Easter Cooking – Chocolate Babka

Last Easter I baked my first ever Chocolate Babka. It was something I had been wanting to try for quite some time and it did not disappoint. It does take some time, but I had the time over the Easter period and enjoyed the process. So, if you have the time and desire, I urge you to give it a go because it is quite satisfying and you end up with the most delicious treat at the end!

You’ll need:

  • 1 tbs dried yeast
  • 80ml lukewarm milk
  • 80ml lukewarm water
  • 110g cup caster sugar
  • 600g cup plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 150g butter

Chocolate filling:

  • 100g butter, softened
  • 110g brown sugar
  • 200g dark chocolate melted
  • 2 tbs cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Sugar syrup:

  • 110g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Here’s what to do:

  • Combine yeast, milk, water and 1 tsp of the sugar in a small bowl. Set aside for 5 mins or until frothy.
  • Combine flour, salt, cinnamon and remaining sugar in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre. Add the yeast mixture, eggs and egg yolks and stir to combine. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until just smooth. Add one piece of butter and knead until well combined. Continue adding butter, one piece at a time, kneading well after each addition. Knead the dough for a further 5 minutes or until dough is very smooth and elastic. Place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for 6 hours or until the dough doubles in size.
  • To make the chocolate filling, use an electric mixer to beat butter and sugar in a bowl until smooth. Add chocolate, cocoa powder and cinnamon. Beat to combine. Place in fridge for 5-10 minutes or until the mixture is spreadable.
  • Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease two 10cm x 24cm loaf pans and line the bases and sides with baking paper. Turn and dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 2 even portions. Roll 1 portion out onto lightly floured surface to a 30cm x 40cm rectangle. Spread evenly with half the chocolate mixture. Starting from one long end, roll the dough to form a log. Place on the lined tray. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Chill for 5 min or until firm.
  • Place log on a clean work surface. Use a large sharp knife to cut the dough in half lengthways to expose the layers. Carefully twist the two halves together to create a loaf. Place in one prepared pan. Repeat with remaining dough and pan.
  • Loosely cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draught-free place for 30 minutes or until the dough rises slightly.
  • Bake the loaves for 35-45 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  • To make syrup, combine, ½ cup (125ml) water and vanilla in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until sugar completely dissolves. Increase heat to high. Bring to the boil. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the syrup thickens slightly.
  • Pour the syrup over each loaf. Cool in the pans. Cut into slices and enjoy!