From the rich, soft dough to the most luscious chocolate fudge filling (ever), this vegan chocolate babka tastes just as heavenly as it looks. Without any egg replacements or unusual ingredients, this vegan treat couldn’t be easier to make – and you’ll love it.
Mix together the active dried yeast, sugar and warm non-dairy milk. Wait for the yeast to start frothing, and add it to the mixing bowl of a stand mixer. (You can knead the dough by hand, but using a stand mixer is much easier.)
Knead the dough for about 10 - 15 minutes, until you get a smooth dough that comes together in a ball. Place the dough into a gently oiled bowl and allow to proof in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
Lightly grease a loaf baking tin with a neutral-tasting oil (such as sunflower or vegetable oil). For this recipe, I've used a loaf tin with the following dimensions: 8.5 inch/21cm long, 4.5 inch/11cm wide and 3inch/7cm high.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a rectangle about 11 x 15 inches (28 x 38 cm) in size. (You don’t have to be overly precise, just be careful that the width of the dough is a few inches longer than the length of the loaf tin).
Spoon the chocolate filling over the rolled-out dough, and spread it out with an offset spatula all the way to the edges, until you get an even thin layer of chocolate fudge sauce.
Roll up the babka lengthwise – so that you end up with an 11 inch (28 cm) long log. Position the rolled-up log seam side down, and cut it lengthwise in half. Turn each half of the log so that the cut side faces upwards, and twist the two halves/strands around each other. Tuck the ends of the strands underneath the babka, and transfer it into the loaf tin.
Allow the babka to proof in a warm place for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until approximately doubled in volume.
While the babka is proofing, pre-heat the oven to 355 ºF (180 ºC).
Bake at 355 ºF (180 ºC) for about 30 - 35 minutes, on until golden brown on top and an inserted toothpick/skewer comes out without any raw or half-baked dough attached (note that the toothpick/skewer will have traces of the chocolate filling on it).If the top starts browning before the babka is done, cover it with a sheet of aluminium foil (shiny side up) and continue baking until done.
For sugar syrup glaze:
In a small saucepan, cook the sugar and water on medium-high heat until all the sugar has dissolved and the mixture forms a runny syrup.
Brush the babka with the sugar syrup straight out of the oven.
Allow the babka to cool in the loaf tin for 10 - 15 minutes, then remove from the tin and place on a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Serving and storage:
The vegan chocolate babka can be served either warm or cold.
It keeps well in a closed container in a cool dry place for 3 - 4 days but it's at its most delicious on the first day.
Recipe by The Loopy Whisk (www.theloopywhisk.com).