Food For Thought Youth Project

Cultural Recipes from Youth Around the World

Chocolate Babka contributed by, Dahlia from the Seven Hills School in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Chocolate Babka
By, Dahlia

1 cup of lukewarm milk or water .
1 scant tablespoon(1 package) active dry yeast
5  1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/ pound (2sticks) unsalted butter or pareve margarine ,at room temperature
2/3 cup of sugar
1  1/2 teaspoon salt
5 large eggs
1  1/2teaspoons vanilla extract

Filling and egg wash
4 tablespoon ( 1/2 stick unsalted) butter or margarine
3/4 cup apricot jam or 1/4 cup almond paste
1 cup leftover cake or pound cake crumbs
3/4 cup chopped almonds ( optional)
9 ounces good bittersweet chocolate,preferably  imported
1large egg , beaten
1tablespoon water

The streusel:
3 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsalted butter or pareve margarine

The cake directions:
1.Place the milk or water, yeast,and 2 cups of the flour in the bowl an electric mixer fitted with the paddle. Mix for about a 1 minute on low speed until well incorporated . Transfer this sponge to another bowl .Cover with a towel and let it sit for 1 hour ,until double in size.

2.Cream the butter or margarine and the sugar in the bowl of electric mixer .
Add the sponge, salt , eggs, and  vanilla, and continue mixing at low speed until incorporated, about 3minutes. Gradually add the remaining31/2 cups of flour and work the ingredients for 12-15 minutes on low speed  until the dough is smooth , adding more
flour as needed . The dough will be soft. Remove the dough  from the bowl.Divide it into 3 pieces and dust the pieces with flour. Cover each loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight

The next day, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it sit for about 20 minutes while you prepare the filling.  Dust a work surface with flour.  Shape 1 piece of the dough with your hands into a rough oblong, adding more flour if needed and roll it our into a rectangle about 8 by 12 inches and 1/4 inch think.
Filling and Assembling the Babkas
Melt the butter or margarine and place it in a food processor filter with the steel blade. Add the apricot jam or almond paste and the cake crumbs and process until smooth.  Spoon one-third of the filling onto one of the dough rectangles and spread it with a spatula, leaving a 1/2- inch border all around.  Sprinkle with 1/3  of the almonds.  Grate the chocolate in the food processor and sprinkle 1/3 of it over the dough, leaving the borders.  Brush the borders with the egg mixed with water to help seal the babka.
Roll the dough up like a jelly roll from the longer side, close the ends, and then gently twist the roll into a spiral.  Fit into this a greased 9 by 5 inch loaf pan. Fill and roll up the other 2 rectangles of dough.  Either twist them as above and put them in loaf pans or make one large babka.  TO make a large babka, link 2 rolls (not twisted) end to ending a circle in a greased 9 or 10 inch babka or Bundt pan, seam side up and press the ends together.

Making the streusel and baking the babkas

Using your fingers, combine the sugar, flour and butter or margarine and sprinkle 1/3 on top of each babka.  Let the babkas rise over the tops of the pans, about an hour.
Preheat the oven to 350˚
Bake the babkas on the middle rack for about 45 minutes, or until the streusel is golden brown.  Press on the dough.  If your finger goes in easily, then the babka is done.

posted by SSnyder in Recipes,Russian Recipes and have No Comments

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