Joanna’s Dark Chocolate Apricot plum Amazins Babka Bites


April 1, 2013 by Joanne T Ferguson


I have had THE STRANGESTย day! ShockedShockedShocked

I woke up this morning with my eyes closed, with THE BIGGEST smile on my face and, um, “sniffing” Shocked

I imagined (and I have a GREAT food imagination lol) I was viewing (with my eyes still closed ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), the fresh Babka (or Bobka aka baba; a sweet yeast cake) coming out of the oven at one of my favorite New York Jewish bakeries!

Can you smell it too? ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚


I’m no expert here, but I “sense” my New York “connection” (other than being New York born and bredย  ๐Ÿ™‚ ) is my recent food adventures with LU ROU FAN Vendor Bian Dang Recipe – New York a la Cart Book Review.

But WHY Babka? Upon rising and now with eyes opened lol I was YEARNING some Babka! “Babka! Babka! Babka!”

In checking my What’s on the List folder, I saw I had Chocolate Babka Rollsย  I had saved from Inspiring Pretty. “PERFECT!” Here is my “slightly” adapted
Joanna’s Dark Chocolate Apricot plum Amazins Babka Bites. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

It was THEN I “realized” (mind you, I am awake now lol) that my name was indeed Joanna (love that name), not Joanne (not a bad name too! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) and my parent’s had misnamed me! ShockedShockedShocked

I DID mention it was a “strange” day! So with Babka on my mind, off I went to the kitchen “as Joanna” the STILL “PASSIONATE and ENTHUSIASTIC” person I know; a “one-of-a-kind” ๐Ÿ˜‰

Julia Child then popped into my mind (we chat often when I am not “listening” to MARCO, MARCO, MARCO’s voice inside my head too; like in Aussie Aussie Aussie Malteser Lamingstons lol) and she reminded me that National Rename Yourself Day was coming up on the 9th of April and perhaps my mind was playing an April Fool’s trick a bit earlier than the “actual” National Day. (By the way, it IS a real National holiday and you KNOW by now HOW E-X-C-I-T-E-D I get with food holidays lol lol lol)

Before Julia left, (as she is still a very busy lady ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) she told me about a dinner party where the recipe “didn’t quite go according to plan“; so the next best thing to do is rename it! She “suggested” this was good advice if this ever happened to me!

I “wondered” if this was an omen for what was about to happen, but then dismissed it as “silly”

Or WAS it? ShockedShockedShocked


Ingredients for Dough
1/2 cup (120 ml) milk

1/4 cup (50 grams) plus a pinch of granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons (5 grams) active dry yeast

1ย  egg, brought to room temperature

2 cups (250 grams) 00 bread flour (sifted), plus more for work surface

1/2 teaspoon table salt

3 tablespoons (45 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus additional for bowl

Ingredients for the Filling

3 tablespoonsย (45 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature

3 tablespoons (45 grams) sugar

3/4 cup (6 ounces) dark chocolate chips

1/4 cup dried apricots, finely diced

1/4 cup plum Amazins (diced prunes); I used Sunsweet brand

pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

In a saucepan on the stove, heat milk and pinch of salt to 120F. (~48C)

If you don’t have a thermometer, milk should be “warm” to the touch. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Sprinkle yeast over milk; let set for 5 minutes.

When making yeast mixtures, I have always “stirred” the yeast in and “waited” for it to foam; leaving it in a warm place.

In a small bowl, whisk together egg and remaining 1/4 cup sugar, then slowly whisk in yeast mixture.

In a stand mixer, combine flour and salt.

With mixer on low, add egg mixture until combined.

Add butter; mix until combined.

Switch mixing paddles to a dough hook and let it knead the dough for 10 minutes.

Per the “original” recipe:
“it should be sticky and stringy and probably worrisome, but will firm up a bit after it rises.”
This was GREAT advise as I was “worried” at this point I had done something wrong. Shocked
Butter a large bowl and place dough in it; cover with cling wrap or a towel. (I used cling wrap)

Let rise for an hour or until double in size.

While waiting, prepare the filling. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

In a food processor, add dark chocolate chips, salt and sugar; pulse until chocolate is finely chopped; almost powder-like; add in dried apricots and plum Amazins until finely chopped; set aside.

I used patty pans to line my muffin tin; was heaps easier re cleaning. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Once dough is ready, turn it out onto a “well floured” surface; gently “deflating” it with your hands; let rest for 5 minutes.

Once rested, roll into a large rectangle.

The longer you make it, the more dramatic the swirl will be. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

Sprinkle the filling evenly over the doughโ€™s surface.

