getting the monk drunk …


Besoffener Kapuziner

My version of Besoffener Kapuziner …
Walnut-Apple pudding, soaked in lightly spiced and sweetened Muskadet Wine, served with vanilla ice cream and a brandy sauce


Back home in Austria, especially in Vienna, we like to blame, or credit, the Kapuziner Monks for a range of alcoholic delights. Not least the Kapuziner Kaffee, which ultimately became the Cappuccino, and there is the Besoffener Kapuziner. This little cake is a hazelnut sponge or soufflé soaked in spiced wine.

I didn’t sit down to write about the old friar, … naturally … but of course … cake. The French version, or version of it, is the Baba Au Rhum. While the (original) ‘Kapuziner’ is a hazelnut sponge or soufflé soaked in spiced wine, the baba is a yeast cake soaked in, as the name suggests, in rum. 

Baba in Paris

Baba au Rhum – October 29, 2012, Le Bar à Huitres, 33 Rue Saint-Jacques, Paris, France


Not one visit to the capital of love and romance goes by without at least a few babas ‘sampled’. It is the sheer simplicity where its complexity lies. It is the brioche like cake, almost like bread that couldn’t decide … to be or not to be …

Junior Chefs of Saigon

The other week I had a group of young Pastry Chefs from around Saigon (that’s Ho Chi Minh City in case you can’t find it on the map) attending my monthly training session, and one of the recipes featured was Baba au Rhum with a ‘tropical twist’.

Baba Au Rhum with Mango Jelly


Baba au Rhum ‘Tropicale’


Baba Dough

  • 300 g Flour
  • 7 g Salt
  • 22 g Sugar
  • 17 g yeast
  • 140 ml Whole Milk
  • 225 g Whole Eggs
  • 70 g Unsalted Butter

Baba Syrup

  • 1 liter Water
  • 300 g Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Vanilla Pod
  • 75 g Passion Fruit Puree
  • 15 g Fresh Ginger
  • 1 Stem Lemongrass

Mango Jelly

  • 300 g Mango Puree
  • 30 g Sugar
  • 7 g Gelatin Powder
  • 1 large ripe Mango

Baba in the making


Baba Dough

  1. Knead the flour, salt sugar and yeast with eggs.
  2. Add slowly the warm milk and knead until well incorporated, approx. 10 min.
  3. When the dough becomes elastic, add the melted butter
  4. mix well …
  5. And pipe into dariole moles
  6. Prove 45 min or until doubled in size
  7. bake 45 min at 170°.
  8. Cool down and soak  in baba syrup.

Baba Syrup

  1. Bring to a boil all the ingredients,
  2. And soak the dry baba.

Mango Jelly

  1. Warm up the mango puree and the sugar, stir until melds
  2. Add in the melted gelatine and let cool
  3. Cube the mango and add to the jelly



Now, there you have it. Baba Tropicale. It doesn’t have to be with alcohol all the time. A well balanced and spiced syrup is just as yummy and maybe even a bit more refreshing.







Published by ChefThomas

… born in Upper Austria’s Wels, I have done most of my growing up in Vienna. Only by sheer accident did I fall into the trade of Pâtissier. After a short apprentice ship at a Viennese Bakery, I was accepted for apprentice ship, at "K.u.K. Hofzuckerbäcker Demel’s Söhne", one of the oldest patisseries in Vienna. Learning the trade from the very basics, as the Emperor two Centuries ago would have expected from a "Pâtissier to the Royal and Imperial Court" (That is what the older Pâtissier still calls himself). I soon took to travel the world. From patisseries in America, to hotels in the Far East, Africa and the Middle East, did I accumulate a wealth of experience, ranging from bakeries to first class restaurants in major hotels to banquets for Presidents, Sultans and Heads of States and other famous, infamous and not so famous people. But the true excitement for me is in the "Viennese Café". Not just as an occupation, but as an institution in it own right.

3 thoughts on “getting the monk drunk …

      1. Thanks Thomas thanks for dropping by! I write about visiting a lot of nice restaurants and do quite a lot of foody posts so hopefully you will drop by again!


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