Chocolate, cardamom and hazelnut babka

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

For the glaze


  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 26x35cm/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 190C/170C Fan/Gas 5.

  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.