Hint and Tip
The filling WILL be “hard and clumpy to try and spread“; just do your best and be careful not to push “too hard” as the filling will go through the very soft dough. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Tightly roll the dough back over the filling; forming a log.

I did not have any filling on the ends, so I used a serrated knife and cut the ends of the pastry.

With a sharp serrated knife, gently saw 1-inch segments off the log; cover with a towel’ let rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 180C. (350F) Bake for 20 minutes; until “puffed and brown”

WHY did I use 00 bread flour instead of “all-purpose” flour like the “original recipe called for? I don’t know! I thought I was running low on all-purpose flour and wouldn’t have enough. I didn’t “think” it would make a difference.

I was waiting for my “cupcake-like” babka to “puff” and while it did “slightly”, it did not “puff” to the height I thought it would.

I think the “coldness” of the weather today did not allow for the yeast to activate and become “as foamy” as it normally would; perhaps I was a “tad” impatient lol.

It was only after the “I have to taste these right out of the oven” that I determined these Joanna’s Dark Chocolate Apricot plum Amazins Babka Bites are GREAT!

The “taste” took my right back to New York and that Jewish bakery; am starting to salivate again now too! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

While they did not “look” the nicest coming out of the oven in the patty pans, might I “suggest” (as Joanna lol) you close your eyes and “transport” your heart and mind with me! As these Joanna’s Dark Chocolate Apricot plum Amazins Babka Bites (seeing they did not come out “exactly” as planned ๐Ÿ™‚ ) have been renamed today by me! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Julia “must” have known something was not going to work out and she provided GREAT advice to me! ๐Ÿ™‚


Are YOU now CRAVING Chocolate Babka too?

Have I now “inspired” you to try making these Joanna’s Dark Chocolate Apricot plum Amazins Babka Bites too?

They are GREAT with coffee and or a chat over tea! I have some VERY fond Babka childhood food memories (like in If I Knew You Were Coming) and thank you for reliving them through this post and through the “real” Joanna in ME!

16 thoughts on “Joanna’s Dark Chocolate Apricot plum Amazins Babka Bites

  1. G’day Joanne.

    This looks so delicious. I’ve never made babka but I think your recipe is ‘the one’ I should make. Perfect with a hot cup of tea on a damp rainy day.

    Thanks so much for sharing this with Foodie Friends Friday’s Chocolate Party this week. I’m sharing it on G+, my FB page and pinning it.

    See you soon,

  2. […] My kitchen “bubbles with excitement” at the best of time and have been known to have a chat or two with Julia (Child lol) and Marco, Marco, Marco like when making my Dark Chocolate Apricot plum Amazing Babka Bites. […]

  3. […] time when talking to Julia Child in my kitchen while making Joanna’s Dark Chocolate Apricot plum Amazins Babka Bites, she told me about a dinner party where the recipe โ€œdidnโ€™t quite go according to planโ€œ; so […]

  4. purabinaha says:

    Bookmarked. Loved the flavours in this wonderful dish. Your delicious and user-friendly recipes are always great!

  5. Ooh I have a babka in the freezer by Zabar’s!! But I bet these would give those a run for their money!! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • lol lol lol Lorraine! I did remember my promise to follow up and make Babka!
      I don’t think Zabar’s will be calling anytime too, but seriously, if you close your eyes, these “taste” EXACTLY like I remember when I was a child in New York too! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Bety says:

    Oh, yes – that wonderful smell…. Mmmm these”cake” Babka!
    Lovely filling!

    Strange and wonderful day was!

    • Thanks Bety! Wish I could send you some samples through the screen! ๐Ÿ™‚
      And yes, “strange AND wonderful” it was too!

      • Bety says:

        Thanks for the samples!:))
        I will do, in fact, it is typical for Bulgarians “sweet bread”, we call it Kozunak-like Italian Panetone. Most often must be made โ€‹โ€‹at Easter

      • Thank you Bety! I have heard of Pannetone before, but not Kozunak….
        Always enjoy learning something new! ๐Ÿ™‚
        Let us know how you go with this recipe too! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. babso2you says:

    I can almost smell these! They look lovely! Joanne, I am passing along to you another award! It is “The Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award!” Here is the link to my post:

    Hugs and congratulations! Well deserved! – B

    • A VERY big thanks Barbara! These smell FANTASTIC, TRUE!
      Once again, I am very honored and humbled that someone out there would acknowledge what I am VERY PASSIONATE and ENTHUSIASTIC to do! ๐Ÿ™‚

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About me

Joanne T. Ferguson

Passionate Home Cook who tries to inspire one recipe and one event at time!


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