Dark Chocolate, Tahini, and Halva Brioche Babka
This phenomenal recipe was developed by our friend and baker extraordinaire, Erin Clarkson, from Cloudy Kitchen. Check out her blog for stunning photography and recipe inspo! Contact us for extra instruction or ‘behind the scenes’ babka making videos!
Recipe makes one large babka ‘cake’ as pictured above, or two loaves as pictured below. Babka pictured above is made with the Chocolate Date Tahini spread we made in collaboration with our friends, Just Date Syrup and babka pictured below is made with the original chocolate date tahini filling.
For the brioche dough:
1 envelope (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
200g (3/4 cup plus 1 tbs) whole milk, lukewarm
4 tbsp (50g) sugar
565g (3 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
115g (8 tbs) unsalted butter, at room temperature
For the tahini chocolate filling:
200g dark chocolate
200g Seed + Mill Organic Tahini
1/8 tsp salt
200g halva, crumbled (we used our Sea Salt Dark Chocolate flavor)
Egg wash - 1 egg whisked with 1 tbsp water
When making this recipe, you could also try switching out the dark chocolate, the Organic Tahini and the salt for the Chocolate Date Tahini we made with Just Date Syrup!
For the dough:
1. In a small bowl, combine the yeast, milk and 2 tbs of the sugar. Mix well, and leave to sit for 10-15 minutes, or until foamy.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, salt, and remaining 2 tbs sugar. Mix briefly to combine. Add the eggs, vanilla, and foamy yeast mixture to the bowl. Mix on low for 2-3 minutes, until the dough is starting to come together. It may look slightly dry but do not worry - it will mix together nicely in the next steps. Increase the mixer speed to medium, and mix for another 10 minutes, until the dough is soft and smooth.
3. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and add the butter a little at a time, waiting until it is fully incorporated into the dough before adding the next piece. This process should take 3-4 minutes. Once the butter is fully incorporated, increase the mixer speed to medium, and mix for a further 5 minutes, until the dough is very soft and smooth.
4. Transfer to an oiled bowl, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place in a warm spot until doubled in size, approximately 1 - 1 1/2 hours. Alternatively, place the bowl in the fridge, and do the first rise overnight.
For the tahini dark chocolate filling:
1. Combine all of the filling ingredients in a heat safe bowl, and place over a pot of simmering water to create a double boiler setup. Ensure that the bowl does not touch the water. Heat, stirring occasionally with a spatula, until the chocolate has melted and the mixture has combined. Do not whisk or you could cause the tahini to seize. Transfer into a jar and allow to sit at room temperature for at least an hour, or overnight. Store at room temperature.
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a rectangle 16” x 24”, squaring off with a bench scraper as you roll to make sure it is as even as possible. Using an offset spatula, spread the half a cup of the filling mixture over the surface of the dough, then sprinkle with the halva. If using our Chocolate Date Tahini spread, you will need to use about half the jar (or approx 6 tbs).
3. Starting from the long side of the dough, roll up the dough into a tight spiral. If making two loves, then cut in half so it is in two rolls. Place the dough on the lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for an hour. You can skip this step if you did an overnight rise.
4. Line two loaf pans with a parchment paper ‘sling’ or for babka cake, use a springform cake tin lined with paper. Remove the chilled dough from the fridge. Using a sharp knife, cut the roll of dough in half, lengthwise, and then cross the pieces over each other, and then cross over two more times to form a twist (this video also explains well). Place into the loaf tin, tucking the ends under slightly if needed. If you are making the round “cake style” babka, you will need to wind the roll the dough into a circle shape before placing into the cake tin. Don’t worry if it makes a mess, it will look and taste great once baked!
5. Lightly cover the loaf pans in plastic wrap, and place in a warm place to rise for an hour to 90 minutes, or until the dough springs back lightly when pressed. While the loaves are proofing, preheat the oven to 350˚F.
6. Brush the loaves lightly with egg wash. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the loaves are golden brown.
Babka freezes really well if you want to eat one and keep the second loaf for another day!