Dark Chocolate and Cardamom Hot Cross Buns with Chocolate Pastry Cream Cross


 
Dark Chocolate and Cardamom Hot Cross Buns with Chocolate Pastry Cream Cross. These are the perfect twist on the traditional hot cross bun - the dough is soft and smooth, and the pastry cream cross adds a beautiful fudgy finish to the bun. These are a must make this Easter!  #hotcrossbuns #chocolatehotcrossbun #cardamomhotcrossbun #custardcross
Dark Chocolate and Cardamom Hot Cross Buns with Chocolate Pastry Cream Cross. These are the perfect twist on the traditional hot cross bun - the dough is soft and smooth, and the pastry cream cross adds a beautiful fudgy finish to the bun. These are a must make this Easter!  #hotcrossbuns #chocolatehotcrossbun #cardamomhotcrossbun #custardcross
Dark Chocolate and Cardamom Hot Cross Buns with Chocolate Pastry Cream Cross. These are the perfect twist on the traditional hot cross bun - the dough is soft and smooth, and the pastry cream cross adds a beautiful fudgy finish to the bun. These are a must make this Easter!  #hotcrossbuns #chocolatehotcrossbun #cardamomhotcrossbun #custardcross
Dark Chocolate and Cardamom Hot Cross Buns with Chocolate Pastry Cream Cross. These are the perfect twist on the traditional hot cross bun - the dough is soft and smooth, and the pastry cream cross adds a beautiful fudgy finish to the bun. These are a must make this Easter!  #hotcrossbuns #chocolatehotcrossbun #cardamomhotcrossbun #custardcross
Dark Chocolate and Cardamom Hot Cross Buns with Chocolate Pastry Cream Cross. These are the perfect twist on the traditional hot cross bun - the dough is soft and smooth, and the pastry cream cross adds a beautiful fudgy finish to the bun. These are a must make this Easter!  #hotcrossbuns #chocolatehotcrossbun #cardamomhotcrossbun #custardcross
Dark Chocolate and Cardamom Hot Cross Buns with Chocolate Pastry Cream Cross. These are the perfect twist on the traditional hot cross bun - the dough is soft and smooth, and the pastry cream cross adds a beautiful fudgy finish to the bun. These are a must make this Easter!  #hotcrossbuns #chocolatehotcrossbun #cardamomhotcrossbun #custardcross
Dark Chocolate and Cardamom Hot Cross Buns with Chocolate Pastry Cream Cross. These are the perfect twist on the traditional hot cross bun - the dough is soft and smooth, and the pastry cream cross adds a beautiful fudgy finish to the bun. These are a must make this Easter!  #hotcrossbuns #chocolatehotcrossbun #cardamomhotcrossbun #custardcross
Dark Chocolate and Cardamom Hot Cross Buns with Chocolate Pastry Cream Cross. These are the perfect twist on the traditional hot cross bun - the dough is soft and smooth, and the pastry cream cross adds a beautiful fudgy finish to the bun. These are a must make this Easter!  #hotcrossbuns #chocolatehotcrossbun #cardamomhotcrossbun #custardcross
Dark Chocolate and Cardamom Hot Cross Buns with Chocolate Pastry Cream Cross. These are the perfect twist on the traditional hot cross bun - the dough is soft and smooth, and the pastry cream cross adds a beautiful fudgy finish to the bun. These are a must make this Easter!  #hotcrossbuns #chocolatehotcrossbun #cardamomhotcrossbun #custardcross
Dark Chocolate and Cardamom Hot Cross Buns with Chocolate Pastry Cream Cross. These are the perfect twist on the traditional hot cross bun - the dough is soft and smooth, and the pastry cream cross adds a beautiful fudgy finish to the bun. These are a must make this Easter!  #hotcrossbuns #chocolatehotcrossbun #cardamomhotcrossbun #custardcross
Dark Chocolate and Cardamom Hot Cross Buns with Chocolate Pastry Cream Cross. These are the perfect twist on the traditional hot cross bun - the dough is soft and smooth, and the pastry cream cross adds a beautiful fudgy finish to the bun. These are a must make this Easter!  #hotcrossbuns #chocolatehotcrossbun #cardamomhotcrossbun #custardcross
Dark Chocolate and Cardamom Hot Cross Buns with Chocolate Pastry Cream Cross. These are the perfect twist on the traditional hot cross bun - the dough is soft and smooth, and the pastry cream cross adds a beautiful fudgy finish to the bun. These are a must make this Easter!  #hotcrossbuns #chocolatehotcrossbun #cardamomhotcrossbun #custardcross
Dark Chocolate and Cardamom Hot Cross Buns with Chocolate Pastry Cream Cross. These are the perfect twist on the traditional hot cross bun - the dough is soft and smooth, and the pastry cream cross adds a beautiful fudgy finish to the bun. These are a must make this Easter!  #hotcrossbuns #chocolatehotcrossbun #cardamomhotcrossbun #custardcross

