25 Jul CHOCOLATE AND CARAMEL BABKA
Chocolate and caramel babka is a buttery sweet treat that is baked till it becomes a twisted beauty begging to be torn and eaten. Here this traditional yeasty bread is layered with chocolate and caramel, sprinkled all over with pistachio and given a warm orange syrup brushing at the end to make things simply irresistible! Don’t be afraid to try this. Check out my easy video and make this soon.
Since last Christmas, babka has been revolving in my subconscious. Everywhere I looked, December seemed to be having a long blown love affair with this swirly bread/cake. Instagram feeds of my favorite bloggers, many friends everyone was making and sharing delectable pictures of babka. However, I resisted. Purely coz I wasnt sure of my ability to handle yeast at the time. Not to mention December is the time I go away on my vacation and I just couldn’t do new things.
So, this week I decided to think it was December again. The constant rains and gloomy dark days certainly made it easier to feel I was in the throes of a cool winter rather than summer. And here I was.. attempting that elusive bread that had been taking up a precious corner in my mind. Presenting to you good folks – chocolate and caramel babka.
“Babka” you will be surprised to know actually, quite literally means grandma in Ukrania. Mostly always baked in professional bakeries and laden with dry fruits and seeds like poppy, the original babka obsession can be traced all the way back to the 12th century. That’s right. The people of Russia, Ukraine, in fact the whole Baltic range people were the ones to bake the babka first. From then on, it became a holiday essential. Often baked twisted in loaf pans, sometimes in wreaths and other times in tiny little looped bread, babka was certainly a pretty bread to serve guests.
Today, babka takes on many shapes and comes twisted in many definitely creative fillings. But, since this was my first time with the babka, I decided to play it simple. After all you cant go wrong with a classic now can you? So chocolate and caramel babka it was! I sprinkled it with lots of pistachios and finally brushed it with warm orange syrup. This final brushing it absolutely a must! It makes the chocolate and caramel babka super moist and shiny (without having to resort to egg wash). The orange flavor in the simple syrup sings beautifully with the pistachios in the babka and over all takes the dish to another level.
But before you start getting too excited, here are a few things you need to keep in mind. Most of all, babka, be it this chocolate and caramel babka or any babka of your choice is a thing of beauty, and as with most beautiful things, it needs patience. So dont think you can rush this. It is left overnight in the refrigerator for the first rise, then the following morning brought to room temperature, slowly risen again, filled with the chocolate, rolled tightly, again left to rise in a warm place, cut, looped, twisted, made into wreath and finally baked. To finish things off the simple syrup brush is a must!!
So gather what I meant when I said you need to be patience? Well now that I have warned you about patience let me warn you about another vital thing. This milky, buttery, chocolate and caramel babka is the stuff of your dreams! Billowing bits of bread that melt in your mouth. But in order to arrive at the perfect babka, you must wait. The best tactic is simply to be patient. It is worth the wait. Babka is always worth the wait.
This charming and rustic chocolate and caramel babka is made even more appealing by being served on my favorite wooden serveware from Cyahi. Cyahi is one of my favorite home and lifestyle brands in India. Their products are of excellent quality, perfect finish and they boast of some of the coolest designs in the Indian market today. Whether you go for ceramic plates, bone china dinner ware, classy and rustic wooden platters like me or even the gorgeous printed trays, there is something for everyone here. I find myself veering again and again towards wooden serveware that looks as elegant as Cyahi’s. I love the loaf platter and the gemini platter the most! They are so versatile. If you are looking for something smaller, their salad bowls are just perfect as is the Highway platter for appetizers and snacks. Take a look at Cyahi and feel wowed.
Also published on Medium.