Chocolate Pecan Babka

Babka is so beautifully impressive. And tastes just as delightful as its appearance. The swirling chocolate-marbled brioche dough is soft & delicate, slightly chewy and just simply delicious. It’s perfect to slice warm from the oven on a weekend morning, or as an afternoon snack with a cappuccino, mmmm.

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I first came across Babka when studying one of my favourite cook books, Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolengi a.k.a one of my favourite chefs in the world. His recipe for Babka which I use below is fool-proof, and definitely worth the overnight prooving.

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Baloo vs. Babka ❤

This Babka has a dark chocolate and toasted pecan filling with a handful of white choclate drops thrown in for good measure. But, the beauty of Babka is it’s versatility – you can really incorporate anything you like into the base of the dough, from an almond frangipane filling or creme patisserie, to caramelised bananas, pistachios or raspberries (to name a few of my favourites).

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I hope you enjoy this recipe and much as I did, THANK YOU OTTOLENGI ❤

Ingredients: (Makes 2 medium sized loaves)

 

  • 530g plain flour, plus more for shaping
  • 100 g of caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs, free range/ organic
  • zest of 1 small lemon
  • 10g of ready-action instant yeast
  • 120 ml of lukewarm water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 150 g butter, room temp/ softened
  • 50 g icing sugar
  • 30 g cocoa powder, I like to use Bourneville
  • 130g dark chocolate, melted
  • 120 g butter, melted
  • 100g pecans, chopped into small chunks – toasted in a dry pan for a few minutes (optional)
  • 4 tbsp. white chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp apricot jam

Method:

  1. Start by making your dough. Place flour, sugar, dried yeast, and lemon zest in a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook and stir to combine.
  2. Next, add in your eggs, salt and warm water, and mix on medium speed for a few minutes until everything is combined and a dough is formed.
  3. Add the softened butter into the mixer on a medium speed in 4 or 5 batches, mixing in between each batch until the butter us fully incorporated.
  4. Then continue to mix the dough on a medium speed for 8-10 minutes, until dough is completely smooth, elastic, shiny, and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  5. It’s time to rest your dough. Pop your dough in a large bowl brushed with oil, cover with cling film and leave in the fridge overnight, or if you’re making during the morning you’ll need to wait at least 7-8 hours.
  6. After your dough has finished proving, grease two medium-sized loaf tins lightly with oil and set to one side.
  7. Next divide the dough into two.
  8. Now make the filling. Whisk together your cocoa, icing sugar, melted dark chocolate and melted butter to make a paste.
  9. Roll out half of the dough on a lightly floured surface and shape into a rectangle measuring roughly 38×28 cm.
  10. Cover the dough with half of the chocolate paste, leaving  a 2cm border all around the edges. Sprinkle half of the toasted pecans and white chocolate chips on top of the chocolate layer too.
  11. Now shape you dough. Start by dampening the long edge of the dough further away from you with some water on your fingers.
  12. Roll up the rectangle tightly like a roulade, starting from the long side closest to you and ending at the other long end, until you have a long log of Babka dough.  Press to seal the dampened end of the log.
  13. Finally use both hands to even out the roll into a perfect thick roulade. Rest the log on its seam when finished.
  14. Trim roughly 2cm off both ends of the roulade with a serrated knife, to tidy up the log.
  15. Next cut the Babka log in half lengthwise with a sharp knife, dividing the log into two long even halves, with the layers of dough and chocolate showing along the length of both halves.
  16. With the cut sides facing up, gently press together one end of each half, then plait your dough, lifting one piece over the other to make a simple two-pronged plait showing the filling on top.
  17. Place the plaited dough into your greased loaf tin. Cover with cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for an hour. Repeat the process with the remaining dough and chocolate paste to make your second loaf.
  18. Next pre-heat your oven to 190°C. Once the hour proving is complete, pop the Babka in the oven bake for about 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.
  19. Finally heat your apricot jam for a minute or two in the microwave until its melted. Brush all over the two Babka loaves to create a glossy sweet shiny coating.
  20. EAT 🙂

Sofia xxx

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