Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chocolate Cinnamon Babka

In order to pump myself up for veganizing this week's Top Chef: Just Desserts winning dish, I am posting this veganized version of Peter Reinhart's babka recipe. The dish is a real crowd pleaser (at least at the party I went to) and the fancy presentation will make everyone think you are some kind of baking superstar.

- 2 tbsp instant yeast
- 3/4 cup lukewarm plain soy milk
- 6 tbsp non-hydrogenated margarine
- 6 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 oz soy yogurt
- 15 oz all purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp salt

1. Whisk yeast into soy milk and set aside to get foamy.
2. Cream margarine and sugar together in a large bowl, then add vanilla and soy yogurt. Beat vigorously with a whisk for a few minutes until fluffy and able to form peaks.
3. Add flour, salt, and yeast mixture and work into a soft dough. Add flour or soy milk as needed and knead until smooth. Shape into a ball, then let rise in a lightly oiled bowl, covered, until almost doubled in size.

Chocolate Cinnamon Filling
- 9 oz semisweet vegan chocolate chips
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup non-hydrogenated margarine

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly brush paper with oil.
2. Place all ingredients in a small pot and place over low heat. Stir until just melted, then spread as thin as possible over the prepared parchment paper with a pastry scraper. You want about a 10" x 15" rectangle. Place in the fridge to cool down and firm up.

Final Loaf:
1. When the dough is risen, roll out into a 10 x 15 rectangle. Remove chocolate from the fridge, peel off parchment paper, and place on top. Roll tightly lengthwise (let the chocolate warm up a bit to make it easier), then seal.
2. Cut the roll down the middle lengthwise with a pastry scraper, then cross the two pieces over one another to form an X, cut side up. Continue to criss cross in both directions and seal the ends. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spray with oil, and cover.
3. Let the loaf rise until almost doubled in size (1.5 hours or so), then preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 20-25 mins, or until a deep golden brown. Don't overbake or it will dry out. Reinhart suggests an internal temp of 185 degrees.