Babka with almond cream, hazelnut praline and cinnamon streusel

27/11/20204passionfood

Prep time: 1 hour

Cook time: 35 minutes

Serves: Serve 6 - 8 people

A few months ago, the first babka recipe I posted on my blog was that of chef Jeffrey Cagnes, which everyone knows now.  And since then, I can say that I have become addicted to babkas.

Real obsession of the moment, impossible to resist.  The babka is made from a brioche dough and a limitless variety of filling.

But before we talk about the version I’m sharing with you today.  First let answer to few questions.

What exactly is “babka”?  Where does this brioche come from?  And what’s the difference between babka and a kranz cake?

So the Babka is a cake that comes straight from Eastern Europe and more specifically from Poland.

The word babka or bobka means in Polish “old woman” or “grandmother”.  In reference to the ripples that would evoke the folds of a skirt, thus designating the shape of the dough.

The “babka” cake is served on Easter Sunday in Poland, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Albania.  And for holidays like Christmas, Easter, New Year and Pentecost in Romania.

According to the original recipe, it has no filling, and it is covered with vanilla or chocolate frosting.  Decorated with almonds or candied fruit and sometimes flavored with rum.

But one of the most popular variations of babka is: “the kranz”.  A pastry from the Eastern European Jewish tradition.  Here the candied fruit is replaced by cinnamon or chocolate and it’s usually garnished with streusel.

The recipe of the day:

A babka made from a soft brioche dough and almond cream with hazelnut praline.

I sprinkled the babka with cinnamon-flavored streusel before baking, as well as a syrup to add once the babka is baked to give it more shine but above all to keep it soft and moist as long as possible.  I also filled it with hazelnut-almond praline for more indulgence.

 This version is definitely my favorite.  I fell in love with this wonder from the first bite.

 I recommend it because the result is really worth it.  Above all, don’t be impressed with all the steps.  You can prepare everything in advance and the assembly will be done on the baking day.

 As you can go just with brioche garnished with almond cream.

 I have explain all steps with pictures, as always to allow you to make this delicious babka at home easily.

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Babka with almond cream, hazelnut praline and cinnamon streusel

  • Prep time: 1 hour
  • Cook time: 35 minutes
  • Serves: Serve 6 - 8 people

The dough requires a rest time of 1 hour in the fridge or even overnight. As well as a rise time of 1h30 at 30C (for example in your oven) before baking the babka.

Ingredients

Brioche dough : to make the day before

  • 245 g soft wheat flour
  • 30 g caster sugar
  • 5 g salt
  • 100 g milk, lukewarm
  • 7 g yeast, fresh
  • 1 egg
  • 85 g butter, unsalted, softened

Hazelnut - almond praline paste : to make the day before

  • 150 g hazelnuts
  • 150 g almonds
  • 1/2 vanilla pods
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt

Almond cream :

  • 65 g unsalted butter , softened
  • 55 g icing sugar
  • 30 g brown sugar
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 85 g almonds powder
  • 5 g cornstarch
  • 30 g hazelnut - almond praline paste

For garnish :

  • 3 Tbsp Hazelnut praline , or roasted and crushed hazelnut

Cinnamon streusel : to make the day before

  • 50 g unsalted butter , at room temperature
  • 50 g brown sugar
  • 50 g flour, all purpose
  • 50 g almonds powder
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon , powder

Egg wash :

  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp cream fresh , liquid

Syrup :

  • 50 g water
  • 40 g caster sugar

Method :

Brioche dough: to prepare the day before

  • 1)

    In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the hook, put in the order: salt, flour, fresh yeast, sugar. stir everything together for about 2 minutes before adding the egg and lukewarm milk.
    Knead at low speed and as soon as the dough is smooth and comes together, increase the speed and knead for 8 to 10 minutes.  (speed – 2).

  • 2)

    Then add the softened butter cut into small pieces, and knead until the butter is completely incorporated, and the dough is smooth and comes away from the side of the bowl.

    Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film and let it rest for an hour in the refrigerator or overnight.

