“You can’t beat a babka!” These immortal words, spoken by Elaine Benes and Jerry Seinfeld, introduced the United States to one of the most delicious but one of the most mysterious desserts in the world.
This post is sponsored by the Jewish National Fund.
Image by Breads Bakery
photo courtesy of Russ and Daughters, as seen on The Gothamist
Babka is having a major moment, and why not? There’s lots to love about the loaves of twisted dough, generously interspersed with a filling that usually involves lots of chocolate. Many professional bakers behind babka’s renaissance are working with laminated doughs—yeasted dairy doughs turned with lots of butter. I thought about doing the same, but the challenge of creating a delicious pareve babka made without margarine won out. I couldn’t shake thoughts of my grandmother’s love of apricots, so I built the filling around them. I love the cheeky marriage of Sephardic flavors wrapped in a quintessentially Ashkenazi pastry.
Babka is back and better than ever. Seriously, babka has become the dessert du jour for Jews and non-Jews alike in America and we want you to be able to make this beloved sweet treat at home.
From Mekelburg’s Instagram.
We get lots of requests from our readers for different kinds of recipes, and recently we have been getting several requests for more sugar-free or reduced sugar desserts. And we want you to know: we are listening! So whether you are cutting back on sugar intake in general or need to keep a low-sugar diet for medical reasons, you can still enjoy some of your favorite sweet noshes.
Are you confounded by babka’s decadent chocolate-filled swirls and twists? You, too, can achieve that perfect, gooey marble with our hand-made illustration. Here are a collection of our favorite babka recipes that you can use alongside the drawings below. The babka of your dreams will soon be yours!
With a babka renaissance in full swing, there’s no better time to ask, what is babka?