It has actually been absolutely no matter to whom I have served this babka with chocolate and orange, the reaction has always been the same: O! M! (G!
I mean, it's really hard to resist these two intertwined yeast plaits with a dream of a filling. Either the wonderful scent of chocolate and orange gets you or you skip this step and hang directly with your chew on the entire loaf.
Babka? What is it?
Babka is a yeast plait that over time has made its way from Eastern Europe to the Levant. A super fluffy yeast dough with a good portion of butter. It definitely goes in the direction of brioche. So babka is not just a plain yeast plait, but the goddess of all cakes, desserts, pastries - oh, I love babka. And the beauty is, you can fill it any way you like. With chocolate, with peanut butter, with fruit or even savoury with a delicious wild garlic pesto or cheese. Babka is a real dream!
Always keep calm
Calm down! Good things come to those who wait! Take it easy! With some recipes, it's worth reading to the very end. Then you realise that it might take a teeny bit longer to prepare than you initially thought. Yes, Babka really does take it easy when it comes to preparation and likes to let itself go for a few hours. For my recipe, I let the dough rest for at least 4 hours. If you can wait, just leave the dough to itself overnight. After you have filled the babka, rolled it and given it a nice plait, it definitely needs at least another 90 minutes to itself. After all, everything that happens to her is super exhausting. But believe me, it's so worth it!
Probably the tastiest swirl
Once cut, you'll see the most delicious swirl you can imagine. I use orange zest directly in the dough, so the flavour can intensify over the long resting time. The filling in this recipe is a ganache of dark chocolate and roasted hazelnuts. After Madamme Babka is taken out of the oven, it is finished off with a delicious shower of orange syrup.
It all sounds like a lot of work, it's true. But most of the work is actually waiting for the dough to rise enough so you can finally work it. So, it's not so bad - and you'll definitely be able to do the braiding too 🙂
Recipe for Babka with chocolate and orange
- 300 g Flour
- 1,5 TSP Dry yeast
- 1 packet Vanilla sugar
- 60 g Sugar
- 1 Orange
- 1 Egg
- 100 g Butter soft
- 100 ml Milk lukewarm
- 1 TSP Sugar
- 100 g Dark chocolate
- 70 g whole hazelnuts
- 60 g Butter
- 2 TBSP Powdered sugar
- 60 ml Orange juice
- 100 g Sugar
- 1 TL Oranges
Prepare the dough
- Dissolve 1 teaspoon sugar and yeast in lukewarm milk and leave for 10 minutes. A yeast foam forms on the milk.
- Sieve the flour and mix with the salt, sugar and vanilla sugar.
- Wash the orange well, grate the zest and add to the flour.
- With a dough hook: Add the yeast-milk mixture to the flour and knead.
- Gradually knead in the egg, then the butter by the teaspoonful.
- Knead the dough for 20 minutes with the dough hook.
- Grease a large bowl with a little oil and let the kneaded dough rise in it, covered, for about 4 hours in a warm place.
- Squeeze the grated orange and run the juice through a fine sieve. Alternatively, you can use ready-made orange juice from the supermarket.
- Put the orange juice with the sugar and orange flower water into a saucepan and bring to the boil while stirring.
- Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Then remove from the heat and leave to cool.
- Roast the hazelnuts in a pan and set aside to cool. Then chop coarsely.
- Melt the chocolate and butter in a pan on a low heat and mix well. Sieve the icing sugar and stir in.
Fill and knot the babka
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll out into a rectangle about the thickness of a finger.
- Spread the chocolate cream on the rectangle about 5 cm from all edges and spread the hazelnuts on top.
- Now carefully roll up the rectangle from the longer side. The result is a filled babka snake.
- Cut the babka snake lengthwise in the middle with a sharp knife. You now have two long pieces of dough, each with a cut surface where you can see the filling.
- Place the dough pieces crosswise with the cut surface facing upwards and place the dough pieces on top and bottom one after the other until a plait is formed.
- Grease the loaf tin with a little oil and place the plait in it. The plait will probably be longer than the tin. This is normal. Carefully compress the plait into the mould.
- Leave the babka plait to rise in the loaf tin for another 90 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 190 °C.
- Bake the babka for about 30 minutes and then pour the syrup directly over the babka while it is still hot.
- Allow the babka to cool completely and then turn it out of the mould.
- The babka has a shelf life of approx. 4 days.