Chocolate Babka

Babka has always been one of those recipes that I want to try, but it looked so difficult. I got over my “fear” of making homemade breads a couple of years ago, so I decided it was time to make babka for #choctoberfest! This Eastern European yeast-risen cake has lots of steps and takes all day to make – but it’s so worth it! There’s a rich chocolate filling that is swirled in brioche-like cake. This version has a little orange zest in the cake and topped with an orange syrup for a little bit of freshness and adds a touch of sweetness.

Imperial Sugar helped make this recipe possible with their generous donation of sugar as a sponsor of #Choctoberfest. You should have seen my face when 88 lbs of sugar arrived at my house. I’ll be set for all my baking this holiday season with my kids! Thanks Imperial Sugar!

Chocolate Babka | Join Us, Pull up a Chair #choctoberfest

4-5 cups all-purpose flour
1 package instant yeast
1 cup hot water
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1/4 cup Imperial granulated sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 eggs
zest of one orange
2 tsp vanilla extract

Filling:
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup Imperial powdered sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder

Syrup:
1/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
6 Tbsp Imperial granulated sugar

In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup of flour with the yeast and stir in the hot water until combined. Cover with a dish towel and allow to rise for 45 minutes or until the mixture is bubbly.  Add the salt, sugar, oil, eggs, orange zest and vanilla to the dough and stir until just combined. Add the remaining four cups of flour and mix with a bread hook until the dough forms and slightly sticky. Continue kneading until the dough becomes smooth. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl , cover with a dish towel and allow to rise until it has doubled in size.

Once the dough has risen, make the filling. Melt the butter and chocolate chips in the microwave at 30 seconds intervals until melted. Stir in the powdered sugar and cocoa and mix until smooth.

Punch the dough down and divide into two equal parts. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece of dough into a rectangle about 10 inches by 14 inches. Spread half the filling into the dough leaving a 1/2 inch border. Starting  from the short end, roll the dough up into a tight coil. Wrap with parchment paper and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining ball of dough and filling. Place in the refrigerator overnight or in the freezer to chill for 15 minutes.

Line 2 9×4 loaf pans with parchment paper and set aside. Unwrap one of the logs and place on a cutting board. Trim off the last inch of each side of the log (save these to bake up in a small pan). Cut the logs in half lengthwise and then have the cut sides face up. Lay one half over the other and twist each piece around each other. Transfer to the prepared loaf pan and cover with plastic wrap. Repeat with the other log. Allow to rise 1 hour or until the dough has risen and fills the pan.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove the plastic wrap and place both pans on a baking sheet. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the bread is lightly browned. While the babkas are baking, heat the orange juice and sugar in a small saucepan on the stove. Simmer until the sugar dissolves. Once the babka is baked, remove from the oven and pour half the syrup on each loaf. Allow to cool 15 minutes before slicing.

choctoberfest-2015-1

Looking for a little more chocolate? Check out all the other recipes shared today for #Choctoberfest! Have you entered the giveaway to win a fun prize pack? Be sure to enter before #Choctoberfest ends on October 21st.

*Disclosure: I received the product to sample from Imperial Sugar. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

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Source: Alexandra’s Kitchen

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