If I’d been told several years ago that poppy seed babka would become one of my favorite babkas in the whole world – I would laugh. However, my opinion on poppy seeds in desserts changed drastically over the past few year, and one who could not stand these black small seeds, they became one of my favorites in cakes and desserts.
If I remember correctly, the thing that changed my mind and made me LOVE poppy seeds was the famous poppy seeds babka in a traditional old-fashioned bakery in Tel Aviv. Ever since I tasted that divine cake, I just love to make cakes and sweets with poppy seeds, even though I don’t know many people who like it as much as I do.
Anyway, this next recipe was created after I decided I really want to make a poppy seeds babka braid, only with additional flavors. So, I decided to add peanut butter and chocolate to the cake, and got one of the most delicious cakes I have made recently. This poppy seeds babka braid is golden and fragrant, filled with poppy seeds filling, large chunks of milk chocolate and some peanut butter. So tasty – you really should try it yourself!
Poppy Seeds Babka Braid with Chocolate and Peanut Butter
For the dough:
- 500 grams (3 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
- 10 grams (1 tbsp.) instant dry yeast
- 100 grams (1 stick) soft butter
- 75 grams (1/3 cup) sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 200 grams (1 cup) sour cream
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
For poppy seeds filling:
- 100 grams (1/2 cup) sugar
- 125 ml. (1/2 cup) milk
- 25 grams butter
- Pinch of salt
- 150 grams freshly ground poppy seeds
- 1 tsp. brandy or rum
- 1 large egg yolk
- 100 grams chopped almonds
For the filling:
- 200 grams milk chocolate very coarsely chopped
- 100 grams (3 heaping tablespoons) smooth peanut butter
- 1 beaten egg
- Sugar powder
- Chopped peanuts
Dough: in a mixer bowl with a kneading attachment, put flour, yeast, butter, sugar, eggs, cheese, vanilla and salt and knead for 10-12 minutes until you get a slightly sticky dough.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow rising in the refrigerator overnight.
Poppy seeds filling: in a medium pot put sugar, milk, butter and salt and heat to a boil. It is important to note that all the sugar has dissolved.
Add poppy seeds and stir until mixture is smooth.
Add brandy, egg yolk and almonds and mix until you get a paste.
Cool at room temperature before using.
Assemble the cakes: divide the dough into 2 parts.
On a floured work surface, roll each part of the dough into a rectangle about 1/2 cm thick.
Spread half of the poppy seeds filling in the center third of the rectangle and sprinkle with 1/2 of the chopped chocolate.
Using a teaspoon, place small mounds of peanut butter on top of the filling in a relatively uniform way.
Cut the 2-thirds on the sides into strips and braid in a cross-section.
Place the cake on a baking pan lined with baking paper.
Repeat the process with the second part of the dough and the remaining filling, chocolate and peanut butter.
Cover the cakes and allow rising in a warm place until they almost double their volume.
Preheat the oven to 170c degrees.
Gently brush the cakes with beaten egg and sprinkle with peanuts.
Bake the cakes for 30-35 minutes or until golden and set.
Before serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar.
- It is recommended to serve the cakes warm.
- The cakes are at their best on the day of baking.
- Instead of milk chocolate you can use white or milk chocolate in the same amount.
- The cakes can be frozen for up to a month. After thawing it is recommended to warm them in the oven.
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