- In a bowl, combine the yeast and lukewarm milk (ATTENTION the milk should NOT be hot or else it will burn the yeast). Whisk and set aside.
- In a mixer, add the butter and sugar. Beat for 4-5 minutes on high speed with the whisk attachment, until light and fluffy.
- Lower speed and add the eggs one at a time.
- Add the vanilla, yeast mixture and then gradually add the flour. Beat until completely incorporated. The dough should not be very thick or firm.
- Cover dough with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap in the mixing bowl and set it aside for 40-50 minutes.
- Generously grease a 25 cm cake pan (with a hole in the center) with butter and dust with flour.
- Preheat oven to 160* C (320* F).
- Transfer dough to prepared cake pan, cover and set it aside for 30-40 minutes so it can rise.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden. To make sure it is completely done, insert the blade of a knife into the cake and if it comes out clean and dry it is ready.
For the syrup
- Combine the water, sugar, lemon juice and lemon rind in a saucepan.
- Place over medium to high heat and bring to a boil.
- Boil for 2-3 minutes until the sugar melts completely.
- Remove from heat, add the brandy and allow the syrup to cool completely.
For the filling
- Beat the heavy cream and icing sugar in a mixer on high speed using the whisk attachment.
- When you have a thick whipped cream, refrigerate until needed.
- Remove the baba cake from the oven and immediately pierce it all over with a small souvlaki skewer or a small knife.
- Pour the cool syrup over it while it is still scorching hot.
- Allow the syrup to be soaked up by the cake while it cools completely.
- When ready, carefully turn it out of the cake pan and use a serrated knife to cut it in half horizontally.
- Transfer whipped cream to a pastry bag and spread it all over the surface of the bottom part of the baba cake with a spoon.
- Cover with the top part of the baba cake.
- In a bowl, combine the apricot marmalade with the water. Brush the mixture all over the surface of the cake with a pastry brush to make it shiny.
- Sprinkle with pistachio nuts and serve.
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