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Where to find the best Rum Baba in the city?

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Olav23 Jul 22, 2007 10:49 PM

Hi all. I grew up on Rum Baba. My grandfather would often have a big jar of these sickeningly sweet balls submerged in that syrupy goodness. He was a food importer and had access to all sorts of quality stuff. I've tried a few, some in Carroll Gardens at italian bakeries, and the same in the city, but so far have had no luck finding one that has a taste I remember from my youth.

Anyone know where I can find a really great Rum Baba in the city? My grandfather was Austrian, but I think it might be a french/italian dessert. I have great memories of getting loaded off those suckers. These were the real deal, doused in rum, not some rum "essence" sugar syrup. And they were simply a cakey pastry ball, not filled with cream or anything.

Thanks!!

  1. g
    Geanhang Nov 9, 2008 01:49 PM

    Rum Baba's were also a memorable part of my childhood. I suspect people have different tastes when it comes to Rum Baba's, and I can't know exactly what you're looking for, but I can tell you that after many years of searching for a great Rum Baba, I finally found it - in New York, at a restaurant called Osteria del Circo, 120 West 55th. Their rum baba is hands down the best I've ever had - and delightfully presented in a miniature single-portion mason jar that they bring to the table. The food at Circo is generally top notch, and if you're looking for a wonderful Italian meal, consider going there and topping it off with the rum baba. Or else you could go and sit at the bar and order it by itself. Either way, call ahead and make sure they're serving it that day before you go. The only other rum baba I like, although not nearly as much as the one ast Circo's, is the one they have at Ferrara's Italian Bakery in Little Italy, just above canal street. The rum flavor is not pronounced enough for me, though - although you might find it to your liking. If not, do what I do - take out a few baba's from Ferrara's, bring them home, and pour a little pure rum on the straight from the bottle (I use Meyer's). Now that's a killer desert!
    good luck and let us know how things turn out.
    -George

    2 Replies
    1. re: Geanhang
      s
      sethd Nov 9, 2008 03:30 PM

      The best Rum Baba in New York was at ADNY, now closed. Hopefully, with further encouragement, Sandro the pastry chef at Adour Alain Ducasse will put the Baba back on the desert menu. It would be a nice Christmas/Hanukah present!!!

      1. re: sethd
        g
        Geanhang Nov 9, 2008 04:00 PM

        Ducasse just opened an Adour in Washington, DC. I went a few weeks ago, and the Baba was on the menu. It was definitely very good (though extremely expensive and not the best desset on the menu - the soufle, for example, is much better), but the problem is that Olav 23, who started this discussion string, wouldn't like it, because it has a cream component to it, and Olav 23 just wants a "cakey pastry ball" without cream.

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