I often make recipes, then accidentally sit on them for ages and eventually get around to posting them. I’m trying super hard to be better at it and post as close to when I made and shot the recipe as I can. These hot cross buns though, I needed to share with you immediately.

These are a perfect twist on the traditional spiced fruit bun - I started with a super soft, lush dough, which I spiked with a little cocoa and a lot of cardamom, then kneaded in more chocolate chips than I thought the dough could handle. I then divided the dough into 12 buns, and let them rise again, then gave them a quick score before popping them in the oven to partially bake.

What sets these apart from standard hot cross buns is the cross. Instead of the standard choux cross or icing cross, I made a chocolate pastry cream, and piped it on once the buns were nearly baked. The idea from this came from an amazing place in Auckland called Ima. A few years ago, they started making hot cross buns with a pastry cream cross, and I’ve been drooling over them every easter since, and when I came across their recipe on the internet, I knew I had to give it a try.

The pastry cream cross is piped onto the bun once it has been in the oven for about 20 minutes - the cross that you score in opens up nicely, providing you with a little trench in which to pipe the cross. The buns then finish baking - the pastry cream cross gets a thin skin, but stays super fudgy. Once the buns are done, they are glazed with a cardamom vanilla bean syrup, adding a little bit of moisture, and giving them a beautiful sheen.

These are honestly some of the best hot cross buns that I have had - they are super soft, lightly spiced from the cardamom, loaded up with chocolate, and finished off with the most perfect fudgy cross. I’m totally addicted and hope that they find their way into your Easter baking lineup! I also can’t wait to revamp my original hot cross bun recipe - that will be coming your way very soon! x

A few wee tips:

  • The dough for these will seem a little softer than you are used to - I jammed a whole lot of milk and butter into them, which makes for the most lush, soft bun. Just trust me on this one - it makes it easy to roll them too!

  • I did these all in one day, but the first rise can absolutely be done overnight in the fridge if you wanted to have them first thing in the morning - the second rise post shaping may take a little longer.

  • I like to make the pastry cream while the dough is doing its first rise, then place it into a piping bag with a clip both above the tip and above the pastry cream, then cool it directly in the piping bag which helps to prevent a skin from forming.

  • I used this enamel pan to make these, but a quarter sheet pan or other large baking pan you have should work well too! I have included a photograph just after I popped them into the pan so you can see the spacing.

 

 

Dark Chocolate and Cardamom Hot Cross Buns with Chocolate Pastry Cream Cross

- Makes 12 buns-

Pastry cream cross adapted from Ima

Cardamom Dark Chocolate Dough
340g whole milk, lukewarm
120g sugar, divided
3 tsp active dry yeast
520g all-purpose flour
30g dutch process cocoa
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp cardamom
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
115g unsalted butter, at room temperature
275g dark chocolate, chips, chunks, or callets (I used callebaut callets)

Pastry Cream Cross
50g corn starch
100g sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
400g whole milk
15g cocoa
40g unsalted butter, at room temperature

Cardamom Vanilla Bean Syrup
120g water
100g sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/4 tsp ground cardamom  

- PROCESS -

BUN DOUGH

Place the lukewarm milk, 15g of the sugar, and the yeast in a medium sized bowl, and stir to combine. Leave for 10-15 minutes, or until foamy.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, place the remaining 105g sugar, flour, cocoa, salt, cardamom, and cinnamon.

