Chocolate Orange Babka
Believe it or not, but chocolate babka was one of my first forays into baking. I have this tendency to take on something grand and complicated when I first start learning something. I think it makes the final accomplishment that much sweeter, the heady boost of confidence that much rewarding. More often than not, the failures are just as colossal and heartbreaking. All said and done, I get to learn a lot and it’s my way of teaching myself new things.
My first babka was a cross between challah bread and a braided babka. It was delicious, but also dry and not quite what I was aiming for. The following day I turned the entire wreath into a delicious bread pudding. It remains my favorite bread pudding recipe to date, especially because it germinated from a failed recipe. I have been iterating on that babka recipe for a long time now – ordering babka slices whenever I find it at local Israeli bakeries, trying to discern what a real babka is supposed to taste like. I finally produced a batch that I absolutely love. I single-handedly ate the entire loaf, it became my guilty pleasure and midnight snack. I hope you will try this recipe and share your thoughts with me.