The hazelnut praline paste : prepare the day before

  • 1)

    Place the hazelnuts and almonds on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, and roast them for 10 to 15 minutes in an oven preheated to 150C.
    If you used hazelnuts with skin on, once cool, put them in a clean tea towel and rub them to remove the skin.  If there are any hazelnuts left with their skins, that’s okay.

  • 2)

    Now make a dry caramel with the sugar and the vanilla bean:
    In a large saucepan, put 1/3 of the sugar with the 1/2 vanilla pod.

    When the sugar starts melting , shake the saucepan to homogenize.  Add the second 1/3 of sugar.  The caramel must not burn, otherwise you will have a bitterness taste in your praline.

    Do the same with the last 1/3.  When all the sugar is melted and turns an amber color, the caramel is ready.  In the picture it looks darker than it actually does.

  • 3)

    Add the roasted hazelnuts and almonds, stir with a wooden spoon to coat them well, leave on low – medium heat while stirring until the caramel liquefies (after adding the almonds and hazelnuts, the caramel has hardened a bit which is quite normal).

    Pour everything on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or on a silicone mat.

     

  • 4)

    When the caramelized hazelnuts and almonds have cooled, break the mass into small pieces and place everything in a food processor or a blender. Blend while taking breaks to not heat your blender or food processor.
    You will notice that at the beginning you get a powder, then a paste and finally a liquid praline.


    Put it in a clean jar and keep it in the fridge.

Almond cream:

  • 1)

    In a bowl and using a spatula, cream the butter and the sugars. Then stir in the egg at room temperature.
    Add the powders, then the hazelnut – almond praline.  Stir and set aside at room temperature while you roll out the dough.

The streusel: you can make it the day before and keep it in the refrigerator.

  • 1)

    In a bowl, mix the powders and add the softened butter cut into pieces.  Work with your fingertips until you get a lumpy dough that has the consistency of a crumble. Cover the bowl with cling film or put the streusel in a freezer bag. Reserve in the refrigerator.

Assembly and baking :

  • 1)

    Lightly dust the work surface with flour, roll out the dough to form a rectangle the length of your mold and 2mm to 3mm thick.

     

  • 2)

    Spread the almond cream using an offset spatula (or the back of a spoon).

     

  • 3)

    Sprinkle with praline (or crushed and roasted hazelnuts (optional)).

  • 4)

    Roll the dough into a log as tight as possible.  If necessary, put your dough in the refrigerator for a few minutes to be able to handle it easily.  The log must have the same length as the mold, if necessary cut the ends (you can make a small babka with it).

    Using a knife, cut the log in half lengthwise (again if necessary place your log in the fridge to braid your babka well).

    Roll up to form a twist, leaving the filled part up.

  • 5)

    Place the brioche in a mold (lightly brushed with butter) and let it rise for 1 hour and 30 minutes at 30C or at room temperature and away from air flow (for example, in your oven off).  The brioche must double in size.

  • 6)

    Brush your brioche with the egg wash, sprinkle with praline (or crushed and roasted hazelnuts) as well as streusel.


    Bake in a preheated oven at 175C for 35 minutes.  The cooking time is given as an indication.  It is important to keep an eye on your oven.

  • 7)

    While the brioche is cooking, prepare the syrup.  In a small saucepan, put the water and sugar, bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar.  Leave to cook for one minute then remove from heat.

  • 8)

    As soon as the Babka comes out of the oven, brush the syrup over the brioche ( I used all of the syrup).
    Put the hazelnut-almond praline paste in a piping bag (without a piping tip) and fill your brioche once warm.

    Enjoy !!

Notes

Find all the tips and advice for a successful brioche HERE

Nutrition

2 Comments

  • ashok

    03/02/2021 at 06:41

    My Family Loved it. I am definitely sharing Guys, Thanks For sharing this Great Recipe. this recipe and this website with my friend. Hope they also love it. Thank you again for sharing such a great recipe.

    1. 4passionfood

      04/02/2021 at 16:18

      Hi Ashok, I really appreciate and soo glad that you liked the recipe.

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