Would you like to learn how to make the ultimate holiday comfort food, a chocolate babka? Oh yes! Hello everyone, this is Liz and I'm back with another delicious recipe for the month. Only a few days until first Advent! Slowly I’m getting into the mood. As the days grow shorter and the leaves have been blown from the trees completely, now I like thinking of cozy December weekends.
A few weeks ago my newest book (Available only in German) that I co-authored with Lars Wentrup with special photography by Brooklyn-based photographer Julia Cawley, New York Christmas, was published after months of work. We were excited to finally see our “baby” in the bookstores. After months of work in 2014, baking and cooking, shooting the recipes and designing the book, it always seems like a little miracle when you finally see the result. With this book we want to invite our readers on a journey to the Big Apple during Christmas time. The book is filled with delicious cookies, cakes and pies, festive main courses and seasonal sides and salads. We assembled over 50 recipes for celebrating the season.
Here is a recipe from the book for Chocolate Babka that we hope you will try and enjoy this holiday season.
For the dough: 290 g flour 3/4 package dried yeast 40 g sugar pinch of salt 2 eggs 60 ml lukewarm milk 70 g butter
For the filling: 50 g hazelnuts or almonds (skins removed, roughly chopped) 1 tablespoon brown sugar 70 g dark chocolate (70%) 50 g butter 25 g powdered sugar 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
butter for the pan
For the dough combine flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a bowl. Add the eggs, milk and butter and knead for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth. Place plastic wrap over the bowl and let the dough rise for 1 hour.
In the meantime roast the nuts in a pan. Caramelize them with the sugar. In another pot, melt the chocolate with the butter and let cool. Add the powdered sugar and cocoa and stir until smooth.
Butter a loaf pan. Place the dough onto a floured workspace and roll the dough to a rectangle (approx. 35x25 cm). Spread the chocolate filling evenly onto the dough, sparing the edges. Sprinkle with caramelized nuts. Tightly roll up the dough from the short side. Then slice the roll in two along its length with a sharp knife so that the layers fan out. Combine the ends and twist the two cords. The cut face should show upwards. Place the twisted cords into the loaf pan and let rise for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celcius. Bake the Babka for 30-35 minutes. If it turns too dark during baking, cover with aluminum foil. Let cool completely before serving.
I hope that you will enjoy this yummy cake! - Liz
(Photos: Julia Cawley except for food photo: Lisa Nieschlag)