Sep 15, 2019 Last Updated 6:31 AM, Nov 9, 2017


Baba-Pistachio by Michael Laiskonis.

"Michael Laiskonis, Creative Director, Institute of Culinary Education in New York, NY, shares his Baba-Pistachio recipe in the Dessert Trio column."


In's latest issue, the Dessert Trio column features three different perspectives on pistachio, from three top pastry chefs, François Payard, Michael Laiskonis and Elizabeth Falkner. Click the following to see recipes and notes by:
François Payard | Elizabeth Falkner


Notes: Pistachio is one of my favorite ingredients, whether used up front or on a supporting role. Here, ground pistachio encrusts an adaptation of the classic baba – which appears to be enjoying a bit of a comeback – alongside pistachio ice cream and notes of citrus and banana.

Yield: 24 servings


  • 10.5 oz/300 g all-purpose flour
  • 0.17 oz/5 g dry instant yeast
  • 1.6 oz/45 g whole milk
  • 4 oz/115 g whole eggs
  • 0.88 oz/25 g granulated sugar
  • 0.17 oz/5 g fine sea salt
  • 4 oz/115 g unsalted butter, softened

1. Combine the flour and yeast in a mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment; add the milk, followed by the eggs, sugar and salt. Mix on low speed until thoroughly combined.

2. Increase the speed and slowly incorporate the butter, continuing to mix until the dough is cohesive and no longer ‘sticky’, about 5 minutes.

3. Cover and bulk ferment at room temperature for 1 hour. Transfer to refrigeration for at least 30 minutes.

4. Portion the dough into 0.88 oz/25 g pieces and roll to the length of 14cm stainless steel cannoli tubes; spray the interior of the tubes and gently drop the portioned dough into the tubes. Proof for 1 hour at 77-86˚F/25-30˚C.

5. Bake the dough/tubes for 20 minutes at 180˚C/355˚F. Remove the dough from the tubes and cool.

Pistachio Ice Cream:

  • 31.7 oz/900 g whole milk
  • 2.3 oz/65 g nonfat dry milk
  • 8.2 oz/235 g granulated sugar, divided
  • 3.5 oz/100 g glucose powder
  • 2.4 oz/70 g pistachio paste, 100%
  • 2.3 oz/65 g pistachio paste, sweetened
  • 0.17 oz/5 g ice cream stabilizer
  • 3.5 oz/100 g pasteurized egg yolks
  • 8.8 oz/250 g heavy cream

1. Place milk in a saucepot. Whisk in dry milk to rehydrate and 7 oz/200 g of the sugar, the glucose, and pistachio pastes. Bring to a boil.

2. Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1.2 oz/35 g of sugar and stabilizer. Whisk into egg yolks.

3. Temper hot milk into yolk mixture. Return to low heat and cook, stirring, to 85˚C/185˚F.

4. Remove from heat and whisk in heavy cream; homogenize well with an immersion blender.  Chill in an ice water bath. Allow mixture to mature at least 12 hours.

5. Process in batch freezer; extract the mix at -5˚C/23˚F. Alternatively, transfer to PacoJet canisters and freeze; process as needed.

Caramel Rum Syrup:

  • 10.5 oz/300 g granulated sugar
  • 26.45 oz/750 g water
  • 1.4 oz/40 g dark rum
  • 2 vanilla beans split and scraped
  • Orange and lemon peel, as needed

Cook the sugar to a medium caramel and deglaze with the water. Add the rum, and additional water, if necessary, to achieve a measurement of 38.44 oz/1090 g; add the vanilla and citrus peel and allow to infuse.

Rum Neutral Glaze:

  • 14 oz/400 g granulated sugar, divided
  • 0.14 oz/4 g pectin LM
  • 0.14 oz/4 g pectin HM
  • 12.3 oz/350 g water
  • 1.76 oz/50 g dark rum
  • 7 oz/200 g glucose syrup
  • 0.1 oz/3 g citric acid

1.  Combine 1.7 oz/50 g of the sugar with both pectins and reserve. Heat the water and rum to 75˚C/165˚F. Whisk in the remaining 12.3 oz/350 g of sugar, the glucose and citric acid.

2. Whisk in pectin mixture and bring to a boil. Allow to boil for 2 minutes; remove from heat.  Chill.

Citrus Cream:

  • 250 g heavy cream (35% fat)
  • Zest of 2 oranges
  • Zest of 2  limes
  • 8.8 oz/250 g whole milk
  • 0.17 oz/5 g agar agar
  • 1.76 oz/50 g granulated sugar
  • 0.03 oz/1 g fine sea salt

1. Combine the cream and citrus zest and infuse several hours or overnight; strain.

2. Combine the milk and agar agar in a small saucepan. Gently bring to a boil; reduce heat while maintaining a simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and whisk in the infused cream, sugar and salt. Allow to cool and set.

4. Process in blender until smooth.


  • Banana, portioned with a parisienne scoop
  • Pistachio, finely ground
  • Zest of one orange, grated

1. To soak the baked baba: poke the baba with a skewer to allow penetration and gently warm the syrup. Allow to soak for roughly 5 minutes, occasionally turning the baba. Transfer to a rack and allow excess syrup to drain. Trim the soaked baba to desired portions, brush with warmed rum neutral glaze, and coat with finely ground pistachio powder.

2. Arrange the portioned baba onto each plate and finish with a scoop of the pistachio ice cream, banana, citrus cream, and orange zest.

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