Add the milk mixture and vanilla bean paste to the dry ingredients, and mix on low for 2-3 minutes. Increase the speed of the mixer to medium, and mix for a further 5 minutes. Add the butter a little at a time, waiting until it is incorporated until adding the next piece. Mix for a further 7-10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and soft. 

Turn out the dough onto a work surface (I do not find that there is a need to flour, but add some if needed), and knead in the chocolate by hand. It will take longer than you expect but the chocolate will eventually incorporate into the dough.

Shape the dough into a ball, and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or place in the fridge overnight. While the dough is proofing, make the pastry cream.

 

PASTRY CREAM

In a medium bowl, whisk together the corn starch and sugar. Add the eggs, salt, and vanilla bean paste, and whisk well to combine.

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the whole milk and cocoa powder, then place over a low heat until just shy of a simmer.

Whisking constantly, pour about half of the warm milk mixture into the egg mixture. Whisk until smooth, then add back into the saucepan. Whisking constantly, cook until thick. Add the butter and whisk to combine.

Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a round piping tip, and a clip just above the tip to prevent any leakage. Twist the piping bag closed, or secure with another clip, and store in the fridge until needed.

ASSEMBLY

Lightly grease an 11” x 13.5” baking pan or roasting dish. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, and weigh the dough. Divide the weight of the dough by 12, and divide the dough into 12 equal sized pieces. Roll each tightly into a ball, then arrange evenly in the pan.

Lightly cover the pan with plastic wrap, and leave in a warm place for about 45 minutes, or until puffy and the dough springs back when lightly pressed with a finger.

Preheat the oven to 350°f / 180°c. Using a sharp paring knife or razor blade, score crosses in the buns.

Bake the buns for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and pipe the chocolate pastry cream in crosses in the holes provided by the scoring.

Return the buns to the oven and bake for a further 10 to 15 minutes, or until the buns are lightly golden brown (this can be a little hard to gauge with the cocoa in the dough), or until they register 200°f / 90°c on an instant read thermometer. While the buns are baking, prepare the sugar syrup.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool, before brushing on the sugar syrup (recipe below).

SUGAR SYRUP

Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil. Boil for 1-2 minutes, then leave to stand until ready to use.

Store leftover buns in an airtight container at room temperature. Reheat in the microwave briefly before eating. Serve with butter.

Dark Chocolate and Cardamom Hot Cross Buns with Chocolate Pastry Cream Cross. These are the perfect twist on the traditional hot cross bun - the dough is soft and smooth, and the pastry cream cross adds a beautiful fudgy finish to the bun. These are a must make this Easter!  #hotcrossbuns #chocolatehotcrossbun #cardamomhotcrossbun #custardcross

