For some reason I've been staying up late these days, it's not doing wonders for my skin, but it is allowing me to catch old episodes of Seinfeld. The other night the episode "The Dinner Party" was on and I don't know if you recall, but it's the one where Jerry and Elaine stop off at a bakery on their way to a dinner party. Their intention was to buy a chocolate babka to bring, however the couple ahead of them scores the last one and they're left with a "inferior" cinnamon babka. Now I've seen this scene before and I've never thought twice about it, but this time I stopped and wondered outloud, what on earth is a babka?
Well turns out that a babka is a polish coffee cake that is traditionally made with fruit fillings, such as raisins, and is glazed with a fruit-flavored icing. However modern day babkas are filled with cheese or chocolate. And according to Elaine the chocolate babka is where it's at.
To see the Seinfeld babka clip and get the tasty recipe,
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter a 10 inch tube pan. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and salt; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, beat the butter and 1 1/4 cup sugar with an electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy. Change the mixer speed to medium, and beat in the vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. With the mixer on low speed, alternately beat the flour mixture and sour cream into the creamed mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat only until just blended.
- For the topping: In a small bowl combine the chocolate, pecans, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon to make a crumb mixture. Spread half of the batter in the bottom of the prepared pan. Sprinkle with half of the crumb mixture. Pour in the remaining batter, and sprinkle with the remaining crumb mixture; press the crumbs in lightly so they adhere to the batter. Quickly, but gently cut through the batter and crumbs in an up and down motion with a knife. Lightly rap the pan once against a hard surface, to settle the batter.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Cover the top of the cake with aluminum foil. Continue baking until a skewer inserted halfway between the side of the pan and the tube comes out clean, about 20 minutes longer. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Carefully loosen the cake from the sides of the pan. Invert cake onto rack, and cool completely.