This deliciously fluffy chocolate babka with orange always goes down well! It hasn’t really mattered who I’ve served it to so far, the reaction has always been the same: OM(F)G! I mean, it’s really hard to resist these two intertwined yeast plaits with a dream of a filling. Either the delicious aroma of chocolate and orange will get you, or you’ve skipped this step and are hanging on to the whole loaf with your chewing bar.
Babka – What is it?
Babka is a yeast plait that has made its way from Eastern Europe to the Levant over time. To be precise, there are two versions of the brioche-like pastry.
One variation is the Polish babka wielkanocna, which is traditionally served at Easter. Babka translates as grandmother and wielkanocna means Easter, because in Poland it is baked as a bundt cake in a bundt cake tin and has a chocolate or icing coating. It therefore resembles a long skirt that grandmothers used to wear. This explains the name.
The second variant is the Jewish one, which is very similar to the challah or kokosh. After the Second World War, this version of the babka became popular in North America and has since conquered other countries. The yeast cake is made from two super fluffy strands of yeast dough and baked in a loaf tin. A good portion of butter should not be missing from the dough. It’s definitely in the vein of a brioche and is not just a plain yeast plait, but the goddess of all cakes, desserts and pastries… And the great thing is, you can fill it any way you like. With peanut butter, jam, fruit and savory with feta and za’atar. Or, like me, you can bake a chocolate babka.
What ingredients do you need for the chocolate babka?
This yeast pastry is neither gluten-free nor vegan. That’s why you first need standard ingredients such as flour, yeast, milk, etc. for the dough:
You can be creative with the filling. For my chocolate yeast plait I recommend:
And my cake is topped with a special syrup that adds a wonderful orange note to the pastry:
How do you make the yeast cake?
Calm down! Good things take time! Take it easy! Some recipes are worth reading to the very end. That’s when you realize that it might take a tiny bit longer than you initially thought. Yes, this chocolate babka really chills out during preparation and likes to let himself go for a few hours. For my recipe, I leave the dough to rest for at least 4 hours. If you can wait, just leave the dough to its own devices overnight. But you can make good use of the time to roast the hazelnuts and boil the syrup. When the yeast dough has finished resting, you can melt the chocolate.
After you have filled the yeast dough, rolled it and given it a pretty plait, it definitely needs at least another 90 minutes to itself. Everything that happens to him is super stressful. But believe me, it’s worth it!
Preheat the oven to top and bottom heat a few minutes beforehand and bake the yeast dough in the loaf tin until fluffy. After the chocolate yeast cake is taken out of the oven, we finish off with a delicious shower of orange syrup!
Bake, bake yeast plait …
It sounds like a lot of work, but to be honest, most of the time is spent rising the dough. You can use this time sensibly to clean the kitchen, for example. It’s best to take a quiet day at the weekend to bake this gem. I hope you enjoy it and, of course, bon appétit.
Recipe for chocolate babka with orange
- 300 g Wheat flour type 405
- 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 TSP Orange peel
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 dough snake.
- Cut the dough 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 cake 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 you can cut into about 12 pieces. In a tin or paper bag is durable for about 4 days.