Apple and Cardamom Pie with Cardamom and Vanilla Bean Crust


 
Apple and Cardamom Pie with Cardamom and Vanilla Bean Crust - a pie dough spiked with warming cardamom and fragrant vanilla bean encloses a spiced apple cardamom brown sugar filling. This variation on an apple pie is simple but delicious - it makes the perfect dessert or anytime treat. #cardamom #applepie
Apple and Cardamom Pie with Cardamom and Vanilla Bean Crust - a pie dough spiked with warming cardamom and fragrant vanilla bean encloses a spiced apple cardamom brown sugar filling. This variation on an apple pie is simple but delicious - it makes the perfect dessert or anytime treat. #cardamom #applepie
Apple and Cardamom Pie with Cardamom and Vanilla Bean Crust - a pie dough spiked with warming cardamom and fragrant vanilla bean encloses a spiced apple cardamom brown sugar filling. This variation on an apple pie is simple but delicious - it makes the perfect dessert or anytime treat. #cardamom #applepie
Apple and Cardamom Pie with Cardamom and Vanilla Bean Crust - a pie dough spiked with warming cardamom and fragrant vanilla bean encloses a spiced apple cardamom brown sugar filling. This variation on an apple pie is simple but delicious - it makes the perfect dessert or anytime treat. #cardamom #applepie
Apple and Cardamom Pie with Cardamom and Vanilla Bean Crust - a pie dough spiked with warming cardamom and fragrant vanilla bean encloses a spiced apple cardamom brown sugar filling. This variation on an apple pie is simple but delicious - it makes the perfect dessert or anytime treat. #cardamom #applepie
Apple and Cardamom Pie with Cardamom and Vanilla Bean Crust - a pie dough spiked with warming cardamom and fragrant vanilla bean encloses a spiced apple cardamom brown sugar filling. This variation on an apple pie is simple but delicious - it makes the perfect dessert or anytime treat. #cardamom #applepie
Apple and Cardamom Pie with Cardamom and Vanilla Bean Crust - a pie dough spiked with warming cardamom and fragrant vanilla bean encloses a spiced apple cardamom brown sugar filling. This variation on an apple pie is simple but delicious - it makes the perfect dessert or anytime treat. #cardamom #applepie

I’ve never really been one to do things by halves - Mum instilled a ‘go hard or go home’ mentality in us from a very young age, which rears its wee head quite often! I have had a couple of pie ideas lurking in my brain for a while now, so figured that the week of pie day would be the best time to just dump them here all at once! I used to find making pie really really stressful, but as I have made more and more throughout the years, it’s come to be something that I find super relaxing - there’s just something about rolling out pie dough and cutting lattice strips that I find so chill.

I’ve done a few flavoured crusts before - this fresh sage one, and an earl grey one a forever ago, but haven’t played round too much with spicing the dough before. I added cardamom and vanilla bean to this dough, then filled the pie with a super simple but delicious sliced apple filling, thickened with a bit of flour and spiced with cardamom and cinnamon. I traded the regular raw sugar for dark brown - the result is a super warming, spiced apple pie. The great thing about adding powdered spices to pie dough is that it doesn’t take any extra work or fancy techniques, but adds a huge dimension to the pie flavour wise. I’m definitely going to be spicing up my pie doughs from now on!

I went a wee bit fancy with the lattice on this guy, but not in a complicated weaving way - I just went with single vertical strips, then added two strips per ‘weave’ horizontally. This worked out super super well - I love how it came out, and looks different to a regular lattice, but really takes the same amount of effort as a lattice that has one strip vertically and one horizontally. It’s always good to remember that when you do a tight lattice like this, you are essentially covering the surface of the pie twice, so you need to make sure you account for this when making your dough. I’ve included the amount of dough I used in the recipe below, along with some changes if you need to scale it back. I love using a pasta cutter to cut my lattice strips because they come out super, super even, so are great for a really tidy lattice. I then finished the pie with a wee braided border, which held up beautifully in the oven - the key to this, I have found, is a long chill in the fridge before you bake the pie off, giving it a good amount of time to set up nicely.

A few wee tips:

  • The recipe for the pie dough I have listed here makes quite a lot - I needed almost all of it for this lattice. If you are making a less complicated top for your pie and just want a standard double crust recipe, reduce the quantities by 1/3 - so you will use 2 1/2 cups flour, and 225g butter, 1 tsp cardamom etc.

  • I like using a wee tip that my friend Erin taught me to make the pie dough nice and smooth and easy to work with. I make the dough, shape it into two rectangles, rest it in the fridge wrapped for about an hour, then remove it and roll it out into a rectangle on a lightly floured surface. I then give it a letter fold (as you would a letter), roll out to a rectangle, letter fold again, then roll out slightly, and shape into a disc. I then re-wrap it, and leave it to rest overnight. This makes the dough more homogenous without compromising the flaky texture that you want in the pie dough, and it makes it a total dream to work with. For me, it’s a game changer.

