A rich, light-textured cake, a baba is made with flour, yeast, butter and eggs, and baked in the oven. It is said that the baba was invented by Stanislaus Leszczynski, King of Poland in 1704, when he poured rum over a dry yeast cake, naming it Ali Baba after the hero of his favourite story from The Thousand and One Nights. Introduced to Paris at the beginning of the nineteenth century, it became very popular and was known as a baba.
Baked in small or large round moulds, babas are soaked with syrup which is flavoured with rum or kirsch. They can be glazed with apricot jam, decorated with glace fruit and served with Creme Chan-tilly.