Chocolate babka is one of my favourite breads.
There’s always that element of savoury and wholesome heartiness in any bread that you eat and to that if you add chocolate that’s just like icing on the cake.
I love dessert. but for me desert has to be something not too sweet.
there must be parallel flavours other than the other than the taste of sugar.
That’s the reason why I like babkas.
I never use cooking chocolate or compound chocolate I use my own mixture. I tried making babka with Nutella but then that becomes too sweet.
So, I like to keep the palate towards the better and less towards the sweet… More of a very adult palate….
Generally excess sugar makes food really tasty. But then you take away nothing else from that taste of extra sweet.
For me the deserts must carry a parallel flavour. Fruits is my favourite and citrus tops the list.
Chocolate comes next
Spices like cinnamon follow and I am very fond of Indian sweets to.
The only problem I have with Indian desserts or mithai is that they emphasize too much on sugar.
So, I love things like gajar ka halwa or carrots cooked in milk and ghee, because you can actually taste the carrots and milk.
I love a sweet called doda in which you can taste the sourness of the curdled milk and that sourness goes beautifully with the sugar that is added along with the Ghee.
We used to eat copious amounts when we used to live in Alwar… Most people Say that Alwar is where the doda originated from.
Most Indian mithai is just seasoned are flavoured with cardamom… So that’s why sugar becomes a predominant flavour.
That’s why I like to bake sweet breads and cakes.
Now, babka is an enriched dough which is layered like croissant, rolled out shape cut and bake to give a loop.
But with these babka knots, you can make individual size servings so that ensures that you don’t need to murder the loaf every time you slice the babka.
Also, individual servings are super pretty.
The sugar syrup that you pour over the babka may seem to be an extra lot of sugar and butter, but believe me, it goes a long way in keeping the bread moist and glossy and it adds to the flavour without making it overtly sweet.
Use at least 54% chocolate if you are unable to use 70%.
And if you think that children will not eat something which you may think it’s better, try adding a little bit of butter with the babka.
What that does is introduce the dark chocolate flavour to an uninitiated palette and it tells you that you can survive with less sugar.
Also, the chocolate spread of any babka is like a signature for any baker. It can’t be Nutella alone, because it has a mild flavour and additives. It can’t be too sweet; the sugar will burn. It can’t be too chocolatey. There has to be a balance between the ingredients. You need to roll the dough out too.
This is my ratio. A bit runny for Mumbai, so I’ll reduce the butter. But perfect for Delhi winters.
I like to use a challah dough. This way to make the knots is very easy and it would work best in the winters when you know that the filling and the layered dough would not be loose and leaky and difficult to handle.
I needed to give away some babka knots, so I placed them in cupcakes holders just to make sure that they were easy to pack.
Chocolate Babka Knots
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
¼ cup sugar -ground to a powder
1 tbsp instant dry yeast
1 tsp salt
¼ cup olive oil or avocado oil or any neutral vegetable oil.
For the filling you need
4 tbsps. cocoa powder
4 tbsps butter
100 grams (55% amul) chocolate dark
3 tbsp powder sugar
For the syrup you need
½ cup water
3-4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter
In a bowl, place all the flour reserving 1/2 cup for rolling out.
In another bowl, mix half cup Luke warm water with the sugar and yeast.
Wait 5 minutes till the yeast froths.
Knead the dough with salt, the eggs, oil and the sugar yeast water.
Cover the dough with a wet cloth and allow to ferment.
In the meanwhile, mix the butter, chocolate and cocoa and set aside.
Allow the spread to cool.
Once the dough is fermented, sprinkle the flour and roll out the dough to 24 inches to 18 inches.
Spread the mix on two thirds of the dough leaving half inch on sides.
Fold the blank over the layered chocolate, in thirds like a letter fold.
Fold the dough over like a letter fold again.
Chill for at least 15 minutes.
Roll out to 12 inches by 18 inches.
Cut out strips 2-3 inch wide and divide each into two.
Make two long cuts, leaving one end intact.
Braid and roll from the intact end.
Place each knot on a parchment paper.
Lightly brush with a beaten egg. Chill for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, remove from the fridge. Brush with the beaten egg again.
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Bake the knots for 15-20 minutes.
Boil the sugar and water time it comes to a rolling boil for 8-10 minutes.
Add the butter and boil further 3-5 minutes.
As soon as the babka knots are done, remove from oven and place the tray on the counter. Spoon the syrup over each babka… About a teaspoon each.
The extra sugar and butter make the knots moist.
And the butter gives that glaze. The winter
Allow to cool and enjoy with tea or coffee.
You can also pop these in a container and carry in your handbag.
These babka knots are filling and healthier than a store-bought chocolate snack. Also, these make superb gifting options. Who does’nt like home made fresh bread. And when the bread is layered with dark chocolate, it makes it even better.
Nothing works for me than fresh baked bread and chocolate. And if you add butter, it becomes better.
Try these , let me see how much you love them too.