Baba, or Polish Cake

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Ingredients:—Two pounds of flour, twenty ounces of butter, four ounces of sugar, six ounces of muscatel raisins, four ounces of currants, two ounces of candied-citron, a good pinch of saffron, two wineglasses of brandy, and the same quantity of rum, half an ounce of salt, about fifteen eggs, and one ounce and a half of German-yeast.

First, set the sponge with one-fourth part of the flour and the yeast, in the same way as directed for preparing brioche. Then spread out the remainder of the flour so as to form a hollow in the centre; place in tins the butter and salt, previously dissolved with a spoonful of water, four ounces of pounded sugar, and break in fifteen eggs: mix the whole thoroughly, working the paste with the hands on the slab. When this is effected, gather the paste up closely, and take up portions of it with the hands, and jerk or throw these down again on the other part of the paste; continue working it in this fashion for five minutes, then, if the sponge is sufficiently risen, spread it out over the paste, and mix both together lightly. A large mould should now be spread with butter, and lined with a thin coating of the paste, and as soon as this has been effected, all the fruit, the rum, the brandy, and an infusion of the saffron must be added, the whole of which must be instantly well mixed, and lifted into the mould.

The baba should next be set to rise gradually, in a place where the temperature is moderate, and free from any current of air; and as soon as it has risen in a satisfactory manner, which may easily be known by its increasing sufficiently in quantity (through fermentation) to nearly fill the mould—although at first only half filled—the baba should be immediately placed in the oven on a thick baking-sheet, with a thick roll of paper round the bottom of the mould to protect the baba from receiving too much heat at first. From one hour and a half to two hours will suffice to bake it. Particular care should be taken in baking the baba to prevent its acquiring a deep colour: to obviate this, it must be baked in an oven of moderate heat.

No. 738