Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Happily, there is a food on a stick that will stick with you: delicious chunks of chocolate babka speared kebab style on a skewer--or, as I like to call it, kebabka.
Now, kebabka is not necessarily a cute food. It's not delicate, and it's not dainty. But it is rich, chocolatey, carbohydratey, and delicious--and when enjoyed several chunks at a time eaten directly off of a stick, it will not leave you hungry.
Here's how you do it.
Kebabka (based loosely on this recipe)
- For the babka
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 (.25-ounce) package active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
For the topping (I kind of cheated here)
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 big bar of chocolate (the jumbo sized ones at the grocery store--I used Hershey's Special dark chocolate)
- Small amount of whipping cream, just for texture
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and 1/2 cup sugar until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks until creamy (I saved the egg whites for an egg wash later)
- Mix the yeast in warm water with the 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. When this mixture thickens, add it to the egg yolks along with the, milk, vanilla and salt.
- Add the yeast mixture to the butter/sugar mixture and mix well. Slowly add the flour until a soft dough is formed.
- Turn dough out onto a floured work surface and knead until dough is no longer sticky.
- Cover the dough and allow it to rise in a warm place until it doubles.
- When it's looking pretty big, you might want to prepare the filling. To do so, you could put your butter and chocolate (broken up) in a double boiler to melt it, or you could do as I did and microwave it at 10 second intervals until it is melted. Add a touch of heavy cream (if you feel like it; I did) and mix until fully incorporated.
- At this point, I put the dough on a floured silicone pastry mat and rolled it flat and long. I cut it into about 15 separate little chunks.
- Then I rolled out each little chunk of dough and poured some chocolate filling in each one, then made it into a little roll and put each one into a cupcake cup.
- Allow these little loaves to rise again for about 2 hours.
- At this point you can either pour some of the leftover topping on top of the risen dough mounds or just, you know, eat it with a spoon (oh so rich!).
- I used some of the leftover egg whites to lightly brush on top of each little loaf to ensure a pleasing golden tone.
- Place in a preheated 350*F (150*C) oven for 30 minutes or until done. Let cool completely.
- Once cool, cut into either halves, or fourths; spear as many chunks as you'd like on kebab skewers, and eat yourself some food on a stick. If desired, serve with whipped cream for dipping (it's good!)