Chocolate Babka

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I’ve made coffee cakes from Ida’s Yeast Dough for years, but have never rolled and filled them to make a chocolate babka. The fun part was coming up with a flavorful, deep chocolate filling, and then rolling, scoring, and twisting the cakes.

The dough

Make one batch of Ida’s Yeast Dough. Cool for several hours or overnight.

Make the filling

Combine all ingredients and microwave until just melted. Microwave 30 seconds at a time, stopping to stir to avoid scorching.

  • 4 Tbs. butter
  • 3 Tbs. honey
  • 2 c. bittersweet chocolate chips (60% cacao)
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 Tbs. dark cocoa
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

Prepare two loaf pans

Lightly grease each pan, then fit with parchment, leaving overlap on the long sides of the pan.

Make the cakes

Divide the dough in half. Roll each into a 20″ x 15″ rectangle, using plenty of flour to avoid sticking. Evenly spread half the filling over the dough. Starting on the long edge, roll the dough tightly into a long coil. Take a very sharp knife and cut through the coil down its length, into about half of the coil’s depth. Carefully lift one half of the coil and place over the other half, to make a twist—keeping the cut side up. Create one more twist, moving one end of the coil over the other—again keeping the cut side up. Tuck the remaining dough under the end and place the cake into one of the prepared pans. Let rise for 30 minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40–45 minutes, or until nicely browned, and the bread has an internal temperature of 190–200 degrees.

sm rolling babka IMG_5305

(above) After the dough is rolled out, evenly spread on a thin layer of the chocolate filling. Roll it up, and slit it down the length before coiling and placing in the prepared pan (below).

choc babka rising sm IMG_5307

Ida’s Yeast Dough Coffee Cake and other delicious recipes are included in my new 86-page baking cookbook, You Can’t Have Dry Coffee: Papa’s Excuse to Have a Nosh And Nana’s Perfect Pastries

The Plate is My Canvas is a book!

I’m thrilled to announce that The Plate is My Canvas is now available as a book, and includes many recipes from this blog.
The Plate is My Canvas: Recipes and Stories from My Family’s Interfaith Kitchen, 222 pages.

I’ve also published two books that are excerpts from “The Plate.”
—For just the Passover recipes, most of which are included in the “The Plate,” Essential Passover from Scratch: Recipes and Stories from My Mother’s Kitchen, 72 pages.
—For the very best of my baked goods—cookies, bread, coffee cakes, etc., You Can’t Have Dry Coffee: Papa’s Excuse to Have a Nosh And Nana’s Perfect Pastries, 86 pages.

These projects started as this food blog! From there emerged the iNosh iPad app (no longer available), and now the books. My goal in making printed copies of The Plate is My Canvas was to pass down my family’s traditions to my children, and I presented them each with the big volume in December of 2018. It’s taken a while, but now the books are available to others.

A new twist to an old slaw

This wasn’t fancy, but in addition to adding a little sparkle to last night’s dinner, we all had a delicious serving of raw broccoli. Raw broccoli—not my favorite way to enjoy a vegetable, but this is lovely! It’s light, fresh, and lemony, with the seeds adding a wonderful nutty depth.

Lemony brocolli slaw sm IMG_0075

Lemony Broccoli Slaw with Sunflower Seeds

  • 1 12-oz bag broccoli slaw
  • 1/3 c. mayonnaise
  • juice of one juicy lemon
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar (or less, to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • dash of garlic powder
  • a grind of fresh pepper
  • 1/4 c. raw sunflower seeds

In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and lemon juice, stir in the sugar until dissolved. In a larger bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Serve with an extra sprinkle of sunflower seeds.