Hot hot hot!!! God’s own country is now God’s own grill!! Seriously, stepping outside is like stepping into a preheated oven. We live somewhat near the beach, so we get a good deal of breeze, but even then, it’s HOT!!!!
Being crazy busy in March, I missed out on the Baking Partners Challenge. I resolved to do it this month and I’m so glad I did – these chocolate babka muffins are super yummy!! If you think you’ve heard ‘Babka’ before, maybe it’s here:
It isn’t much fun standing near the stove when it’s so hot, but baking is better, just pop it in, set the timer and run from the kitchen! The original recipe asked for milk chocolate and cinnamon, but I used dark chocolate and skipped the cinnamon. I also skipped the streusel topping to go easy on my butter consumption :).
This recipe was suggested by Tamy of ‘Three Sides of Crazy’ and has been adapted from this recipe at ‘Portugese Girl Cooks’.
For the Dough:
1/2 cup whole milk, warmed 110 degrees (I boiled it)
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons instant rapid rise yeast
1 large egg at room temperature
2 cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter at room temperature
Note: Original recipe asked for unsalted butter and ½ tsp of salt, but I used salted butter and skipped the salt.
1. With an electric whisk, combine the milk, sugar and yeast. Add the egg and whisk till blended.
2. Add the flour, mixing on low until sticky dough begins to form. Mix in the butter until well blended with no remaining chunks. The mixture now looks like this:
3. Knead the mixture to form loose and sticky dough. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with tea towel and let rise until doubled in a warm place. This will take 1-2 hours, depending on the humidity in your place (which obviously Kerala has loads of). Here’s how it looks before and after 2 hours of rising:
For the Chocolate Filling:
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons salted butter at room temperature
1. Place chocolate chips, brown sugar and butter in a small mixer jar and whiz till blended.
Note: The original recipe mentioned the resulting filling to resemble crumbs. I got more of a paste.
Making the Muffins:
1. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface. Punch out all the air from it. Flatten into a rectangle shape with your hands and let to rest for 5 minutes.
2. Roll it out into a larger 12”x20” rectangle using flour as needed.
3. Spread the chocolate paste (or sprinkle if your filling is in crumb form) all over the rectangle evenly.
4. Roll the rectangle tightly into a log. Cut out uneven ends if any, you can bake these pieces separately.
5. Divide the log into 1” pieces, cutting with dental floss for neater results. Place each piece cut side down into muffin cups. I used silicon cups, you can also use a tin, but they’ll need paper liners to prevent sticking. Cover with a tea towel and let them rest for 30 minutes.
6. Preheat oven to 190° degrees. Brush tops with beaten egg. Bake for about 15-20 minutes till brown around the edges. Cool completely on wire racks, although they are just as yummy when really warm :).
They turn out really nice and soft; check out the inside of one of the edges that I had cut off from the dough log:
I love how the excess chocolate melts on top of the muffin – yum!!
These can actually be baked on a baking sheet as well, in which case they’ll look more like rolls than muffins. I’ve always wanted to try those pull apart cinnamon and Nutella buns I’ve seen on Pinterest, but never got around to it. The technique here is similar so now I’m confident to go ahead and try them!! Muffins, rolls or buns – if they’ve got chocolate in them, I don’t care what they’re called!!