food for thought

by michelle

chocolate babka

with one comment

A traditional Eastern European Jewish cake, Babka or Kranz is a cinnamon and/or chocolate-filled, doubled and twisted length of yeast dough typically baked in a high loaf pan. David Lebovitz had already adapted a recipe which I used, although instead of being visible on top my layers of chocolate are hidden inside.


For the Babka dough mix 2 teaspoons of active dry yeast, ½ a cup of slightly warm milk, 1 teaspoon of sugar and ½ a cup of plain flour. Allow this mixture to sit until it forms bubbles. In a stand mixer (or by hand) blend in 90g (3 oz) of cubed room-temperature butter bit by bit, then 1 large egg, ¼ of a teaspoon of salt (unless your butter was salted) and another 1½ cups of flour. When the dough is smooth, cover and chill it for up to 6 hours. If the weather is cool this step may not be necessary. While the dough is resting make the chocolate filling. In a saucepan melt 100g (3½ oz) of cubed butter and stir in ¾ of a cup of sugar. Remove from the heat and add 80g (3 oz) of dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids). Stir the mixture and when the chocolate has melted add 5 tablespoons of cocoa powder and 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Set this mixture aside for assembly. Now prepare ½ a cup each of roughly chopped nuts (I chose almonds) and crumbled soft chocolate cookies. When the dough has rested, roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a large rectangle measuring approximately 50 x 30cm (20″ x 12″). Spread the prepared chocolate mix over the entire dough and sprinkle the nuts and cookie pieces over the chocolate. Roll the dough to make a long sausage shape then cut this in half lengthways so that you have 2 long pieces. Now, keeping the cut side facing up, twist the two halves over each other. Grease a loaf tin and line it with baking paper. Carefully lift the twisted dough into the loaf pan either allowing the two ends to fold underneath or on top. Press it into the loaf tin and place it somewhere warm, covered with a fresh tea towel. Allow the babka to almost double in size – this will take at least 2 hours. Meanwhile make a syrup by combining ½ a cup of sugar, ½ a cup of water and 1 tablespoon of honey. Bring to the boil and simmer for 4 minutes. Set aside. When the babka is ready, preheat your oven to 190ºC (375ºF). Bake the babka for 30 minutes or until it tests clean. Remove it from the oven and spoon the syrup over the top. Allow it to cool completely before lifting out of the tin or slicing as it will break when warm.




Written by michelle picker

November 18, 2016 at 5:38 am

One Response

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  1. So yummy! Would love a piece!

    Trina and Tina

    November 18, 2016 at 12:28 pm

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