Make this kashmiri saffron baba then check out our madeleine baba, limoncello baba and more individual desserts.

Khoya, a key ingredient in most Indian sweets, is used in the batter and can be found in most Indian grocery stores. @bibi_ldn



  • 75g unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for the moulds
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 125g plain flour
  • 12g fast action dried yeast
  • 25g khoya

Coffee jelly

  • 2 platinum gelatine leaves
  • 125ml fresh espresso, made with 11/2 tbsp ground coffee
  • 40ml dark rum
  • 55g caster sugar

Saffron bavarois

  • 1 platinum gelatine leaf
  • 125ml whipping cream
  • 25g white chocolate
  • ½ tbsp caster sugar
  • 5g liquid glucose
  • pinch of saffron threads

Baba syrup

  • 160g caster sugar
  • zest of ½ a lemon
  • zest of ½ a lime
  • 6 cardamom pods, crushed
  • large pinch of saffron threads

Chantilly cream

  • 150ml whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp light brown muscovado sugar
  • ½ a vanilla pod
  • 6 tbsp dark rum
  • edible flowers (optional)


  • STEP 1

    Generously butter the inside of six baba moulds. Using a stand mixer and the beater paddle, briefly beat together the eggs and sugar on a medium speed. Combine the flour, yeast and a large pinch of salt. Slowly pour into the bowl with the mixer still going. Now, slowly pour in the melted butter until incorporated and continue to beat for 5 mins or until glossy and stretchy. Divide the mixture between the baba moulds. Transfer to a warm, non-draughty place and leave for 1 hr to double in size.

  • STEP 2

    To make the jelly, soak the gelatine in cold water. Put the remaining ingredients in a small pan over a low heat for 2-3 mins and bring to a gentle simmer. Remove from the heat, squeeze any excess liquid from the gelatine and stir into the mixture until dissolved. Pour into a small rimmed baking tray and leave to cool before chilling for 1-2 hrs.

  • STEP 3

    To make the saffron bavarois, soak the gelatine in cold water. Melt the white chocolate with 50ml of the whipping cream, the caster sugar and glucose in a small pan over a low heat for 1-2 mins. Stir in the saffron. Remove from the heat, squeeze any excess liquid from the gelatine and stir into the mixture until dissolved. Allow to cool to room temperature. Whip the remaining cream until soft peaks form. Whisk the chocolate mixture as it will have started to solidify, then firmly fold in the whipped cream a third at a time – you want to make sure there are no lumps. By this point the mixture should be thick and smooth. Transfer into a piping bag with a 1cm star nozzle and chill until needed.

  • STEP 4

    Heat the oven to 165C/145C fan/gas 3. Once the babas have proved, transfer to the oven and bake for 15 mins. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool.

  • STEP 5

    To make the syrup, put all the ingredients (except the saffron) plus 400ml of water in a medium pan. Warm for 2-3 mins over a low heat to a simmer. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the saffron and let it steep for 15 mins. Strain and discard any of the solids, then pour back into the pan. Very gently simmer over a low heat for 6-8 mins or until it reaches 80C on a thermometer. Fit a wire rack into a baking tray. Take the babas out of the moulds and soak in the hot syrup for 10 seconds (any longer and they will fall apart). Leave them to cool completely on the wire rack.

  • STEP 6

    Before filling and plating the babas, make the chantilly. Slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise, then toast in a frying pan over a medium heat for 3 mins. Scrape the seeds into a bowl and add the remaining chantilly ingredients. Using an electric hand whisk, whip the ingredients together until soft peaks form. Scoop out the middle of each baba and slice a little off the base so they will sit nicely on a plate. Finely chop the espresso jelly and add 2 tsp to the inside of each baba (you won’t need all the jelly) and then finish with as much chantilly cream as you can fit inside.

  • STEP 7

    Stand each baba on the plate, filled-end down, then dress with 1 tbsp of dark rum, a swirl of saffron bavarois and edible flowers, if you like.

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