Babka with Bittersweet Chocolate Chunks is a delicious and chocolatey twist on a traditional Polish Easter yeast cake.
As I sit here and type, I am on vacation in Asheville, where we have had record lows and torrential downpours the past few days, my daughters have both been diagnosed with strep throat and HostGator has been crashing all day which means that people have been unable to access my site. And I am posting with Bundt Bakers today, supposedly by 8 AM EST. Which may or may not happen. So hopefully nothing else will go too wrong while I am typing—KNOCK ON WOOD.
But about things going right! First of all, the Bundt Bakers have a fabulous theme for you guys today (hopefully you are able to read this today!). Easter/springtime! Be sure to check out all the links down below to see everyone’s cakes! The second I heard the theme I knew exactly what I was making. Because I have always wanted to re-make babka for my blog. Because, uh, my pictures suck from the first time, not to put too fine a term on it. And I have a great babka recipe!
For those of you who do not remember, were not reading back then, or just plain are not familiar, babka is a very old fashioned yeast cake. The same term is used for a similar Jewish cake (bread). But our theme is Easter, so I definitely had in mind a Polish Easter babka when I made this.
Traditionally babka is flavored in a very old fashioned manner, with nuts, raisins or other dried fruit and citrus peel. I wanted to update it a bit, so I used bittersweet (70+% cacao) chocolate chunks and vanilla paste and extract. I really liked it. I saved serving it for a day when my dad would be visiting (I learned to make babka for him—seems a shame to not make sure he can have some if I am going to make it!) and he and my mom, both yeast cake afficianados, gave it rave reviews.
- 1 1/4 cups milk preferably whole
- 4 t active dry yeast
- 2 cups AP flour
- 8 T unsalted butter softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 t salt
- 2 t vanilla paste
- 2 t vanilla extract
- 12 large egg yolks
- 2 cups AP flour
- 2 cups bittersweet chocolate (at least 70% cacao) chunks (I used Scharffen Berger)
- In a medium saucepan, warm the milk over low heat until it is just lukewarm, about 110 F. Place the milk into a medium bowl and add yeast – whisk the two together. Stir in the flour; cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugar and salt until soft, about 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla paste and extract. Add 6 egg yolks, one at a time, beating until smooth after each one.
- Mix in about 1/3 of the flour, then 2 more egg yolks. Scrape down the bowl and beater. Add another 1/3 of the flour and 2 more yolks and scrape down again. Mix in the remaining flour and egg yolks.
- Add the sponge mixture into the mixing bowl. Mix on low for 2 minutes. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
- Beat the dough on medium until it is smooth and elastic, about 2 minutes; the dough should be very soft. Add chocolate chunks and mix until combined.
- Scoop the dough into a buttered 12 cup bundt pan. Cover and let the dough rise until it doubles, about 60 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, with the rack in the center of the oven, 15 minutes before the dough has completely risen.
- Bake until well risen and very golden, about 40 to 45 minutes. I used a cake tester in the center of the bread to be certain it was done.
- Remove and cool in the pan on a rack for about 10 minutes. Then invert the babka onto a rack and cool completely.
- Babka with Bittersweet Chocolate Chunks from Laura at The Spiced Life
- Bunny Nest Carrot Mini Bundts from Stacy at Food Lust People Love
- Bursting-With-Berries Lemon Curd Bundt Cake from Felice at All That’s Left Are Crumbs
- Carrot Tea Cake from Vonnie at My Catholic Kitchen
- Colorful Spring Bundt Cake from Varada at Varada’s Kitchen
- Easter Bunny Bundt from Jane at Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
- Easter Egg Cake from Margaret at Tea and Scones
- Easter Pound Cake from Lauren at Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Hot Cross Mini Bundt from Kelly at Passion Kneaded
- Lemon & Elderflower Bundt Cake from Maria at Box of Stolen Socks
- Lemon Coconut Bundt Cake from Kathia at Basic N Delicious
- Mini Lemon Spring Bundts from Tara at Noshing With The Nolands
- Pineapple Pale Ale Bundt Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze from Melanie at Melanie Makes
- Strawberry Lemon Bundt Cake from Lauren at From Gate to Plate
- Strawberry Poppy Seed Cake from Renee at Magnolia Days