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Chocolate Almond Babka

Chocolate Almond Babka

This Chocolate Almond Babka is a definite decadent treat, and it’s worth every single calorie! The taste right after it comes out of the oven, slathered in a delicious homemade syrup, is one of the best things you will eat! This bread is worth any amount of time and effort because of how special and amazing it tastes! If you’re a fan of chocolate and bread, this is the dessert for you! It’s also a beautiful bread to make for any holiday because it’s highly impressive and beyond good!

Recipe Inspiration

So, I developed this Babka recipe is because I may have a slight obsession with the Great British Baking Show, as I have mentioned before. No lie, I have watched all the seasons and episodes of the show at least ten times each, and I still love every minute of it. During one of the bread week episodes, a contestant made a chocolate hazelnut babka for a sweet dough challenge. Of course, it sounded so tasty and indulgent I had to figure out how to make it and have a recipe of my own! For mine, I used almonds as my nuts of choice because they are one of my favorite kinds, and pair great with dark chocolate.

Great British Baking Show

BTW if you haven’t watched the Great British Bake Off, I highly recommend you check it out on Netflix. One of the most recent episodes actually has a Chocolate Babka as the Technical Challenge, which makes this recipe perfect to go along with watching the show!

Chocolate Almond Babka

Recipe Tips

Here are a few recipe tips for this Chocolate Almond Babka! It may look hard, but the directions and tips will make it easy!

  • Remove all of the cold items from the fridge 30Min-1Hour before you start baking, so they come to room temperature.
  • Take a break during the kneading process, so your mixer does not overheat.
  • Be patient with the dough during the rise. It will be slow and will not double in size.
  • The best flavor comes from proofing the dough overnight but alternatively, the first proof can be 1.5 hours.
  • Use parchment paper under the dough while rolling it out.
  • Place the rolled-up dough on a baking tray and freeze it for 10 minutes. It will make it easier to cut and make less of a mess.
  • While baking the loaf, place aluminum foil on top to keep it from browning too quickly
  • Wrap the leftovers in aluminum foil or plastic wrap, and keep them on the counter or in a bread box for 3-4 days.
Chocolate Almond Babka

Babka Ingredients

Most of the ingredients in this recipe are very common and pantry staples! Although for the yeast, I do recommend you use RedStar Active Dry Yeast. It is a powerful yeast and can hold up in the enriched dough. It one of my favorite brands for baking because they are always consistent.

Recipe Equipment

You can knead this dough by hand but it will take much longer than 10 minutes, and it will be messy. That is why I recommend using a mixer for the kneading process. I’m hoping to get a KitchenAid stand mixer in the future, but as of right now I use this Dash mixer. It was inexpensive, and it works great for the price!

Another one of my British Baking inspirations is my Tangzhong Whole Wheat bread! After you’ve tried this recipe, you may want to check that one out as well!

Chocolate Almond Babka

Chocolate Almond Babka

Alyssa
This Chocolate Almond Babka is the dessert bread of your dreams! It's a sweet brioche bread, filled with a dark chocolate and nut filling! This bread is like a mixture of cake, bread, and chocolate! How could it get any better than that?!
5 from 11 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Proofing Time 13 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 14 hrs 20 mins
Course Dessert, Side Dish
Cuisine Jewish
Servings 12
Calories 318 kcal

Equipment

  • Stand Mixer with dough attachment
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Large and small mixing bowls
  • Spatula
  • Baking tray
  • 8.5×4.5 Loaf pan

Ingredients
  

Babka Dough

  • 1/4 Cup Water warmed to 105 degrees F. 1 to 2 tablespoons extra, if needed
  • 1/4 Cup Raw cane sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp Active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp Lemon zest grated
  • 2 Cups + 2 Tbsp Unbleached all-purpose flour plus extra for dusting
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 3/4 tsp Fine sea salt
  • 1/3 Cup Unsalted butter at room temperature
  • Coconut oil or canola oil for greasing

Babka Filling

  • 6 Tbsp Semi-Sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup Unsalted butter cold is fine
  • 1/4 Cup Powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup Cocoa powder
  • 3/4 Cup Sliced almonds

Babka Syrup

  • 3 tablespoons Water
  • 3 tablespoons Raw cane sugar

Instructions
 

Making the dough:

  • For the dough, combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast in the bottom of the bowl of a stand mixer. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and wait 5 minutes. The yeast should be activated and bubbling at this point.
  • Using the dough hook attachment, slowly add in 2 cups of flour and mix in the eggs.
  • With the mixer on low, add the salt then the butter, a tablespoon at a time, until it’s fully mixed into the dough.
  • Run the mixer on medium speed for about 10 minutes until the dough is completely smooth. Stop and scrape down the bowl a couple of times during this process. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl. If the dough is still too wet, add in the other 2 tablespoons of flour.
  • Coat a large bowl with oil, place the dough inside, cover it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. The dough will not double in size, but it should proof a little.

Making the filling:

  • Before you take the dough out of the fridge, make your filling. Combine the chocolate chips and butter in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave at 30-second intervals until they are melted and combined.
  • Add the powdered sugar and cocoa powder to the chocolate mixture, and combine to form a chocolate spread.

