French pâtisserier Pierre Hermé is most famous for his macarons in a host of exotic flavors, but he also makes a most artistic baba au rhum. These moist goodies will only be available until the end of April in Hermé’s boutiques. Hermé is offering seven flavors, classics as well as exotics, such as black currant (cassis) and chocolate.
The baba au rhum has been in France since the first half of the 18th century. Stanislas Leszczynski, former king of Poland and Duke of Lorraine, moved to France when he lost his throne and his daughter married Louis XV. Leszczynski was used to the classic eastern European dessert kugelhof, but found it too dry for his taste. To please him, brioche, a sweet bread, was doused in Malaga wine, perfumed with saffron, and served with whipped cream, raisins and fruit. A delighted Leszczynski named it after his favorite literary hero, Ali Baba.
Hermé is celebrating the limited edition cakes with the aid of photographer Bernard Winkelman. The photographer set up the cakes in tableaux that mimic gorgeous 17th century Flemish paintings that look positively good enough to eat. Hermé calls them Le Fetish Baba. In French, un fétiche (oon fayteesh) means “an obsession.” But you can only indulge your obsession for six short weeks. Bon appétit!
- Paris Patisseries – Eight delicious ways to get acquainted with the City of Light (europeanhomerentals.wordpress.com)
- 10 Irresistible Paris Pastries (and where to eat them) (theflyingfugu.com)