Cooking With Cathy: Babà Rum 

Recipe Courtesy: Cathy SperonisMakes 18 cakesCake:1 Tbsp. & 1 tsp. instant yeast3/4 cup milk, warmed to 110°3 Tbsp. sugar9 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour1 tsp. salt1 tsp. lemon zest1 tsp. orange zest4 large eggs1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extractSyrup:2 cups water2 1/2 cups granulated sugar2 strips orange peel2 strips lemon peel1 cup gold rumPinch of saltGlaze:1/2 cup apricot preserves2 Tbsp. gold rumCombine the yeast with the milk in a small bowl along with 2 tsp. of the sugar. Set aside and allow to foam.Cream butter and remaining sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment until just combined.Combine flour, salt, lemon & orange zests in a medium bowl, set aside.Beat eggs with the vanilla. With the machine running on low add the egg mixture and the yeast mixture until combined. Gradually add the flour mixture in three additions. Beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth, about 1 minute.Butter a large bowl. Transfer batter to bowl and cover with plastic wrap.Allow batter to rest until doubled in size, about 1  hours.Preheat oven to 400°. Grease and flour muffin tins (batter will make 18 medium sized cakes.)When batter has doubled, remove plastic wrap and stir with a ladle. Pour batter into prepared muffin tins and fill halfway.Allow the batter to rest again for about 15 minutes.Bake cakes in oven for 10 minutes and then reduce oven temperature to 350°. Bake for an additional 10 minutes until cakes are golden brown. Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool completely.To make the syrup:Place the water, sugar and citrus peels in a 2 quart saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook stirring until sugar is dissolved. Add the rum and the pinch of salt and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat.While syrup is hot, place 3 cakes at a time into the saucepan, carefully turning and allowing them to absorb the syrup. With a slotted spoon, carefully remove the cakes to a serving plate. Allow to cool completely. Brush with glaze and serve.