  • When I am making a lattice pie I know I will need more dough for the top crust than the bottom, so I usually make one portion of dough bigger than the other when I initially divide it after mixing to account for this. For this dough I split it 1/3 to 2/3. I usually shape the dough for the bottom crust into a disc, and the dough for the top crust into a rectangle which makes for an easy roll-out for cutting strips for lattice.

  • The cardamom in this is subtle enough to provide some warmth, but still definitely there, so feel free to dial it back a little in the filling if you want. I thought it was the perfect balance! It’s epic with vanilla bean ice cream.

  • I popped this pie out of the tin on my IG stories and had loads of questions about how to avoid a soggy bottom - I have found the key to this is a good, solid bottom crust, and baking the pie at a higher temp for the first 20 minutes near the bottom of the oven, which starts to cook the bottom of the pie and also sets the pastry - a tip I borrowed from the four and twenty blackbirds pie book.

 

 

Apple and Cardamom Pie with Cardamom and Vanilla Bean Crust

- Makes one 9 inch pie-

Pie dough
3 3/4 cups (540g) Flour
Pinch of Salt
1 Tbsp (13g) sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 Tsp vanilla bean paste
3 sticks (345g) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 cup (240ml) cold water
1 cup ice
1/4 cup (60ml) Apple cider vinegar

Filling
1.5kg (3.3lbs) apples, peeled and finely sliced
Juice of 1 lemon
45g flour
3/4 cup (150g) dark brown sugar
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste


Egg wash - 1 egg whisked with 1 Tbsp water

 

- PROCESS -

PIE DOUGH

Place flour, salt, sugar, and ground cardamom into a large bowl. Add the vanilla bean paste and rub through with your fingers. Mix to combine. Cut butter into chunks, and add to the flour. Toss lightly to coat. Working quickly, using a pastry blender or  your fingers,  cut the butter into the flour mixture until there are only pea-sized chunks left. You want a few lumps of butter remaining to keep the pastry nice and tender.

Combine ice, water and cider vinegar in a bowl. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of the ice water into the flour and butter mixture, and using a stiff spatula or your hands, mix in well. Continue adding water a tablespoon at a time ( I normally need about 1/2 to 3/4 cup, but add slowly) until you have a dough that holds together well, but is not too wet. Squeeze together with your fingertips to make a homogenous dough. Divide the dough into two - I like to do a 1/3 to 2/3 split. Shape the smaller portion into a disc and the larger into a rectangle. If desired, roll out and perform letter folds (see notes) Rest in the fridge for at least two hours, or preferably overnight. 

 

FILLING AND ASSEMBLY

On a lightly floured surface, roll the disc into a circle slightly larger than your pie dish. You want it to be approximately 1/8 inch (3mm) in thickness. Line a 9" pie dish, leaving the extra dough overhanging. Trim the dough so there is about 1 inch overlapping the edge of your dish. Place in the fridge while you prepare the filling and lattice.

Roll out the second piece of dough (the rectangle) into a rough rectangle approximately 1/8 inch thick. Use a pastry cutter to cut strips for your lattice. If you would like to make a braid, roll a piece of pie dough into a long thin rectangle, cut thin strips, and braid. Place your strips and braids onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and store in the fridge until ready to use. Press together the scraps and re-roll - these are good for extra lattice strips or for using pie stamps to cut out for the border.

In a large bowl, toss together the apple and lemon juice. Leave to sit for 5 minutes, then drain any excess liquid. Combine the flour, sugar, cardamom, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl, then add to the apples along with the vanilla bean and toss well to combine. Transfer the filling to the lined pie dish, packing the slices of apple in tightly, and mounding in the middle. Remember that it will bake down a little, so it is ok for the pie to seem a bit full.

Arrange the strips of pie dough on the top of the pie, weaving into your desired lattice. If you are adding stamps, trim any overlapping pie dough and lattice strips so that they are flush with the edge of the pie dish, then glue on the stamps with a little egg wash. If you are crimping, trim the crust with a little overhang and then crimp as desired.

