This vegan version of the classic New York pastry tastes just as good as it looks and despite its looks, is actually very simple to make. Filled with swirls of chocolate in a buttery brioche-like bread, this vegan chocolate babka will have you weak at your knees, your tastebuds dancing right off your tongue, and don’t even get us started on the smell it has as it bakes in the oven.

Chocolate Babka [Vegan]

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Serves

8-10

Cooking Time

45

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Ingredients

For the Dough:

  • 3/4 cup soy milk
  • 2 teaspoons instant dried yeast
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, softened
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter, softened

For the Filling:

  • 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cacao
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, softened
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips

For the Sugar Syrup:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons water
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Preparation

To Make the Dough:

  1. In a jug, warm the soy milk to 98°F-113°F, which is the perfect temperature to activate yeast in. Add the yeast and 1 teaspoon of the coconut sugar. Leave to activate for 10 minutes. You will know it's ready when the mix forms a layer of foam on the top. If it doesn't, check to see if your yeast is past its used by date or wait a little longer.
  2. In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, add the rest of the coconut sugar, flour, and salt. Using your fingertips, rub in the softened coconut oil and vegan butter. On a low speed with the dough hook attached, begin mixing the dry ingredients. Slowly add the wet ingredients. Knead for 8-10 minutes, until it bounces back when lightly touched. You can knead by hand if you don't own a stand mixer.
  3. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl, cover with a tea towel, and place in a warm area to prove for 40-60 minutes or until doubled in size. You can preheat my oven to 105°F, turn it off, and place the bowl in there with the oven door closed.

To Make the Filling:

  1. In a small bowl, stir all the ingredients together except for the chocolate chips. Place aside.

To Make the Sugar Syrup:

  1. Combine the coconut sugar and water in a small saucepan. Leave to boil over a medium-high heat. Once the sugar dissolves, remove from heat.

To Assemble and Bake the Loaf:

  1. Line and lightly grease a bread tin. After the dough has doubled in size, place on a lightly floured surface and knead a few times to knock back the air. Roll out to an even 12x16-inch rectangle. Spread the filling over the top, leaving a ½-inch gap all around the sides. Sprinkle over the chocolate chips.
  2. Tightly roll the dough to form a 15 to 16-inch long log. Cut ½-inch off both ends. Gently cut the log in half lengthways and have the cut sides facing up. Begin to twirl together. Pinch and twirl the bottom end together to keep the dough in place (refer to pictures). Lift one side over the over, to form a twist. Always keeping the cut sides facing up.
  3. Carefully transfer the bread into the greased bread tin. If bread is long enough, form an "S" in the tin, tucking the edges into the openings (refer to pictures). During the second proving and baking, all the small gaps will be filled. Cover with with a tea towel and place in a warm area for another 60-90 minutes to double in size.
  4. Preheat the oven to 325°F fan forced. Bake babka for 40-45 minutes, until golden in appearance. Remove from oven, brush with sugar syrup, and leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing and serving warm.
 
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Nutritional Information

You can use extra coconut oil if you don't want to use butter. Swap it weight for weight. Store covered in the cupboard for up to 4 days. Note: The information shown is based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.