Sunday, December 6, 2015

Chocolate orange babka

Chocolate and orange are a magical combination. When I discovered an about-to-expire jar of candied European orange peel in my refrigerator, sold by King Arthur Flour Co, I set out to search for an ultimate chocolate orange dessert inspiration.

2.5 cups flour
1.5 tsp yeast
0.5 cup hot water
1 tsp Kosher salt
2 tbsp honey
0.25 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
zest of an orange
1 tsp vanilla extract

40 g of orange dark chocolate
4 tbsp butter
0.25 cup powdered sugar
3 tbsp cocoa powder
candied orange peel

3 tbsp orange juice
3 tbsp sugar

Mix the yeast with 0.5 cup of flour, then add in the hot water to combine. Allow to rise for 40 minutes.

Add to the bowl the salt, honey, oil, egg, orange zest, and vanilla extract. Mix well, then add the remaining two cups of flour. Mix and knead for a few minutes, until smooth. I used a kitchenaid.

Transfer to an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to double in size in a warm place.

Meanwhile, melt the butter and the chocolate together, using a microwave with 20 second heating periods. Stir in the sugar and the cocoa powder.

Punch down dough and roll out into a 10 by 15 inch rectangle. Spread the filling on top, leaving a 1 centimeter border.

Sprinkle with candied orange peel. Starting on the short end, roll into a tight jelly-roll shape. Transfer onto parchment paper and place in the freezer for 15 minutes. Cut into half lengthwise.

Braid, with the chocolatey part facing up and place into a parchment paper-lined loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for another 60-90 minutes in a warm place.

Preheat the oven to 375F and bake the loaf for 25-30 minutes. Meanwhile prepare a syrup from the orange juice and the sugar, bringing it to a simmer until the sugar dissolves.

Remove the baked loaf from the oven and brush with the orange syrup. Allow to sit in the pan until cooled. Slice and serve!

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