of a rum baba is the rum. Boiling it ferociously for 5 minutes is going to boil off half the alcohol or more, killing it stone dead. The syrup is just rum & sugar, no water [though I bet there are as many variants on that as there are chefs]. imo you're already thinning it far too much. – Tetsujin May 25 '20 at 17:34
  • That's what I wanted to do -- kill the alcohol! What I'm looking for is the FLAVOR of rum without the alcohol (or with less alcohol). All the recipes I looked at had a simple syrup (sugar and water) with rum then added. It takes a lot of the syrup to saturate the baba, so I'm having a hard time seeing how a syrup of just rum and sugar could do it. It would take a ton of rum!! – Arlo May 25 '20 at 23:39
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Mmmmmm- I loves me a good Rum Baba! I'd personally go with Myer's dark rum. In my experiences I've found Myer's Dark to have the best/ most intense rum flavor out there (yes, it's a little expensive). I think boiling the alcohol off would heat the rum to a point where you're going to alter the delicious rum-ness! Heating the rum a little and then igniting the alcohol vapor would suffice to eliminate the alcohol without disturbing the other flavors. Just be careful and if things take a turn for the worst- stop, drop, and roll!

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Last time I did a syrup with equal parts sugar and water -- btw crucial in my opinion not to destroy the baba, since a liquid would basically have the same effect as dipping the baba in your tea. That syrup contained 15% rum, a not so expensive supermarket one with 40% alcohol, lemon zest, vanilla, cinnamon and star anice.

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