This week from Orly Ziv, author of Cook In Israel, shares a terrific a recipe for a twist on chocolate babka, Chocolate and Halva Babka. I love the surprise of halva crumbs throughout the babka and the texture and flavor it brings to an already delicious dish. This is the creativity of Orly Ziv. See the more details about Cook In Israel in the blog and get other sneak peak recipes.
Chocolate and Halva Babka
This braided yeast cake with chocolate and halva is a favorite in the Jewish repertoire. I add halva crumbs, a popular Middle Eastern sweet, to give it a little added texture and flavor.
560 gram (18 oz) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon dry yeast
100 gram (3-1/3 oz) sugar
100 gram (3-1/3 oz) butter, softened
¾ cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg, lightly beaten
1. Put all the dough ingredients in a large mixing bowl and knead by hand or in a stand mixer until a smooth and flexible dough forms. Make sure the salt doesn’t touch the yeast directly.
2. Cover loosely with a dish towel and allow to rise until doubled in volume.
3. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a large rectangle about ½-inch thick.
4. Cover the dough with the chocolate spread and sprinkle generously with halva crumbs.
5. Roll up lengthwise into a tight log and press down slightly to seal. Cut the log in half.
6. Slice one of the log halves in half lengthwise down the middle and loosely twist together to form a braid. Repeat with the remaining dough log.
7. Transfer each braid to a parchment-lined loaf pan and brush with egg. Set aside and allow to rise for another 15 minutes.
8. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 170°C/340°F.
9. Bake the babka for about 20-25 minutes until golden. Allow to cool slightly before slicing.
1. Leave the dough in the refrigerator overnight to rise.
2. For a richer flavor, make a syrup of ¾ cup sugar, 3/4 cup water and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Pour over the babka and serve.
Makes 2 loaves