1/3 c tepid milk
2 tsp active dry yeast
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp butter
1¼ c all purpose unbleached flour
1 c sugar
½ c water
½ c medium dark rum
Make the babas (Savarin): Combine yeast and tepid milk (do the baby bottle test on your wrist) and let it sit in a no draught area for 10 or 15 minutes until it froths.
Cream sugar and butter together. Beat in eggs.
Add flour gradually to egg mixture and beat well. The dough should be almost like a thick smooth icing.
Put about 1 or 2 Tbsp of the dough into 12 buttered muffin tins until each tin has the same amount of dough. Put the tin in a plastic bag and let the dough rest until it doubles in size. (about an hour)
Bake at 400F for about 15 or 20 minutes or until dark brown and springy to the touch. Allow to cool.
Make the rum syrup: Boil water and sugar for about 7 - 10 minutes. Empty into a glass bowl and let it cool slightly before adding the rum.
When all of this mixture cools, add the cooled baked babas. Let them soak up the syrup. If you feel you need more syrup, cook up another batch.
1 c whipping cream (or 18% cream)
1 Tbsp buttermilk
Stir cream and buttermilk together in a bowl. Cover with saran wrap and allow to rest overnight at cool room temperature (8-12 hours) til it is thick. Refrigerate to thicken further. We have also successfully made crème fraiche using 10% cream. It takes much longer (at least 24 hours) to set.
A word of caution: yoghurt cannot be used in substitution for the buttermilk. The bacterial cultures are different and only the bacterial cultures in buttermilk will set the cream.