For years growing up, my father traveled between NYC and Tampa. For his return trip home, he would take requests for trinkets and gifts. My sister and I would ask for the usual “I heart NY” souvenirs, fake designer watches and handbags, but my mom would always request the most unusual item. All she wanted was a chocolate babka.
As products of the Big Apple, my father grew up in Washington Heights in Manhattan, but my mom blossomed on the other side of the bridge in Forest Hills, NY in Queens, where a feisty Sicilian girl became engrossed in the Jewish culture, loving the foods and learning all the best Yiddish expressions. Even after living in Florida for over 30 years, my mom still sounds like Sophia Petrillo with a touch of Fran Drescher and forever be known as a little Italian woman who craves Jewish baked goods, like a good babka.
In simple terms, a babka is just coffee cake (pronounced CAW-fee). As any New Yorker will attest, these baked goods are so beloved, even Seinfeld spawned an episode about babkas. But my parents were so Seinfeld before it was cool. My sister and I just didn’t know how funny or cool all their stories were, but that’s a post for another babka.
And oh how I do miss the smell of family-owned Jewish bakeries decorated with stacks of white cardboard boxes carefully tied with the thinnest, yet strongest red string known to man. Obviously my father’s traveling in babka style was all well before September 11 and all the FFA regulations. I can’t even imagine how my father would travel with a babka today. Would a babka be considered an oversized carry-on and have to be checked?
Inspired by a recipe she found in an old newspaper clipping, my mom
challenged asked Iron Chef Allan if he could bake a babka for Easter.
Iron Chef Allan created his own chocolate babka with a little from this recipe, a little from that recipe and a head start from the help of his bread machine. The results were perfect and better than a babka from any family-owned Jewish bakery my family and I (and possibly Jerry Seinfeld) could remember.
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- ⅓ cup honey
- ½ stick butter
- 1 ¼ cup scalded milk
- 2 eggs
- 5 ½ cups flour
- 2 ½ tsp yeast
- 1 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ½ stick unsalted butter
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar
- Combine milk, sugar, honey, butter and eggs in bread machine. Float flour on top and create a well; add yeast. Run bread machine on dough setting. (This cycle will allow the dough to rise for two hours in machine.)
- Just before the dough cycle finishes rising, make the filling on the stove top with a double-boiler. Pour about two inches of water to saucepan; bring water to a low simmer. Add chocolate, butter, cinnamon and powdered sugar to top saucepan, stirring continuously until mixture melts. Keep chocolate mixture warm and melted on stovetop while you roll out dough.
- Using a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to about a ½ inch in thickness. Dab melted chocolate mixture evenly over dough leaving about a ½ inch space around the edges. Start with the side closest to you and roll up dough like a jellyroll.
- With seam down, roll “jellyroll” back and forth to seal the seam and to create a longer “hot dog” roll about 2 feet in length. Then twist roll to create a spiral; bring the two ends of the spiral ends together. Then repeat steps to make a hot dog spiral twist.
- After pinching the two spiral ends together, place spiral log in a greased Bundt cake pan. Cover with saran wrap and allow dough to rise for another 1-2 hours.
- Preheat over to 350 degrees. Bake for 20 minutes; rotate pan. Bake for another 30-40 minutes. Allow babka to rest for 5 minutes before removing from Bundt pan. Let babka to cool on a wire rack to room temperature, allowing the chocolate to set before serving.
Happy Mother’s Day from all of us! Hope your Mother’s Day is a tasty treat and you enjoy every morsel and moment!
Mother’s Day Breakfast:
- Bacon,Egg and Cheddar Scones from Kudos Kitchen By Renee
- Chai Berry Muffins from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Chocolate Almond Prune Bread from What Smells So Good?
- Greek Breakfast Strata from Curious Cuisiniere
- Maple Almond Butter from girlichef
- Orange Julius from Neighborfood
- Rum Rolls from Daily Dish Recipes
- Slow Cooker Eggs with an Asian Accent from NinjaBaking.com
Mother’s Day Appetizers, Soups, Salads and Sides:
- Asparagus and Prosciutto Crostini from Hip Foodie Mom
- Carrot Ginger Soup from Confessions of a Culinary Diva
- Chilled Spring Pea Soup from An Appealing Plan
- I Love You Mom Melon Salad from Hot Momma’s Kitchen Chaos
- Strawberry Salad with Asparagus Mousse from Delaware Girl Eats
- Truffled Sea Salt Shrimp Arugula Salad from Family Foodie
- Vegetable Shu Mai from My Healthy Eating Habits
Mother’s Day Main Dishes:
- Betty’s Salad from Jelly Toast
- Brussels Sprouts Kofta from Soni’s Food
- Cajun Shrimp Eggplant Casserole from Food Lust People Love
- Crepes Lorraine from Noshing With The Nolands
- Greek Chicken Pizza from Casa de Crews
- Ham and Spinach Quiche from Try Anything Once Culinary
- Lightened-Up Penne & Tomato Cream Sauce with Peas & Prosciutto from Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Mac & Cheese Dressed Up for Mother’s Day from Cooking Chat
- Mini Pot Pies from Jane’s Adventures in Cooking
- Paprika Shrimp from Nosh My Way
- Spears in a Blanket from The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
Mother’s Day Desserts
- Banana Cream Pie from Take A Bite Out of Boca
- Black-Eyed Susan from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Cannoncini alla Crema from Manu’s Menu
- Chocolate Babka from Run DMT
- Chocolate Caramel Tart from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Chocolate Creme Brûlée from Desserts Required
- Frozen Strawberry Cheesecake from Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch
- Gluten Free Lemon Curd Pie from Gluten Free Crumbley
- Lemon Cookies from Peanut Butter and Peppers
- Limoncello Lemon Pound Cake from Killer Bunnies, Inc
- Mom’s Glazed Blueberry Tarts from The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Mom’s Coconut Macaroons from MealDiva
- Mango Sorbet from Pescetarian Journal
- PB&J Macaron from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Peach Cobbler from Cookin’ Mimi
- Pina Colada Cake from The Foodie Army Wife
- Pineapple Empanadas from La Cocina de Leslie
- Scotch Tea Cookies from Shockingly Delicious
- Strawberry Shortcake Whipped Cream Cupcakes from Seduction in the Kitchen
- White Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies from Pies and Plots
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy! You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.