Chocolate Cinnamon Babka
A classic Ashkenazi Jewish recipe, adapted with delicious hazelnuts and plenty of cinnamon. This is the centrepiece you need for any great party!
- 12g dried yeast
- 530g bakers’ flour
- 400g caster sugar
- finely-grated zest of 1 lemon
- 3 eggs
- 100ml milk
- 350g unsalted butter, softened
- 8g fine salt
- 50g icing sugar
- 30g cocoa powder
- 180g dark chocolate, melted
- 180g pecans, toasted and chopped
- ¼ cup cinnamon sugar
- 2 cinnamon sticks
1 Preheat oven to 190°C. Combine the yeast with 3 Tbsp flour and 2 Tbsp water in the bowl of an electric mixer and set aside for 10 minutes until foamy. Add the remaining flour, 100g caster sugar, lemon zest, eggs and milk and mix with the dough hook on low speed until almost combined.
2 Add 210g butter 1 Tbsp at a time, then beat on low speed for 5 minutes, add the salt, then mix for another 10 minutes, until a very smooth dough forms. Place in an oiled bowl and refrigerate overnight to proof slowly.
3 Melt the remaining butter and mix in the icing sugar, cocoa and chocolate, then set aside to cool slightly.
4 Divide the dough into two equal pieces and roll each to a rectangle 60cm x 30cm using just a little flour. Spread the chocolate paste over the dough, leaving a 2cm margin. Sprinkle the pecans and cinnamon sugar on top, then roll up, starting at the long edges. Slice in half lengthways, then twist each pair into a rough braid with the chocolate facing upwards. Arrange the braids in lined 1L loaf pans, cover and set aide for 3 hours, until doubled in size.
5 Mix the remaining sugar with ¾ cup water and the cinnamon sticks and boil until syrupy, then set aside. Bake the loafs for 35-40 minutes, using a little steam at the start. When baked, brush with the syrup while still hot, then set aside to cool in the tins.