This chocolate-laden Easter delight borrows a little from the best of many worlds – chocolate, brioche and the babka to create a heavenly light, fluffy and rather impressive treat to grace your Easter table.
Easter Triple Choc Babka Meets Brioche
20g plain flour
½ cup milk
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
2½ cups plain flour
pinch of salt
75g caster sugar
15g fresh yeast
75g butter at room temperature, chopped
About 75g superb-quality dark chocolate
1 egg yolk, lightly whisked
Extra chunks of dark, milk and white chocolate
Make the flour roux by combining the water and flour in a small saucepan over low heat. Whisking constantly, cook until the mixture thickens to about the consistency of a béchamel sauce. Set aside to cool.
Once cooled, whisk through the milk and vanilla bean paste. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add the flour roux mixture to the bowl and mix on low until just combined. Add the eggs one at a time, turning the speed to medium until a dough starts to come to together. Add the butter, a few knobs at a time, and mix until your dough is smooth and shiny. It will be quite soft and malleable. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and rest in the fridge overnight.
The next day, bring the dough to room temperature. While the dough is warming up, make the filling. Add the dark chocolate and the butter to a small saucepan. Place over very low heat and whisk constantly until the chocolate starts to melt. Remove from heat and allow to melt completely in residual heat of the pan. Stir until combined.
Roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about 23cm wide and 40cm long. Spread the chocolate filling evenly over the dough, and then roll the dough up, starting from the short edge, like a swiss roll. Don’t worry if it tears or seems uneven, you want to twist and turn the log until you see some of the lines of chocolate come through. The more twisted and uneven the better. Once you have made a few turns, bring the ends together so it looks like a donut and place into a greased and lined loose-bottomed, high-sided cake tin approximately 20cm in diameter. Cover with plastic and leave to rise for a further 40mins, or until the dough has risen almost to the edge of the tin. Preheat the oven to 180C.
Brush the dough with the egg yolk and push a few broken chunks of chocolate into the top of the dough. Cook in the oven for about 35-40 minutes. You want it to rise a little further and brown on top as well as have some resistance to the touch. For the last 10 minutes of cooking push some additional chunks of chocolate into the top of the loaf.
Remove and allow to cool for 10 minutes or so then slice and serve.