In the wake of weird, let’s bake. Let’s have some sweet to go round, softening the edges of confusion. Though I am no savvy politician, I simply can’t see why decisions have solidified as such. The morning throbbed with trepidation. But it’s up to us to look up, look ahead.
Babka has been on my mind for a long time! There is so much about it to love. A tender fluffy crumb, the endless combinations of swirl and filling (chocolate and nuts is the traditional fave–a bulging filling at that), a possible icing, knowing full well it pairs perfectly with any steaming holiday-themed beverage…
So you make the dough, let it rest because you have stuff to do for the night, put it all together first thing in the morning, or perhaps 2 days later because you’re off for work at 7 the next morning and can’t be arsed to dress up some bread (and that’s ok!), then bake it, all the while smiling at the fact that the whole put-babka-together-and-roll dance occupied the time it would take to make any other meal, or maybe less. The whole weekend I was seriously craving some peanut butter and jam action, and because I tend to like chocolate with anything too, and coconut because live life on the edge, I decided to throw in some chocolate coconut action into the game as well.
A soft, tender, sweet yeasted babka filled with peanut butter, jam, chopped chocolate, chocolate coconut spread, topped with a coconut milk glaze.
I did mention veganising most, if not all my recipes from now on in my previous post, because accommodation isn’t illegal, and it’s actually really darn fun; not having eggs or dairy by mistake doesn’t mean it’s the end of humanity as we know it. You’re cutting down on ingredients, and replacing the necessaries with other cheap, easily-found ingredients. With my recent vegan endeavours, most of my meat-eating fanatics simply can’t tell the difference, unsuspecting of zilch gram of egg or meat or butter in there. Sometimes they beat the originals. It’s an enthralling process. Of course, this need not be completely vegan, so feel free to use butter instead of Earth Balance etc.
This. Babka. Sweet, buttery bread cradles nuts from your chunky breakfast spread, darkened selectively in places oozing with textured chocolate, hardened by the oven but molten in the centre. The coconut milk glaze glides over every crevice, letting the coconut-flavoured lashings of chocolate smushed on the inside sing.
Take a bite, then sip your coffee. Saccharine bliss. This post is dedicated to my first #VirtualCoffeeParty, as well as to my dear friend Ella, who’s birthday is today.
Overnight PB&J Vegan Chocolate Coconut Babka (makes one loaf, or 6 thick slices)
For the dough:
1 tbsp instant yeast
pinch of salt
50g Earth Balance (or butter, or any vegan butter)
40g sugar (coconut sugar here would be great)
90ml plant or nut milk of choice (or plain milk)
For the chocolate coconut sauce:
100g chopped dark chocolate
1 tsp coconut essence
*alternatively, use a ready-made chocolate coconut sauce, like Sweet Freedom’s Choc Shot (mmmmmmmm)
For the filling:
110g chunky peanut butter
6-7 tbsp strawberry or raspberry jam
100g chopped dark chocolate
For the glaze:
100g icing sugar
3 tbsp coconut milk
In a microwave-safe bowl, melt together the butter/Earth Balance and milk of choice.
In a separate large bowl, add the flour, yeast, applesauce, sugar and pinch of salt. Mix together briefly, then add the milk-butter mixture and knead for a few minutes on a lightly floured surface. Shape into a ball, put the dough back in the bowl and leave in the fridge overnight or up to 48 hours.
The next morning, spray a pan and heat your oven to 200C. Make the chocolate coconut sauce– simply microwave together the ingredients and set aside for the timebeing. Roll the dough out onto a floured surface, into a rectangle slightly longer than the pan itself. Spread the peanut butter on the dough leaving a one-inch margin all round, then the jam, then the chocolate and chocolate coconut sauce. Roll the dough along its length so you get a long cylinder, then cut a slit down the middle lengthwise. Twist the dough, sort of like in a braiding fashion, then put onto your pan. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then bake for 25-30 minutes in your preheated oven.
While it’s in the oven, whisk together the coconut milk and icing sugar. Once baked, let it sit for 10 minutes before drizzling on the glaze, cutting and serving. Y-U-M.