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Recipe: Chocolate Babka

Forget the bakery, stay home and make this babka instead.

Chocolate Babka

Chocolate Babka

Want to make a chocolate babka? Here are the ingredients you'll need.


DOUGH:

4 1/2 cups - all purpose flour

1 cup - (fine) sugar

2 teaspoons dry active yeast

Zest of one lemon

3 eggs

1/2 cup - warm water

3/4 teaspoon sea salt

2/3 cup - butter, room temperature


CHOCOLATE FILLING:

5 ounces - baking chocolate

1/2 cup - powdered sugar 

1/3 cup - cocoa powder 

1/3 teaspoon cinnamon 


SUGAR SYRUP:

1/3 cup - water 

6 tablespoons - sugar


You'll want to use your stand mixer's dough hook. If you don't have one, you can use your hands, but it will take a little longer and be a bit messier.

1. Put yeast into mixing bowl with 1/4 cup of warm water and one tablespoon of sugar. In ten minutes, the mixture should be foamy (if not, your yeast is dead—buy new yeast). Add the additional water, sugar, honey, zest, and eggs and whisk gently. 

2. Attach bowl to stand mixer with hook attachment and add the flour. Mix at medium speed until incorporated. Add salt and butter (cut in pieces). Mix slowly until fully incorporated, then at a higher speed until dough is smooth and pulls away clean from the sides of the bowl, about 10 minutes. You may need to scrape down the bowl several times.

If using your hands, add flour 1 cup at a time, using a whisk at first. When the mixture becomes too thick, use your hands to incorporate flour. Add salt and fold cut butter into the dough until smooth. 

3. Coat bowl with oil, place dough inside, and cover with plastic wrap. 

4. Chill for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight. 

5. Just before taking the dough out of the refrigerator, melt butter and chocolate in a double boiler—or a tempered glass bowl over boiling water. Once completely melted, remove from heat and mix in cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and cinnamon. 

6. Line two loaf pans with parchment paper.

7. Divide the dough into two equal pieces.

8. Roll out the dough until 1/4 cm thick. Spread the chocolate mixture onto the dough, leaving a slight border on all sides. Start rolling up the dough away from you, making sure not to roll to tightly (otherwise the interior will have no room to expand), nor too loosely. Seal the end with a little water. 

9. Using a sharp knife, slice the roll lengthwise into two long pieces. Turn the chocolate side up and pinch the edges together. Twist the strands, alternating one strand, then the other, until the end. Tuck the edges underneath and place in loaf pan. 

10. Repeat steps 8 & 9 with second piece of dough. 

11. Dampen a tea towel with hot water and cover both loaves. Place in warm place and leave to rise for 1 1/2 hours. 

12. In the last 15 minutes of rising, preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. 

13. Make 2 tents out of aluminium foil and cover loaf pans. Place in oven for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove tents and place loaves back in oven for 20 additional minutes. 

14. Put sugar and water into a heavy-bottomed saucepan and heat on medium high. Do not stir mixture! When sugar has melted and starts to thicken, remove from heat. 

15. Using a pastry brush, brush sugar syrup onto babka as soon as it comes out of the oven. 



Allow babka to cool on rack for at least 15 minutes before cutting and enjoy!

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Chef Tips and Tricks

VIDEO: Sweet Apple Cinnamon Rolls

Sweet Apple Cinnamon Rolls

1 apple
Pie crust dough
1/8 cup brown sugar
1/8 cup almond powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Egg yellow(s)
Milk

 

1. Halve an apple and slice each half finely.

2. Cut the top of a pie crust to get a straight edge.

3. Spread the brown sugar and almond powder all over the dough.

4. To get the first row, line up the apples in a straight line and cut out the section. Continue until all the dough is all used up.

5. Mix egg yellow and milk and cover each roll with the mixture.

6. If you wish, sprinkle a little extra brown sugar on top of each roll.

7. Bake in the oven for 18 min at 350° F.

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