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Chocolate Babka with Hazelnut Crumble

Updated: Dec 27, 2020


Chocolate Brioche


2 x (20 cm x 12 cm x 8 cm depth) Loaf tin

Note: The brioche dough needs to rest in the fridge overnight before spreading it with chocolate fillings and baking. It is recommended that you make the brioche dough a day ahead and proceed to preparing the hazelnut crumb and chocolate spread.

For a smoother workflow, go through each recipes and instructions before starting your preparation.


Makes 2 x 630 small loafs

Chocolate Brioche

480 g White Bread Flour

20 g Cocoa Powder

14 g Salt

75 g Castor Sugar

6g Instant dry yeast

300 g Beaten Whole Eggs / 6 eggs

25 g Full Cream Milk

200 g Unsalted Butter (Room temperature and cubed)

100 g Dark Chocolate (melted)

200 g Dark Chocolate / Callebaut Gold Chocolate(Chips)

1 orange Orange Zest

1/4 tsp Grated Cardamom


1. Melt the 100g chocolate in a heatproof dish and leave to cool slightly.

Gently heat the milk with 5 g of Castor sugar to 31 °C then stir in the instant yeast and leave at room temperature until it becomes frothy. This will take approximately 10 to 15 minutes depending on the ambient in your kitchen.

Place, flour, cocoa powder, salt, yeast mix, eggs and milk into a stand mixer bowl with a dough hook attachment. Mix over low speed for 3 minutes until all the ingredients starts to come together. Increase the speed to medium speed for a further 8 minutes or until the dough starts to pull away from the bowl.

2. Add in the softened room temperature butter in to the dough while mixing on medium speed in three stages and continue mixing until there are no longer lumps of butter visible. At this point, you should be able to stretch the dough without it tearing too easily.

Note: Ensure to add the next addition of butter once the first addition are fully incorporated into the dough.

3. Lastly, add in the cooled melted chocolate that is at around 35°C and mix until just combined. Scrape the bowl down when necessary.

4. Lightly dust the work bench with some bakers flour and pull the edges of the dough towards the center then turn the dough upside down. With the seam side down, roll the dough with both your palm and form into a tight ball. Lightly dust with some flour for easy handling.

Transfer the dough on to a lightly dusted container and cover with a lid. Leave at room temperature for 1 hour or until it has risen 50% of its original size. Transfer the chocolate brioche onto a work bench, punch down the dough gently by pressing the dough with your palm to release the excess gas.

Shape the brioche into a tight ball again and return to a lightly dusted container. Cover with a lid and place in the refrigerator standing at 4-5°C overnight for 12 hours or more but not exceeding more than 24 hours.

5. The next morning, pre heat the oven to 180°C. Meanwhile, remove the brioche from the fridge to bring it slightly to room temperature for rolling.

Line the two loaf tins with parchment paper previously sprayed with oil.

Note: The dough straight out from the fridge will look like it has not risen and has quite a hard skin, do not worry as this is completely normal. You want to leave the dough out on the working bench at room temperature for 15 minutes but not totally soft. So, when you are rolling the dough, the brioche should still be quite stiff. It will soften as you start rolling it out.

Lightly dust the workbench and the top of the brioche with some bakers flour (do not be tempted to dust too much flour as this can cause the brioche to become too dry).

Flatten the brioche dough then roll it out to 48 cm x 38 cm rectangle. (I rolled it out slightly larger and trimmed off the four corners for a more even rectangle). Spread the cooled Chocolate Filling on top, then sprinkle with the chocolate chips and sea salt flakes on top.

Roll it lengthways to form in to a log. You should have a log that is roughly around 50 cm in length. Cut the log in to two equal 25 cm length portions.

With each log, cut to halves from the center then intertwine the two halves together ensuring that the cut side are facing outwards and gently twist as you braid the log. Pinch the two edges to seal then gently shrink the babka to the same size as your baking tin that has previously been sprayed with some oil and lined with parchment paper.

Lift the babka gently and place it into the tin. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave it resting in a warm place for roughly around 1 hour more or less until the babka increases 50% of its original size.

Note: The ambient of your kitchen or where you rest your babka will change the final proofing time so be sure to check every 30 minutes to ensure that you do not over proof your dough.

6. Sprinkle roughly around 60 g Hazelnut crumble on top.

Bake in the preheated oven at 180°C for 45 minutes or until the top starts to become slightly crusty and the crumbles are well toasted.

Note: The rest of the crumble can be kept in a freezer for 6 months or longer. Simply thaw in the fridge before using for next time or on other applications.

Alternatively if you are not baking the babka with any crumble, brush with some egg wash before baking for a shiny surface. If you are baking without the crumble, ensure that half way through baking that you cover the top with aluminum foil to prevent the chocolate chip from burning too much.

7. Once the Babka is ready, remove the tin from the oven, pour the hot sugar syrup evenly over the top and let it completely cool in the tin before removing the babka.


Chocolate Spread

100 g Unsalted Butter

90 g Light Brown Sugar

100 g Callebaut Gold Chocolate or any milk chocolate chips

40 g Cocoa Powder

1 tbs Sea Salt Flakes - for sprinkling


Melt the butter and stir in the sugar until they are dissolved. Add the chocolate until fully melted then add whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth. Allow to cool at room temperature to a spreadable consistency.

Note: If the chocolate spread starts to set too hard, gently heat it up to spreadable consistency. Do not spread over babka if the filling is too hot, let it cool slightly before proceeding.

Chocolate filling can also be prepared a day ahead and stored at room temperature. I would recommend to make the spread 20 minutes prior to using to avoid double handling and having to heat the spread and cooling it down again.


Chocolate Hazelnut Crumble

25 g Hazelnut (skin on and roughly chopped)

35 g Unsalted Butter cold

2 g Fine Salt

50 g Light Brown Sugar

15 g Almond Meal

15 g Cocoa Powder

25 g Plain Flour


Place all the ingredients except the hazelnuts into a stand mixer bowl and mix over medium speed until the mix resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the chopped hazelnuts and keep in fridge until ready to use.


Sugar Syrup

40 g Boiling water

50 g Castor Sugar


Mix the two together and stir until the sugar have fully dissolved.



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