In this adaptation of an original recipe by The Boy Who Bakes we dreamed with a babka that not only looks good but is such a delicious treat at any time of the day - especially with a good cup of coffee…
Tahini, Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Babka
For the babka dough:
300 g of plain flour
7 g of dried yeast (1 sachet)
1 teaspoon of salt
20 g of caster sugar
125 ml of whole milk
2 medium eggs, lightly whisked
75 g of unsalted butter, diced and softened
For the chocolate filling:
120 g of dark chocolate
75 g of unsalted butter
20 g of cocoa powder
30 g of light brown sugar
75 g of pistachios, roughly chopped
100 g of tahini
flaked sea salt
For the syrup:
100 g of caster sugar
75 ml of water
Place the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix briefly to combine.
Add the milk and eggs and mix on a low/medium speed to combine. The dough should start coming together and away from the sides of the bowl. After about 5 minutes of mixing, add the diced butter with the mixer still running.
Turn up the speed to medium/high and mix for 10 minutes until smooth, elastic and shiny.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Refrigerate overnight until doubled in size.
The next morning, prepare the filling by placing all the ingredients apart from the pistachios and tahini into a small saucepan. Melt slowly over low heat until completely smooth, gently stirring to stop the chocolate from catching. Transfer to a bowl and leave to cool and thicken to a paste.
Grease a 9 × 5 inches loaf tin with butter and line the base with a strip of baking parchment with overhangs on the side so you can easily lift out the babka.
Take the dough out of the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface to a large rectangle, roughly 30 × 40 cm. Spread over the chocolate mixture, leaving a small border around the outside. Sprinkle over the pistachios and drizzle over the tahini.
Tightly roll up the dough starting from the long edge until you have a long sausage shape. Using a sharp knife, slice the roll down the middle lengthways so you have two long pieces. With the cut side facing upwards, place one piece of dough on top of the other forming an X shape. Starting from the middle of the X, braid the two pieces of dough, placing one on top of the other. Repeat on the other side so you have a braid of dough.
Carefully lift the dough into the loaf tin, loosely cover with cling film and leave to rise for 1.5 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 190ºC / 170ºC fan. Place the loaf tin on the middle shelf and bake for 25-30 minutes. The loaf should be well risen and golden brown.
While the loaf is baking, place the sugar and water in a small saucepan and heat to dissolve the sugar.
Once the babka has baked, generously brush all over with the syrup. Allow cooling completely before slicing and serving.