Rest the pie in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. While the pie is resting in the fridge, preheat the oven to 425˚f/ 220˚c. Place a baking tray on the bottom rack of the oven. 

Brush the pie with egg wash, and sprinkle liberally with raw sugar. Bake at 425˚f / 220˚c for 20 minutes, or until the pastry is set and beginning to go golden. Reduce the temperature 375˚f / 190˚c, and bake until the pastry is deeply golden and the filling is bubbling. 

Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Apple and Cardamom Pie with Cardamom and Vanilla Bean Crust - a pie dough spiked with warming cardamom and fragrant vanilla bean encloses a spiced apple cardamom brown sugar filling. This variation on an apple pie is simple but delicious - it makes the perfect dessert or anytime treat. #cardamom #applepie

Apple and Cardamom Babka


 
Apple and Cardamom brioche babka - lightly spiced babka dough is filled with a spiced brown sugar mixture and fresh apple, then rolled into a tight babka swirl. Inspired by the swedish cinnamon roll, this is a perfect fall baking project. #babka #cardamom #brioche
Apple and Cardamom brioche babka - lightly spiced babka dough is filled with a spiced brown sugar mixture and fresh apple, then rolled into a tight babka swirl. Inspired by the swedish cinnamon roll, this is a perfect fall baking project. #babka #cardamom #brioche
Apple and Cardamom brioche babka - lightly spiced babka dough is filled with a spiced brown sugar mixture and fresh apple, then rolled into a tight babka swirl. Inspired by the swedish cinnamon roll, this is a perfect fall baking project. #babka #cardamom #brioche
Apple and Cardamom brioche babka - lightly spiced babka dough is filled with a spiced brown sugar mixture and fresh apple, then rolled into a tight babka swirl. Inspired by the swedish cinnamon roll, this is a perfect fall baking project. #babka #cardamom #brioche
Apple and Cardamom brioche babka - lightly spiced babka dough is filled with a spiced brown sugar mixture and fresh apple, then rolled into a tight babka swirl. Inspired by the swedish cinnamon roll, this is a perfect fall baking project. #babka #cardamom #brioche
Apple and Cardamom brioche babka - lightly spiced babka dough is filled with a spiced brown sugar mixture and fresh apple, then rolled into a tight babka swirl. Inspired by the swedish cinnamon roll, this is a perfect fall baking project. #babka #cardamom #brioche
Apple and Cardamom brioche babka - lightly spiced babka dough is filled with a spiced brown sugar mixture and fresh apple, then rolled into a tight babka swirl. Inspired by the swedish cinnamon roll, this is a perfect fall baking project. #babka #cardamom #brioche

Hiii! I’ve written and re-written this little top bit a bunch of times now, and I can’t think of anything clever, or witty, or funny to say, or any context that goes along with this recipe other than it’s yum and I think that you should make it. It’s been a bit of a long week. I’ve seen on a few different places people complaining about having to scroll past this part of food blogs to get to the recipe, and how they think it’s bullshit. It keeps rolling round in my mind. That we have gotten to a place where we expect instant gratification. That everything should be served up on a platter for us. That all recipes should be free and available on the internet without having to spend an extra 2 seconds of precious life scrolling past the part where the person who puts hours into developing recipes gets to express themselves for a little bit I think it’s always interesting how people find literally ANYTHING to complain about, including having to do two extra finger scrolls to get down to the recipe they are getting for free. Anyway. That’s what is swimming round in my wee brain!

I’m coming at you today with a giant dose of autumn. Last year a friend shared her Mum’s Swedish cinnamon roll recipe with me. They are super cute little knots, loaded up with cardamom and cinnamon, and finished with pearl sugar. I’ve been meaning to turn them into a babka for a while now, so finally here we are.

