One of the things I really can’t resist (and therefore rarely make) is a fresh chocolate babka. The smell of chocolate babka in the oven is the most appetizing smell there is in the world, and it is completely one of the things that signify “home” for me.
A few months ago I came across a beautiful design for babka and just couldn’t get it off my mind for a long time. The inspiration comes from the amazing and mouthwatering blog Bake Street, where you can find the most unique and beautiful cakes and pastries.
This cake is actually a classic chocolate babka, but with a twist in the design. Instead of shaping it like a roll or a braid, you roll out the dough very thinly, spread the filling and roll to a long, thin and tight roll. After rolling you twist is around itself so that three rather similar cylinders are created. After baking and cutting, a unique and spectacular design appears.
Of course you can fill the babka with any other filling you like, but if you ask me – there really nothing is like chocolate babka, which is an all-time favorite.
Modern Chocolate Babka
For the dough:
- 500 grams (3 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
- 10 grams (2 tsp.) active dry yeast
- 100 grams (1 stick) soft butter
- 100 grams (1/2 cup) sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 180 ml. (2/3 cup) milk
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the chocolate filling:
- 200 grams dark chocolate
- 100 grams (1 stick) butter
- 1 beaten egg
- Sugar powder
Make the dough: in a mixer bowl with a kneading attachment, put flour, yeast, butter, sugar, eggs, milk, salt and vanilla and knead in low-medium speed for 10-12 minutes until uniform dough is obtained.
Cover the bowl and allow rising for 1-2 hours until the dough almost doubles its volume.
Chocolate filling: in a bowl place chocolate and butter. Dissolve in the microwave or over double-boiler until everything is melted and the mixture is uniform.
Cool the filling for 2-3 hours at room temperature until it reaches a spreadable consistency.
On a floured work surface roll the dough into a very thin rectangle about 2-3 mm thick.
Spread about 1/2 of the chocolate filling in a smooth, thin layer.
Roll into a long and tight tube shape.
Curl the roll to 3 in a zigzag shape (as seen in the picture), creating a shape of 3 connected cylinders.
Place the cake in a lightly greased baking pan.
10. Repeat with the second part of the dough and the remaining filling.
11. Cover the cakes and allow rising for about an hour or until the cakes almost double their volume.
12. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees.
13. Gently brush the cakes with beaten egg.
14. Bake the cakes for 35-45 minutes or until they are golden, swollen and set to the touch.
15. Cool slightly at room temperature, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.
- The cakes are at their best when they are warm and on the day of preparation.
- You can freeze the cakes (well-wrapped) for up to two weeks. It is recommended to defrost for several hours at room temperature and warm in the oven before serving.
- If desired, add chopped nuts or chocolate chips to the filling.