It finally happened. I took a photo of the chocolate babka that is sufficient to post on this blog. Granted the pics aren’t great, but chocolate babka is not about good looks. I have been using a slightly minimimised version of the Martha Stewart recipe that seems to be the standard used by most bloggers.
Much to the dismay of my hips, I have made babka about four times now. Each time I made mistakes, missing out steps and doing things wrong, but this last time I got everything right and even made a few changes of my own. It’s not a quick and easy recipe, but one that is worth a little of your time. I have combined a few steps that have not diminished the results to hopefully make this recipe easier to manage and in quantities that are more appropriate to most small families. Martha’s recipe makes 3 large loaves and uses epic amounts of chocolate and butter.
My recipe yields 2 loaves, but it’s fine to freeze one. I’ve numbered the ingredients, because I had trouble navigating my way through all the steps. I hope this helps.
Chocolate Babka Recipe
- 1 pkt fast action yeast
- 3/4 cup warm milk
- 1/2 tsp each of sugar and salt
- 3 cups plain flour
- a bit less than half a cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 egg yolks
- 100g softened butter
- 1 x200g packet of Bourneville dark chocolate
- 90g cold butter, cubed
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
Add the flour, sugar, salt, yeast and milke (1-4) into your mixer bowl and using a dough hook, mix till combined.
In a separate bowl, mix eggs and sugar (5-7). Add to the flour mixture and combine.
Add the softened butter (8) and ‘knead’ for 5-10 minutes. Cover will cling film or damp cloth and place in a warmed but OFF oven until it’s risen. If it doesn’t rise well after an hour or so, you can still use it.
Put butter, sugar, chocolate and cinnamon (9-12) into a food processor and wizz until the mixture is lots of little chocolatey nubs. Don’t wizz till it’s come together or you’ll have trouble spreading the mixture over the dough later.
The dough will be sticky and a little tricky to work with. Divide it into 2 equal portions.
Using a well dusted surface, roll out one piece in a big rectangle shape till it’s nice and thin, but not so thin that holes appear. The thinner it is the more swirls, so if you’re not confident, a thicker piece is fine.
Sprinkle half of the chocolate mixture onto most of the surface, leaving a rim around the edges. Roll it up. Twist it a few times.
Then, sprinkle just a little more chocolate mixture onto half of the log you’ve got, pressing it in a bit, and then fold the log in half on top of the chocolatey bit. Twist again and put into a loaf tin.
Brush with an egg wash if you like, but I don’t and it works out fine.
Repeat with the remaining dough and chocolate.
Place loaves into cold oven and then turn it on to 180C. This gives the dough a chance to puff up a bit while oven warms up.
Bake till golden brown.