-6 tbsp lukewarm water (100 degrees F.) (90 ml)
-1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast (7 ml)
-1 tsp sugar (5 ml)
-1 large egg, at room temperature
-3/4 cup flour (175 ml)
-2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces, at room temperature (30 ml)
-1/4 cup currants (60 ml)
-1/3 cup Kirsch (75 ml)
-Clarified unsalted butter, for brushing the moulds
-3/4 cup sugar (175 ml)
-2 cups water (500 ml)
-Juice of half a lemon
-1/3 cup Kirsch (125 ml)
-Whipped cream, for garnishing
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Position rack in the upper third of the oven.
3. Pour the warm water in to a medium bowl. Sprinkle the yeast and sugar over the water. Add the egg and stir briefly with a rubber spatula just to mix.
4. Put the flour in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the yeast mixture. Mix on low speed until the ingredients are just blended. Increase the speed to medium-low and beat for 8 minutes until the mixture is smooth. Add the butter and beat on low only until the butter is absorbed into the mixture. Approximately 1 to 3 minutes.
5. Remove the bowl from the mixer and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place (85 to 95 degrees F.) until slightly risen, about 15 minutes. Note that the dough will not double in volume but you are looking for a noticeable increase in volume and lightness.
6. While the dough is rising put the raisins or currants in a small bowl and pour over kirsch to cover. 7. Brush 8 charlotte moulds with clarified butter and place on a jelly-roll pan. Set aside.
8. When the dough has risen, drain the raisins. Reserve the Kirsch and use in the syrup. Stir the raisins into the dough with a rubber spatula. Fill the moulds halfway with the dough. Let the dough rest in a warm place until the dough rises and fills the moulds. It takes about 30 minutes.
9. Bake the risen babas for 20 minutes or until they are golden. The babas will shrink slightly from the side of the moulds and can be removed easily. Unmould the pastries onto a cooling rack. The babas can be made ahead to this point, wrapped airtight and frozen for about 3 weeks.
1. In a saucepan over medium heat, dissolve sugar into water. Add remaining Kirsch from soaking the raisins and then add enough to the syrup to measure 1/3 cup. Cook the mixture until reduced by half. 2. Add lemon juice.
3. Once the babas have cooled slightly, spoon warm Kirsch syrup over the top. Serve with whipped cream.