History of Baba, Baba Au Rhum, Baba Au Savarin, Savarin
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1600s - It is believed to be a
version of a kugelhopf, which was invented in Lemberg in the 1600s. The baba was
brought to Paris, France by King Stanislas Leszczynska, the deposed king of Poland and the
father-in-law of King Louis XV (17101774) of France when he was exiled to Lorraine. According to legend, he found the customary
kouglhopf too dry for his liking and dipped the bread in rum. He was so delighted that he named the cake after one of the heroes of his
favorite book, Ali Baba from A Thousand and One Nights. Later, his chef refined the sweet bread by using brioche dough
and adding raisins to the recipe. The dish was then simply called baba.
According to the famous book called Larousse Gastronomique, The Encyclopedia of Food, Wine & Cookery, by Prosper Montagne:
The Oxford Companion to Food by Alan Davidson says that one of the Julien brothers, from a family of Parisian pastry-makers, set his mind to experimenting with the baba recipe sometime in the 1840s. The result was this rich and tasty dessert, which he named in honor of Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826), celebrated French gourmet and writer on gastronomy.
dessert became very popular in France, but the people called it Baba Au Rhum and soon
dropped the name Savarin. In other parts of the world, the cake is known as simply Savarin.
In Turkey this cake is called "father's cake."