Baking my Chocolate Babka


I adore the chocolate babka from Bowan Island Bakery.

Every time I visit their store in Drummoyne, I look through their ‘day old’ basket to see if they have packs of chocolate babkas for sale. Sometimes I’m lucky, and I can get a pack of three for $3.90. These I cut in half and freeze (which you can see from the pic above): Then every time I feel a craving, I pull one out and microwave it for 30 seconds. This melts the chocolate and makes it all gooey and just perfect. The bread like texture offsets the sweet gooey chocolate. Noms.

I don’t go to Drummoyne very often, so my frozen stocks of babkas tend to run low. My cravings never do.

So why not try and make it? None of my cookbooks offered a recipe, but purplefoodie did. The recipe quantified the amount of butter required, unlike the Joy of Cooking cinnamon buns which just used “generous” amounts of butter in the topping.

I halved the quantities to make a normal sized sized babka ring.

Here is the dough just before proving overnight:

Chocolate Babka - proving

The next morning I rolled out the dough on the kitchen counter. The dough felt like it wanted to roll in all directions, so it was a bit of a struggle to get it even and rectangular.

I have dotted the dough with jersey butter from the markets:

Chocolate Babka - dot with butter

I used cinnamon sugar instead of plain cinnamon.

I used 70% dark chocolate which I pounded into random sized pieces with my mortar and pestle.  These were still too chunky, so I grated the larger pieces, but left it mostly in different sizes. I was trying to replicate the babka from Bowan Island.

Chocolate Babka - filling

The dough is now sprinkled with chocolate pieces and cinnamon sugar:

Chocolate Babka - chocolate filling

Doesn’t it look good?

I rolled it up like a swiss roll. I was supposed to let it prove for 2 hours, but I had this thing called work I had to get to. Since I had also used cinnamon sugar, I thought that the sugar would start drawing water out of the dough and the air like it had with the cinnamon buns that I had tried to make before.

Chocolate Babka - about to plait

It was kind of hard to cut in half and keep contained with all the chunky bits of chocolate. I think that if I had either let the dough rise for the two hours after rolling, or perhaps used an eggwash or milk to try and keep the layers together, it would’ve worked better.

I tried dotting the top of the ring with butter to give it a bit of a glaze. It didn’t quite work, so I pulled it out a few minutes before finishing to try a milk glaze. This also didn’t work.

It smelled fabulous coming out of the oven, and just like the babkas I have horded and microwaved for 30 seconds.


I’m sure making this one again. and again. and again.

The final result was demolished by my colleagues. The dough was a bit tough, almost biscuit like. I think the two hour proving would’ve fixed this, and the overcooking did not help the final result.

I think the random sized pieces of chocolate helped add to the interest, and if you heat the babka up gently and drink with hot beverage of your choice: perfecto.

Add this to the favourites.

and again.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Looks super tasty! I have never tried a babka (chocolate or otherwise) but I think I might have to give this recipe a go!


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