Spiced Tea Rum Babas

Shelina Permalloo shares her recipe for Spiced Tea Rm Babas. Infused with chai tea, this is a truly scrumptious dessert for all occasions.

Sunshine on a Plate
The debut cookbook from celebrated MasterChef winner, Shelina Permalloo
Fresh and vibrant dishes showcasing Shelina's native Mauritian cuisine
Delicious family-friendly and time-saving recipes


Apparently babas originated in Poland and then evolved into different styles across Europe. This version is not only heady with spiced rum, but is infused with chai tea, giving it a real depth of character. Utterly divine and a real show-off dessert for special occasions.

Makes 4


For the Baba
75g plain flour
10g fast-action dried yeast
25g milk powder
15g unrefined golden caster sugar
zest of 1 lemon
2 egg yolks
55ml warm milk
40g unsalted butter
For the Spiced Tea Syrup
200g unrefined light muscovado sugar
200g unrefined golden caster sugar
300ml water
2 tbsp masala chai tea
5 whole star anise
10 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
small pinch of salt
2 tsp rosewater
zest of 1 orange
70ml spiced Mauritian rum


1. To make the baba, mix together the flour, dried yeast, milk powder, sugar and lemon zest in one bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the egg yolks with the warm milk and butter and then slowly stir this into the dry mixture. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave for 30 minutes to allow it to rise.

2. The dough should now resemble a thick batter. Grease four holes in a large, deep muffin tray then divide the mixture between them. Allow to rest for another 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 180°C/Gas 4. 

3. When the babas have risen again, place the tin in the oven and cook for 15 minutes until golden brown and nicely risen.

4. To make the syrup, place all the ingredients in a pan over a low heat. Simmer for about 5 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the tea has infused into the mixture. Tip the syrup into a shallow dish and allow to cool. Once the babas are cooked, turn them out of the the tin, drench them in the spiced sugar syrup and leave to soak for 30 minutes before serving.

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