A few weeks ago, we adopted a kitten my nephew found in their yard and named her Babka. After a few months of mourning over our beloved cat who died, Babka brought us happiness and filled our hearts with endless love. She’s tiny and very playful, so we find ourselves being a target to her little games and keep laughing on how rude she is being 😉
We named her after my top favorite cake in the world, which is of course babka! This is the one cake I simply cannot resist even when I’m really not into dessert, and my favorite filling is ricotta cheese. After we named her I knew I had to make ricotta babka, just because it reminded me of her – fluffy, light and just perfect.
This ricotta babka also contains caramelized apples, which make it more festive and unique. It’s the perfect treat next to your coffee cup, and serving it a little warm is simply delicious and irresistible.
Ricotta Babka with Caramelized Apples
For the dough:
- 270 grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour
- 5 grams (1 tsp.) active dry yeast
- 35 ml. (2 tbsp. + 1 tsp.) milk
- 40 grams (4 tbsp.) sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 40 grams (2 tbsp.) honey
- 2 large eggs
- 75 grams butter cut into cubes
For the caramelized apples:
- 2 large Granny Smith apples
- 40 grams (4 tbsp.) sugar
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
For the ricotta filling:
- 300 grams ricotta cheese
- 50 grams (1/4 cup) sugar
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 beaten egg
- Sugar powder
Dough: place flour, yeast, milk, sugar, salt, honey and eggs in a mixer bowl with a kneading hook and knead for 4-5 minutes until dough is formed.
Add in the butter gradually and continue kneading for another 4-5 minutes until it is absorbed into a uniform dough.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and cool overnight in the refrigerator. The dough is not supposed to double its volume, but slightly rise and that's fine.
Caramelized apples: peel the apples and cut into medium cubes.
Heat a skillet over a high flame and cook the apples for a few minutes until they begin to soften slightly.
Add sugar, lemon and vanilla, and cook until the sugar melts and the apples soften.
Cool completely at room temperature.
Ricotta filling: in a bowl, mix ricotta, sugar and vanilla until combined.
Assemble the cake: on a floured work surface roll the dough into a ½ cm thick rectangle.
Spread a uniform layer of the ricotta filling over the dough and sprinkle with caramelized apple cubes.
Roll to a tight roll.
Grease your pan well with soft butter and sprinkle with a little flour to prevent the cake from sticking to the pan.
Place the babka roll in the pan, cover and allow rising for 1-2 hours or until it has risen and almost double in volume.
Preheat the oven to 170c degrees.
Gently brush the cake with beaten egg and bake for 35-45 minutes or until golden and set.
Cool slightly at room temperature and turn over a serving plate.
Sprinkle powder sugar and serve.
- The ricotta babka is at its best on the day of preparation, but can be frozen for up to a week.
- Instead of apples you can use pears or peaches in the same amount or 200-300 grams of assorted berries. Flavors will vary accordingly.
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