Chocolate, Cardamom and Hazelnut Babka

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Swirls of chocolate run through spiced dough – a great alternative to cake with a cuppa. This chocolate, cardamom and hazelnut babka recipe is featured in Season 4, Episode 3.

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Occasion:

Ingredients

  • For the dough
  • 120ml (3¾fl oz) full-fat milk
  • 50g (1¾oz) caster sugar
  • 1½ tsp fast-action yeast
  • 1 large free-range egg
  • 280g (10oz) strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground green cardamom seeds
  • 60g (2¼oz) unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 60g (2oz) dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • 15g (½oz) white chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • 25g (1oz) hazelnuts, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 large free-range egg yolk
  • For the glaze
  • 130g (4⅔oz) caster sugar

Directions

  1. For the dough, combine the milk, half the sugar and the yeast in a jug. Add the egg and lightly beat to combine.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt, cardamom and the remaining sugar until well combined. Add the milk mixture and combine. Knead in the bowl until you have a smooth dough.
  3. Rub about 10g (¼oz) of the butter onto a clean work surface. Tip the dough out and knead in another 20g (¾oz) butter until well combined and the dough forms a smooth ball. Transfer the dough to a lightly buttered bowl and cover with cling film. Prove in a warm place until doubled in size.
  4. For the glaze, heat the caster sugar and 112ml (3¾fl oz) water in a saucepan. When the sugar has dissolved, set it aside to cool.
  5. Tip the dough out onto the work surface and roll out into a rectangle approximately 10½x14in.
  6. Spread the remaining butter on the dough and sprinkle over the chocolate and hazelnuts. Roll it up like a sausage and pinch the edges together to seal. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough lengthways to make two strands. Pinch the two pieces together at one end and then tightly braid together. Transfer to a loaf tin, cover with a proving bag and put in a warm place to prove until doubled in size.
  7. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  8. Whisk the egg yolk with 2 teaspoons water then brush onto the proved loaf.
  9. Bake for 27 minutes, or until golden-brown. Leave to cool a little in the tin, then brush the sugar syrup onto the loaf. Remove from the tin and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

Tips/Techniques

For this recipe you will need a 900g (2lb) loaf tin. Note: This recipe contains U.K. measurements and may require conversions to U.S. measurements. It has also not been professionally tested.
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