chocolate raspberry babka wreath + maple cream cheese glaze

chocolate raspberry babka wreath-61.jpg

I have wanted to make a babka in life forever. I think they are one of the prettiest baked goods around. Traditionally they are just made with chocolate, sometimes nutella or cinnamon but for me raspberry and chocolate are a match made in heaven and I figured if that combo was smothered into the layers of a babka wreath you couldn't really go too wrong.

I think the raspberry calms the chocolate a little. I use a very dark chocolate, about 80% cacao so it is quite rich but the raspberry tames it and gives it just the right tang. I don't make the raspberry coulee that sweet so if you prefer it sweeter you can add more honey when simmering.

Babka's really are just fun to make. Feel free to spread just about anything onto the dough, I am thinking I want to try a savoury version next time. And if you are too intimidated to try the wreath you can easily make this babka into loaves instead. Or even mini individual babka buns. 

As intimidating {trust me they are fun, I was a little scared at first though too haha} as a babka might seem they are quite simple, if you can make cinnamon buns you can make babka. This one is a little messier than most with the raspberry coulee but the end result is worth all of the extra mess. 

For the dough I used Yotam Ottolenghi version, this was my first time using a dough that self-rises in the fridge overnight. I was a little hesitant as I have never risen dough in this way, but I trust anything Yotam does so I figured I would just go with it and trust the process. The next morning when I took the dough out I was still a little skeptical, it doesn't quite have that soft looking warm risen dough look {even though the night before it was extremely soft and supple}, but when I did the second rise, a warm rise, after rolling it out and filling it the dough was glorious. 

I still want to try a warm risen dough in my next babka, then I will tell you which method I prefer. When serving this babka extra glaze is always preferred and I like to serve it sliced and then warmed by the oven. 

This will be my last post of 2016, I almost can't believe it is over. I have a feeling 2017 is going to bring really good things, great things actually so I am looking really forward to it. I don't really do resolutions but maybe in my first post of the new year I will share some of my goals with you, then you know you can keep me accountable!

I hope you all have a great New Year's Eve celebration, stay safe and enjoy the champagne bubbles! 

chocolate raspberry babka wreath + maple cream cheese glaze


4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cane sugar

1 package (or two tsp) of active dry yeast

3 eggs

1/2 cup water

1/4 tsp salt

2/3 cup butter

raspberry coulee

2 1/2 cups raspberries

3-4 tbsp of honey (to taste)

1 tbsp vanilla

juice of half a lemon

2 tbsp cornstarch mixed with equal part water

+ 100 grams of dark chocolate

cream cheese glaze

1/2 cup cream cheese

1 cup icing sugar

1 tbsp vanilla

3-4 tbsp of milk (to thin out)

sugar syrup

1/3 cup water

6 tbsp of cane sugar



combine the flour, sugar and yeast in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.

mix throughly with a wooden spoon. on low speed add the eggs and water, then increase the speed to medium and mix for 3 minutes, until the dough just starts to come together and looks a bit crumbly. Add the salt, then begin adding the butter, a few pieces at a time, mixing until incorporated.

continue mixing for 10 minutes on medium speed, until the dough is very elastic, supple and smooth.

place the dough in a large bowl brushed with oil and cover with plastic wrap. leave in the fridge overnight.

raspberry coulee:

in a sauce pan on medium heat combine the raspberries (frozen is fine), vanilla, honey (I used 3 tbsp), juice of the lemon and bring to a slight boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer, add in the cornstarch mixed with water to thicken. Let this cook for 5 minutes. 

take off heat and transfer to a bowl to cool in the fridge overnight with the dough.

assembling the wreath:

oil and line the bottom of an 11 inch springform pan with parchment paper. 

on a lightly floured surface roll out your dough (you can let this sit out of the fridge for a while before you start to roll if it is too stiff) to about 15 X 24 inches. this does not have to be exact you just want a large rectangle. 

leaving about a one inch border spread your raspberry mixture all over the rolled out dough. roughly chop up the chocolate and sprinkle that on top of the raspberry coulee.

brush a little water along the edge of dough farthest away from you and then start to roll the dough like you would for cinnamon buns. press to seal the dampened end and roll the dough over so that the seam is on the bottom. 

with a serrated knife trim the ends of the roll so that they are even about an inch. with the knife cut the roll in half length wise, as to open up the roll to reveal the inside layers. gently turn the two halves so that the cut sides are facing up and side-by-side. 

gently lift the right half over the left half, repeating until the entire length of the two halves has been twisted together (youtube has great videos for babka wreath making if you prefer a visual tutorial). 

next you are going to take the bottom of the springform pan and place it next to one end of the log. gently lift the one end onto the pan and twist the entire log around gently pinching the two ends together, to end up with a wreath.

place the pan back into the springform circle and cover with a tea towel to rise for about an hour and a half in a warm spot.

preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

bake the wreath for about 40-45 minutes. the wreath is done when a toothpick comes out clean and it doesn't seem gummy. if it doesn't seem done keep checking it every 5 minutes.

while the babka is baking make the sugar syrup. combine the sugar and water in a small sauce pan on medium heat. once the sugar has dissolved take it off the heat and transfer to a small bowl. brush the babka immediately after it comes out of the oven with the syrup, making sure to use it all up. 

cream cheese glaze:

in a standing mixer add the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla. mix until incorporated adding a tbsp of milk at a time until you get the consistency you like. you don't want the glaze to be to thin or too thick, just enough to pour evenly out of a container. 

once the babka has cooled completely drizzle the glaze over the entire wreath. alternatively you can just slice it piece by piece and add the glaze to each one. 

I like to serve my babka slices warmed up by the oven and drizzled with extra glaze. you could also just serve it with a drizzle of honey or even a swiping of butter or plain cream cheese.

it is always best served warm though. just heat the oven to 350 degrees and pop a slice in for about 5 minutes.