Chocolate and Chiquita banana babka

Chocolate and Chiquita banana babka
Chocolate and Chiquita banana babka
60 min

This stunning loaf makes an amazing centerpiece and will impress any guest!

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For the dough
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl if making by hand), combine the water, the 1 tsp of the 3 tbsp sugar and the yeast. Let the mixture stand for 8 to 10 minutes or until foamy. Add the milk, 2 of the eggs and the cooled melted butter. Stir together the flour, remaining sugar and salt and sprinkle this over the egg mixture.

Using a dough hook attachment, mix the dough at low speed for 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl using a spatula then continue to mix at a medium speed for 5 to 7 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic (the dough should be tacky but not sticky). If making by hand, use a wooden spoon to combine the ingredients, then turn out onto a floured work surface and knead for 15 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Transfer to a greased bowl, cover with cling film and let the dough rise in a warm place for 60 to 70 minutes or until doubled in volume.
Chocolate and Chiquita banana babka
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For the filling
For the filling, freeze the chocolate for 10 minutes. In food processor, combine the frozen chocolate, sugar and cinnamon and pulse until coarsely ground. Stir into the softened butter until well combined.

Grease two 2 litre / 9” x 5” loaf tins and line with enough parchment paper to leave overhang at the sides.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 38 x 28 cm / 15” x 11” rectangle. Using an offset spatula or the back of a spoon, spread the filling evenly over the dough, leaving 1 cm / 1/2” border all around. Slice the Chiquita bananas on the diagonal into 1/2 cm slices and lay across the dough.

Starting at one long end and working gently to avoid tearing the dough, roll the filled dough up tightly into a log then cut in half widthways to make two logs.
Chocolate and Chiquita banana babka
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Working with one log at a time, cut the logs in half lengthwise and arrange the halves, cut side up, next to each other. Pinch the top ends together, then twist the halves tightly around each other to create a decorative braid (try to keep the cut side facing out to expose the layers of dough and filling to create an attractive effect). Repeat with the second log. Transfer each braid to the prepared loaf tins. Cover loosely with cling film and let them rise for 35 to 40 minutes or until level with top of the tins.

Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5. Whisk the remaining egg with the cream and brush generously over the loaves. Bake in the center of the oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer registers an internal temperature of 90°C/195°F/gas 1/4 when inserted into center of the loaves. Transfer to a cooling rack and let the loaves cool in the tins for 10 minutes. Turn out onto the rack then let cool completely.

Tip: Add pecans, almonds, hazelnuts or walnuts if desired.
Chocolate and Chiquita banana babka
Chocolate and Chiquita banana babka
Nutritional values per person
304 kcal