Assembly:

  • Grease an 8.5×4.5 bread pan heavily with non-stick baking spray.
  • Take the dough out of the fridge and roll it out onto a well-floured surface or parchment paper. It should be 10-inches wide (the side closest to you) and 12-inches long.
  • Spread the chocolate filling in an even layer over the dough, leaving 1/2 inch around the outside. Sprinkle the sliced almonds over the top of the chocolate spread.
  • Brush the end farthest away from you with water. Roll the dough up into a log. Make sure the roll is tight so that there are no gaps between the layers. Seal the dampened end to hold the log together. Transfer the log to a lightly floured baking tray and put it in the freezer for 10 much to make an easier, cleaner cut.
  • Trim 1/2 an inch off each end of the log. Gently slice the log in half lengthwise and lay the two logs next to each other on the counter, cut sides up. Pinch the top ends together. Lift one side over the other, forming a twist and keeping the cut sides facing up. It will make a slight mess during this process.
  • Now, transfer the twist into the prepared loaf pan. It should form an "S" like shape in the pan. Take the ends you cut off and place them in the unfilled spot in the pan. They will form together with the loaf in the oven.
  • Cover the pan with a clean kitchen towel or with greased plastic wrap. Leave it to rise for 1-1/2 hours at room temperature. It should look similar to the picture above.

Baking:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Remove the towel and bake on the middle rack for 15 minutes. Cover with foil to keep the top from burning and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. If the middle still looks raw, bake for an additional 5 minutes.

Simple Syrup Topping:

  • When the babka is almost done baking, make the syrup. Combine the sugar and water in a small sauce-pan over low heat, bring to a simmer until the sugar dissolves. (about 4 minutes).
  • Remove from heat and let it cool for 5 minutes.
  • When the babka is fresh from the oven, brush the syrup all over the top and cracks.
  • Let the babka cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan, and then move to a wire rack to finish cooling. Serve while it's warm because that's when it tastes the best!

Notes

  • Remove all of the cold items from the fridge 30min-1Hour before you start baking, so they come to room temperature.
  • Take a break during the kneading process, so your mixer does not overheat. 
  • Be patient with the dough during the rise. It will be slow and will not double in size.
  • The best flavor comes from proofing the dough overnight but alternatively, the first proof can be 1.5 hours.
  • Use parchment paper under the dough while rolling it out. Place the rolled-up dough on a sheet pan and freeze it for 15 minutes. It will make the chocolate less messy and give a clean cut.
  • While baking the loaf, place aluminum foil on top to keep it from browning too quickly
  • Keep the leftovers wrapped in aluminum foil and kept at room temperature for 3-4 days.
  • The babka can be frozen; Wrap in plastic wrap tightly and place in two zip-top freezer bags. Freeze for up to 3 months, and when you’re ready to use it thaw on the counter for a couple of hours. 
Keyword Babka, Brioche, Chocolate Almond Babka, Chocolate Babka, Holiday Bread

52 thoughts on “Chocolate Almond Babka”

  1. 5 stars
    wow! this is seriously an awesome recipe.
    as I was reading this post, I developed a good recipe that consists bread, dairy milk silk chocolate, butter, and fruit jam.
    thanks for the inspiration.
    love it and can’t wait to try it in my home.
    thanks for sharing.

    1. I’m sure you could! I add lots of instructions to help you along. 🙂 I hope you’ll try it and let me know how it goes.

  2. I know Babka is the Polish version of Romanian Cozonac, which is very yummy and my mom’s absolute speciality! You and my mom should open a baking school together! The only problem is that you live on different continents!
    I will give this a try; then I’ll send you mom’s recipe for Cozonac for a baking experience exchange!👩‍🍳

    1. I would love to meet your mother and share recipes! It is too bad we don’t live any closer. I’m excited for you to try this recipe, and I would definitely love to your mom’s recipe for Cozonac. Sounds delicious!

      1. She made me translate this recipe for her; I think she wants to make it. I can’t wait!!! Also posted on FB for my friends. Some of them are Polish. Hopefully, they’ll appreciate your recipe!

  3. I just drooled straight onto my laptop’s keyboard. This looks absolutely decadent and delicious! I’m really in need of making it now. So many phenomenal flavors swirled together to create such a divine treat. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    1. You’re so welcome! It is very decadent and definitely something you should try! I would love to hear how it turns out for you! 🙂

    1. It really is a fantastic show, and I hope you check it out! This recipe is definitely a great holiday dish, especially Christmas. I hope you enjoy it! 🙂

  4. I wanted to make a babka because of the Great British Baking Show too! I was too intimidated though. Maybe I’ll give this one a shot, it looks DELICIOUS.

    1. Thank you so much! You definitely need to try it out! You will feel so accomplished afterward and get to taste the amazingness of Babka. 🙂

  5. I live for Friday nights, so I can watch the new episodes of GBBS! I must try this recipe, too! I was thinking recently I wanted to try my hand a breaded bread, so… this is perfect!

    1. I’m glad I’m not the only one anticipating new GBBO episodes! I hope this bread turns out for you and you can enjoy it while you watch the show.

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