Monday, 21 March 2016


Babka! the musical. (Doesn't it sound a bit like the title of a Broadway show?) Actually I don't think I did any singing while making this (who can read and sing at the same time?) but I didn't do any swearing either. And I was singing the next morning (someone mentioned Frank Sinatra on the radio and I found myself singing 'Fly me to the moon...') when I cut the Babka to taste it again and found it was really good.

I needed something to take to work for a Harmony Day lunch this Monday. This is my favourite 'day' since in Australian workplaces harmony is primarily interpreted as sharing foods of your ancestors. For some reason, more than any other occasion, this results in some amazing spreads. Despite my complete lack of ancestral connection to Babka I was intending to offer this up as my contribution. When I tasted it on Sunday night I wasn't sure whether it would be suitable because it was more bready than cakey. The Monday morning tasting was more hopeful, hence the duet with Frank.

This is another of those recipes where I felt absolutely delighted with the results - the finished product looks so impressive (to my eyes). And I'm sure that's due to Rose's excellent instructions (particularly for yeast goods) which make the seemingly impossible, possible.

It's not a difficult recipe and it only requires the usual type of rising and waiting schedule. Just the sort of thing to fit into a quiet Sunday afternoon. The bread starts off with a sponge which sits for several hours before the other ingredients (including eggs and butter) are kneaded in.

In between the risin' an' the waitin' (now I'm onto country and Western), you can make the filling. There's a choice of flavours for the filling, but chocolate, of course, has universal appeal. By the time I made this, other Alpha Bakers had already pointed out that you needed cake crumbs for the chocolate filling. I didn't have any (and am never likely to have any stashed away for a rainy day) and I don't like the thought of buying a cake to make a cake. So I decided to use ground almonds.

The filling also uses almond paste. I wasn't sure what this meant exactly so after a brief google interlude I decided to use marzipan. Since the ground almonds wouldn't be as sweet as the cake crumbs I didn't think it would matter if the marzipan was sweeter than almond paste. The result was delicious although probably not as soft as the cake crumbs would have been.

If you have a penchant for tasting everything, including raw dough, as I do, you'll find that this dough is delicious - sweet and tasty with a lovely soft, velvety texture.

Rose gives detailed instructions for flattening out the dough then rolling it up with the filling. At one stage she admonishes the baker to take it slowly and carefully, without rushing. Sometimes I think Rose can see into my kitchen.

It all went pretty smoothly and the rolled dough fitted nicely into the baking tin. My oven temperature is still fluctuating a bit, but if I keep an eye on it I can keep it on the straight and narrow. I put foil over the Babka while it was cooking but took it off again at the end and it got a little dark. It didn't affect the top side though and, brushed with melted butter, it looker rather magnificent.

I cut the Babka that evening and it was soft and delicious but the filling fell out very easily and I was worried it might be too dry. I tried it again the next day, after it had spent night in the fridge, and the texture was soft but firmer and the filling didn't fall out. It was still completely more-ish. Fly me to the moon...

Next week we're making the Chocolate FloRo Elegance with White Chocolate Caramel Buttercream. Oh dear, buttercream.


  1. Babka! the musical-classic. Love the bit about not doing any swearing either. Come to think of it, this was a swear free bread. You got a beautiful golden color and nice swirl. Harmony Day is a fantastic idea.

  2. I think when we're done with the baking, we should put on a show. Babka--the Musical, starring the Alpha Bakers!

  3. I think when we're done with the baking, we should put on a show. Babka--the Musical, starring the Alpha Bakers!

  4. absolutely Marie!!! Phyllis this babka couldn't be more perfect--great job. i never thought of singing "fly me to the moon"; "i did it my way" is what usually pops up (i bet it does for Hanaa too!!!)

    1. I may not sing it, Rose, but I sure think it all the time :)

  5. Lovely swirl, btw. Great job!!