Whoever invented chocolate was definitely one of the most brilliant minds ever and definitely worthy of the Nobel Prize. Incidentally, the inventor of the dishwasher deserved one of those too. Let’s be honest: that must have been a man. Why am I so sure? A woman would be more logical, she does most of the work, doesn’t she? But the man, yes, he must have heard every now and then that he could help too. So what if there was a machine that spared him that? Yes, you guessed right. That was the hour of birth of the dishwasher.
But now back to chocolate. In the thicket of almost innumerable varieties, it is not always that easy to find the best. Fabio is clearly the milk chocolate tiger while Joelle appreciates the one with the high cocoa content. Regardless of personal taste, it is dark chocolate that is the healthiest for us sweet lovers.
How the cocoa bean becomes chocolate.
After harvesting, cocoa beans must first be washed and then roasted at 120 – 160 ° C in order to develop the rich chocolate taste. They are then broken and the shells removed. They are ground long and finely in the conching machine, whereby the mass heats up and the cocoa butter becomes liquid. This is how the chocolate mass is slowly created. Conching takes time, quite a lot of time, more precisely between 16 – 96 hours. The duration of the grinding process influences the taste and the intensity of the aromas. Not to forget, sugar and additional cocoa butter are added during the conching process, milk powder and other ingredients such as soy lecithin are added to the milk chocolate. Then the mass has to be cooled so that it gets its beautiful shiny surface. Filled in molds, it is now time to cure, to be packed and then to land in our mouths.
Above all, Joelle is an avowed organic food fan. This makes sense, especially with cocoa, because conventionally grown cocoa trees are planted in monocultures, which in turn makes them very susceptible to diseases. As a result, the cocoa trees are intensively treated with pesticides to keep crawling beetles and diseases away. Organic cocoa trees are grown in mixed cultures, at least in theory and hopefully also in practice, and are therefore naturally more resistant to diseases. Less pesticides, more nutrients and vital substances and a healthier soil. Win win, so to speak.
Babka … what?
The babka is a sweet yeast cake, of which there is a Christian and a Jewish version. The Christian is usually be prepared without filling, while the Jewish one is filled with cinnamon or chocolate. Typically, there are two strands that are braided into each other and then baked in a tall loaf pan.
Our variant is therefore more like the Jewish one, but instead of being baked in the loaf pan, we opted for a beautiful wreath.
After the yeast dough has been prepared (it’s really easy, I promise), it’s time for the filling. As you could already guess, it contains a lot of delicious chocolate. But also nuts. These were coarsely ground and they give the fluffy babka a bit of bite. Then it is rolled up, the roll is cut into two pieces and these two strands are braided together. Either you bake the whole thing in a loaf pan or you put it in a wreath – the form doesn’t really matter, it will be delicious anyway.
We hope that we have infected you with Babka fever and look forward to hearing your comments on the recipe. We say goodbye for today with a big hug.
Babka with chocolate and hazelnuts.
- 470 g spelt flour type 630
- 200 ml milk
- 75 g butter
- 70 g raw cane sugar
- 1 egg
- 9 g fresh yeast
- 1/2 grated tonka bean
- 1 pinch salt
- 150 g dark chocolate
- 50 g coconut oil
- 110 g grated hazelnuts
- 30 g chopped chocolate
- 2 EL hail sugar
- Yeast dough: all ingredients should be at room temperature. First, heat the milk with 1 tablespoon of sugar until it is lukewarm (finger test: you should be able to put a finger in it without getting burned). Add yeast and let rest for about 10 minutes.
- Mix flour with salt and the grated tonka bean.
- Melt the butter and let it cool down to a comfortable temperature. Mix in the sugar and egg.
- Mix the flour with the yeast and butter mixture and knead for about 6-7 minutes to form a smooth dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place for about 1.5 hours. The volume should at least double.
- For the fillling, grate the hazelnuts and put them aside.
- Break the chocolate into small pieces and melt over the water bath. Stir in the coconut oil and add the nuts. Let stand at room temperature until the dough is ready.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Take the finished dough out of the mold and roll it out on a floured work surface to a thickness of approx. 0.8 cm and as rectangular as possible.
- Spread the filling on top, add chopped chocolate sprinkles and roll into a large roll.
- Use the knife to cut the roll in half lengthways. Wrap the two single strands together. You can now either bake the whole thing in a loaf pan lined with baking paper or place it on a wreath.
- Sprinkle with the hail sugar before baking, then put in the oven for about 40 minutes (varies a lot depending on the oven – watch it carefully). When ready, the yeast dough should be brown on top and when pressing a finger on the dough, it should still be slightly soft.