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Recipe: Forverts’ “Baba Au Rhum” for Father’s Day

For Father’s Day this year, The Forward presents to you a recipe from the archives that originally appeared in the Forverts in 1979.

Longtime Forverts columnist Tsirl Steingart printed this recipe in the Est Gezunterheyt! column under the pseudonym “Sara Berkovitch.” Steingart had a fairly active life prior to settling into the role of Forverts fashion and food columnist. A Holocaust survivor originally from Bialystok, Poland, Steingart emigrated to France in 1938. During the Second World War, she was a member of the French Resistance, who helped rescue children from Vichy and German authorities.

“Baba au rhum” is a traditionally yeast-based cake from the Lorraine region of France, made with dried fruit and soaked thoroughly in a sweet rum sauce.

Baba Au Rhum, from the Forverts archives


½ cup margarine
1 tsp lemon zest
2 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 eggs
⅔ cup apricot nectar
½ cup raisins
1 tsp vanilla

Place all ingredients in a bowl (except the raisins and eggs)

Mix until flour is well incorporated. Mix for two minutes on low speed in an electric mixer. Add eggs and mix for another minute.

Grease and flour an 8 x 4 baking pan with oil. Sprinkle in the raisins and pour in batter.

Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 55 minutes. Cool for ten minutes and remove from the baking pan. Pour rum over warm cake and let stand a few hours until serving.

Sauce Ingredients

½ cup sugar
¾ cup apricot nectar
1 tsp lemon juice
½ cup rum

Heat sugar and apricot nectar in a small pan until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Mix in lemon juice and rum. Pour on warm cake and leave for several hours so it soaks into the cake.

This recipe was translated from Yiddish by the Forward’s archivist, Chana Pollack.

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