Chocolate and cardamom babka buns
- March 2018
- Makes 12 buns
- Hands-on time 40 min, oven time 20-25 min, plus rising, proving and chilling
Sugar, spice and all things nice – that’s what these babka buns are made of. Enjoy these twisted treats warm from the oven as a decadent breakfast or brunch, an afternoon pick-me-up, or make them as a Mother’s Day surprise.
- 17.7g (10.6g saturated)
- 38.3g (22.1g sugars)
- 150ml whole milk
- 140g unsalted butter at room temperature, plus extra to grease
- 125g plain flour, plus extra to dust
- 125g strong white bread flour
- ½ tsp fine salt
- 40g caster sugar
- 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
- 2 large free-range eggs (in separate bowls), lightly beaten
For the cardamom syrup
- 6 cardamom pods, lightly bashed
- 80g caster sugar
For the filling
- 50g unsalted butter
- 80g soft light brown sugar
- 100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 8 cardamom pods, seeds crushed
- For the cardamom syrup, bring 100ml water to the boil in a small saucepan with the bashed cardamom pods. Stir in the sugar until dissolved, then gently bubble for 8-10 minutes until lightly syrupy. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse.
- Gently warm the milk and 40g of the butter in a small pan until the butter melts – don’t let it boil. Put the flours, salt, sugar and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer and stir to combine. Make a well in the centre, then pour the warm milk and one of the beaten eggs into the well. Mix with a wooden spoon until just combined, then use the dough hook at medium speed for 15 minutes until smooth. The dough will be wet but will stiffen later when kneaded.
- Turn up the speed slightly and add the remaining butter, 1 tbsp at a time, making sure each addition is incorporated before adding the next. Mix for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth, slightly sticky and elastic. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to rise at room temperature for 45-60 minutes until nearly doubled in size. Chill for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the filling. Put the butter and sugar in a small pan and heat gently until the butter has melted, then add the remaining ingredients and stir until well combined. Remove from the heat and leave to cool until barely warm. It’s fine if it looks a little grainy.
- Dust the work surface with flour, then tip out the dough and dust that too. Roll out to a 30cm x 60cm rectangle, moving the dough often to prevent it sticking and dusting with extra flour if necessary. With a short side facing you, spread the filling over the bottom half of the dough, then fold the rest of the dough over the filling and press together gently.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into strips about 2.5cm wide. Twist the strips of dough into long spirals, then roll around your fingers twice to make a bun shape. Fold the end over the top, then tuck it under the bun to seal.
- Transfer the twisted bun to a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking paper, then repeat with the remaining strips of dough. Cover loosely with cling film and leave to prove in a warm place for about 30 minutes. When the dough is ready, a slight indentation from your finger will remain after you gently prod the dough.
- Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Gently brush the top of the buns with the remaining beaten egg, then bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and risen. While the buns are warm, strain the cardamom syrup (discard the solids) and brush liberally all over to glaze.
This dough is soft and sticky so use a stand mixer if you have one. If not, follow our guide to making brioche by hand.
The butter in step 3 must be at room temperature or it won’t mix in properly. Don’t soften it in the microwave, as warm butter will make the dough greasy.
Let the chocolate filling cool to the point where it’s still fluid (step 4). If it gets too cold it will turn hard, so warm it again gently, stirring over a low heat.
The soft dough will look untidy when shaped, but don’t worry – it’ll look neater after the buns are baked and glazed.
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