I wish I knew something about the Purim celebrations that my parents experienced during their childhood. They were both from observant families so it is hard to imagine that the holiday was not marked in some way. On top of which my mother’s aunt owned the bakery in Mogielnica. Did she prepare Hamantaschen or some other local pastry for the holiday? What was the filling? Poppy I assume, but I will never know. What I do know is that with only one week to go, I am without a plan as I have decided not to make Hamantaschen this year.
Last week I found myself in a situation where I had to come up with a dessert at the last minute. Without having planned it in advance, I took part of my challah dough and made a chocolate Babka. It turned out great and since it was my first attempt, I was pleasantly surprised. One can only hope that inspiration will come to the rescue, but in the meantime chocolate Babka anyone? Chag Sameach.
Your favorite challah recipe or mine. I used half the dough to prepare two Challot and half to prepare two Babkas.
Filling for one Babka
1 stick sweet butter or pareve margarine, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 pound semi-sweet chocolate
Pinch of salt
1 Tb cinnamon
Egg wash (optional)
2 teaspoons milk, water or soy milk
1 Tb sugar mixed with 1 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coarsely chop bar of chocolate, then finish chopping in food processor till fine. Add salt, sugar and cinnamon and mix for a few seconds. Add butter or margarine and mix in by pulsing.
Grease a round pan well. After dough doubled in size, punch down and roll into a large rectangle. This takes some time and patience. Make sure your surface is well floured so dough doesn’t stick. Make it as thin and long as you can.
Sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough. Starting from the long side, roll dough as tightly as possible. Place in pan and let rise for about 30 minutes. Mix egg with milk or water and brush on top. Sprinkle with a Tablespoon of sugar mixed with a Tsp of cinnamon. Bake for about 30 minutes and cool on rack.