Chocolate, cardamom and hazelnut babka
Swirls of chocolate run through spiced dough – a great alternative to cake with a cuppa.
For this recipe you will need a 900g/2lb loaf tin.
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
For the dough, combine the milk, half the sugar and the yeast in a jug. Add the egg and lightly beat to combine.
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.
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.
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.
Tip the dough out onto the work surface and roll out into a rectangle approximately 26x35cm/10½x14in.
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.
Preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/Gas 5.
Whisk the egg yolk with 2 teaspoons water then brush onto the proved loaf.
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.