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

Playing Rhummy

Buddy Valastro's Playing Rhummy.

Orange rum syrup, baba sponge, baba, pistachio semifreddo and pistachio florentine chips by Buddy Valastro, Owner of Carlo’s Bake Shop Sweet Room at Mohegan Sun Resort & Casino in Uncasville, CT.


Yield: 18 servings

Orange Rum Syrup:

  • 17.6 oz/500 g water
  • 28.2 oz/800 g granulated sugar
  • 3.5 oz/100 g rum
  • 3.5 oz/100 g Triple Sec              
  • 1.76 oz/50 g orange juice with zest

1. Bring water and sugar to a boil and reduce until mixture becomes syrupy.

2. Add the rum, Triple Sec and orange juice and zest, then place on low heat to keep warm. 

Baba Sponge:

  • 0.28 oz/8 g active dry yeast
  • 4.5 oz/128 g milk, scalded and cooled to 70°F
  • 2.6 oz/75 g bread flour 

1. In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast onto milk, mix in well and let rest for 5 minutes.

2. Using your hands, mix in the bread flour and allow to ferment for 8 to 12 hours, or until doubled. 


  • 5.3 oz/150 g whole eggs
  • Baba Sponge (above)                      
  • 8 oz/225 g bread flour
  • 0.28 oz/8 g granulated sugar
  • 0.14 oz/4 g salt                                          
  • 4.2 oz/120 g unsalted butter, melted

1. Mix eggs into the sponge with a mixer using the paddle attachment. Paddle in dry ingredients completely before slowly drizzling in the butter, allowing it to absorb entirely into the dough. Continue to mix until a sticky, soft, and pipe-able consistency is achieved.

2. Pipe savarin molds halfway up with the completed mix and proof until the dough has doubled in size. Note: Optimal proofing temperature is 78°F to 84°F. Bake at 400°F for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown in color. Remove from molds while still warm.

3. Let the baba cool to room temperature, and then submerge each baba in warm syrup. The item should be soaked completely through; this can take up to a few minutes. 

Pistachio Semifreddo:

  • 1.76 oz/50 g water
  • 6 oz/170 g brown sugar
  • 4.58 oz/130 g whole eggs            
  • 0.1 oz/3 g salt
  • 2.2 lb/1 kg heavy cream          
  • 2 vanilla beans, split and scraped
  • 10.5 oz/300 g pistachios, ground

1. In bowl of stand mixer, mix water, brown sugar, eggs and salt and heat over a double boiler until mixture reaches 100°F.

2. Place bowl on mixer stand with whip attachment and whip until mixture triples in volume, or until light and pale. Set aside.

3. Whip heavy cream with vanilla bean to soft peaks, fold in with egg-base and pistachios. Place into half sheet pan make a ripple pattern and freeze until firm.

Pistachio Florentine Chips: 

  • 3.5 oz/100 g finely ground pistachios
  • 3.5 oz/100 g honey powder
  • 1.76 oz/50 g powdered glucose
  • 0.88 oz/25 g whey powder
  • 0.88 oz/25 g powdered lecithin
  • Tempered dark chocolate, as needed

1. Pulverize all ingredients in food processor and set aside.

2. Place stencils of desired chip shape on a sheet tray with Silpat, sift mix over stencil, carefully remove stencil and place in oven at 325°F for 5 to 6 minutes, or until melted. Remove and allow to cool.

3. Coat back with tempered chocolate and place in airtight container. 


  • Orange segments
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries, sliced
  • Micro marigolds

Place slice of Pistachio Semifreddo in the center of plate. Cut soaked Baba in half and place on opposite ends of semifreddo. Rest orange segments, raspberries, and strawberries adjacent from the baba; generously drizzle Orange Rum Syrup over fruit. Sprinkle Pistachio Florentine Chips on semifreddo. Finish with micro marigolds and serve.


Click here to read more about this and related recipes in the article "Desserts from the Sweet Room."

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