Pistachio, rose & chocolate babka rolls | recipe.
Some of my work colleagues were leaving this week, so I decided to do a bit of baking for their last day, and also to bribe everyone into liking me because they can essentially decide whether or not I pass my GP training. Subtle, I am not.
The new Olive Magazine has a whole feature on chocolate with recipes from Edd Kimber, so naturally I went for the most complicated one, salted pistachio & chocolate babkas. Babka is traditionally a brioche-like yeast cake from Eastern Europe, that's taking over the internet gradually. Confession: I have never tried babka before, so I have no idea what it's meant to be like.
Considering how fancy these rolls look, the ingredient list is surprisingly simple, and anyone with a well stocked pantry may well have everything they need already in. I had to do a mad dash for pistachios on a Sunday morning and ended up having to hand-shell several small packets of salted pistachios. The things we do for validation from strangers.
Everything came together well, although I had a few small hiccups in that I forgot to put salt on top of the chocolate filling (but I figured with salted pistachios I was let off the hook), I used some rye flour in the dough because I'm too fancy for my own good, and I had to go on a date halfway through.
Yes, if there was one thing I would recommend when making these babka's, it's to maybe not organise a Tinder date halfway through the whole baking process - I had to push the date back by 30 minutes and then lie about why I had to push it back, then pray that they wouldn't burn in the oven while I was running about choosing an outfit.
Luckily, the babka's turned out a lot better than my date although between me and you, that's not saying much. I had a few quibbles with them in that I felt that they were a little too bread-like and dry for my tastes, and next time I might try a mix of bread flour and cake flour, and maybe let them rise and bake in one big pan like pull-apart rolls. Everyone I gave them to loved them, and they disappeared in a matter of hours at work, so clearly I'm in the minority here.
The Edd Kimber recipe is in this month's issue of Olive Magazine and sadly doesn't appear to be online, but what I would do is this: take Smitten Kitchen's recipe here, add around 75g of chopped pistachios, sea salt flakes and crushed dried rose petals (if they take your fancy) on top of the chocolate filling, then fold it in half, cut into strips and twist as above. Bake for around 20mins in a 170C oven and then follow with the glaze. And don't date in between.