I took my go-to brioche recipe, laced it with some warming spices, filled it with a similar filling to the Swedish rolls, but scattered some chopped apple over the filling before rolling it up nice and tight. I love how the apple and the spices play together, and I just can’t go past the swirls of a babka. When making babka I generally freeze the dough for an hour or so before rolling out to help the dough stay chilled and keep its shape better when cut, however this time I tried a slightly different method, and rolled out the dough, filled it and rolled it into a sausage, then chilled the rolled sausage for an hour or so to firm it up before cutting. This resulted in a super clean cut when it came to splitting the dough lengthwise, and made the shaping process much easier in my opinion. Definitely going to be my go-to babka method from now on!

A few wee tips:

  • This dough can be made the night before and proofed in the fridge for the first rise. If you do this you can skip the chilling step!

  • These would also make epic cinnamon rolls. After you have rolled the dough into a log, cut into 10-12 rolls, arrange in a greased baking pan, and follow the rising and baking directions - you may need to reduce baking time slightly so just keep a close eye!

  • The swedish sugar isn't necessary, but if you can get your hands on it, it's hugely worthwhile!

  • If you don’t have an apple on hand, you can omit it if you like!

 

 

Apple and Cardamom Babka

- Makes two loaves -

Bread Dough
1 envelope (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
200g (3/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp) whole milk, lukewarm
4 Tbsp (50g) sugar
565g (3 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
115g (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature

Filling
115g (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
150g (3/4 cup) dark brown sugar
3 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
One medium apple, peeled, cored and finely diced

Egg wash - 1 egg whisked with 1 Tbsp water
Swedish pearl sugar to finish (optional)

 

- PROCESS -

BREAD DOUGH

In a small bowl, combine the yeast, milk and 2 Tbsp of the sugar. Mix well, and leave to sit for 10-15 minutes, or until foamy.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, salt, cardamom, cinnamon, and remaining 2 Tbsp sugar. Mix briefly to combine. Add the eggs, vanilla, and foamy yeast mixture to the bowl. Mix on low for 2-3 minutes, until the dough is starting to come together. It may look slightly dry but do not worry - it will mix together nicely in the next steps. Increase the mixer speed to medium, and mix for another 10 minutes, until the dough is soft and smooth. 

Reduce the mixer speed to low, and add the butter a little at a time, waiting until it is fully incorporated into the dough before adding the next piece. This process should take 3-4 minutes. Once the butter is fully incorporated, increase the mixer speed to medium, and mix for a further 5 minutes, until the dough is very soft and smooth. 

Transfer to an oiled bowl, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place in a warm spot until doubled in size, approximately 1 - 1 1/2 hours. 

 

FILLING AND ASSEMBLY

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place all of the filling ingredients except for the apple in a small bowl, and mix well to combine.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a rectangle 16” x 24”, squaring off with a bench scraper as you roll to make sure it is as even as possible. Using an offset spatula, spread the filling mixture over the surface of the dough, then sprinkle with the chopped apple.

Starting from the long side of the dough, roll up the dough into a tight spiral. Measure the length of the sausage of dough, then cut in half so it is in two sausages. Place these pieces side by side on the lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for an hour.

Line two loaf pans with a parchment paper ‘sling’. Remove the chilled dough sausages from the fridge. Working with one at a time, using a sharp knife, cut the first piece in half, lengthwise, and then cross the pieces over each other, and then cross over two more times to form a twist (this video also explains well). Place into the loaf pan, tucking the ends under slightly if needed. Repeat with the second half of the dough.

Lightly cover the loaf pans in plastic wrap, and place in a warm place to rise for an hour to 90 minutes, or until the dough springs back lightly when pressed. While the loaves are proofing, preheat the oven to 350˚f / 180˚c. 

Brush the loaves lightly with egg wash, and sprinkle with Swedish pearl sugar if desired. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the loaves are golden brown and the internal temperature registers 200˚F / 90˚c. Remove from the oven and cool completely before slicing. Store leftovers in an airtight container, or wrap tightly before freezing.

Apple and Cardamom brioche babka - lightly spiced babka dough is filled with a spiced brown sugar mixture and fresh apple, then rolled into a tight babka swirl. Inspired by the swedish cinnamon roll, this is a perfect fall baking project. #babka #cardamom #brioche