Updated: Jul 10
What makes this Chocolate Cardamon Babka so dreamy? The dough is scented with orange zest, and the filling is flavored with cardamon which goes perfectly with chocolate. And did I mention there is sourdough too? Now it has a lot going on but let me tell you everything works. I've been obsessed with babka ever since I heard about it on Seinfeld, and lately I can't stop baking them. You will fall in love with this swirly confection that is a cross between a bread and a dessert. I had this idea to create a babka recipe with all my favorite flavors. A complete win on all levels. Yes, this is the babka of my dreams. No exaggeration at all. I put a lot of love into this bread and it paid off. If you've never made babka, don't be intimated by making bread or trying to create the perfect swirly pattern. The recipe is forgiving and all the rolls and twists you create will turn into a swoon worthy treat.
I mean, look at those swirls of Chocolate Cardamom filling, I'm swooning here. Roll up those sleeves and grab your rolling pin. We have some serious baking to do.
CHOCOLATE CARDAMON BABKA
(makes one large 8 inch round babka or 1 8 inch loaf)
120 g sourdough starter, discard
360 g all purpose flour
1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
1 tablespoon instant yeast
24 g sugar
1 large egg, room temp
170 g milk, warm
zest of one orange
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
For the dough, place all the ingredients in a bowl of a stand mixer and knead with the dough hook for 8-10 minutes. The dough will be smooth and pulling away from the bowl.
Place dough into a lightly oil mixing bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 1/2–2 hours, then chill for 30 minutes so you can roll it out.
For the filling, place all the filling ingredients into a medium mixing bowl. Place bowl over a simmering pot of water and allow the mixture to melt. Whisk until smooth. Spray an 9 inch cake pan that has a 3 inch rim and line it with a circle of parchment. Or you can use an 8 inch loaf pan. Spray the loaf pan and line with parchment with an overhang over the sides.
Roll out the dough onto a lightly floured surface into a a large rectangle approximately 12 x 9 inches. Spread the filling with an offset spatula in an even layer leaving a half inch border along the sides of the dough. Starting at bottom edge roll up the dough like you would if making cinnamon rolls. Seal the edges and place seam side down. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough in half and place the 2 pieces together side by side. Working from the middle out twist the 2 pieces around each other. Roll the dough into a large spiral and tuck the ends under. Place in the prepared pan. If making a loaf, after twisting the dough together place in the loaf pan. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the syrup by heating the sugar and juice until the sugar is dissolved.. Brush 1/3 of the syrup over the top of the babka and bake for 55-60 minutes until golden brown or a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle. Halfway through the baking time, rotate the pan and brush with more syrup. Remove the babka from the oven and brush with the remaining syrup. Cool in the pans for 15 minutes then remove to a cooling rack. Let cool completely before serving.
replace the cardamon with cinnamon or ginger
add cocoa nibs or chopped nuts to the filling