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Babka filled with chestnut cream and dark chocolate

Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time1 hr
Resting time2 hrs
Total Time4 hrs


For the dough

  • 1/4 cup milk, lukewarm
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp dry yeast
  • zest from 1 orange
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1 mastic, pulverized in mortar until become a powder (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp mahlep (optional)
  • 2 eggs, medium size
  • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 80 gr butter, room temperature

For the filling

  • 400 gr chestnuts, boiled and peeled
  • 200 ml water
  • 300 gr granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate, chopped (extra)

For the syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar


For the dough

  • Heat the milk slightly. Its temperature should not exceed 50 degrees of Celsius (110 F).
  • In a mixer bowl, whisk the lukewarm milk with the sugar until dissolved. Then add the yeast and mix.
  • Add the orange zest, cardamom, mastic,mahlep and eggs.
  • Then add the flour gradually alternating with butter. Then add the salt.
  • Beat until combined. In the end we should have a smooth elastic dough that is soft and has a light yellow colour.
  • Coat the dough with a little butter on top, cover with a piece of greaseproof paper first and then with a towel. Put the bowl in the oven, at 30*C degrees, in the resistors. We do not put it in the air because it is possible that our dough may dry out.
  • The dough in the next one hour should have doubled in size. While waiting make the filling.

For the filling

  • Score the chestnuts with an “X” deep enough to cut through the outer skin. Boil them in a saucepan with plenty of water.
  • Boil for about half an hour, until softened. Pour the content of the pot into a drain.
  • While the chestnuts are still warm peel them. Chestnuts are very easy to clean when warm. If cool, put them back in the pot with water and warm them slightly.
  • Add 200 ml of water and the sugar in another saucepan. Boil on low heat until the sugar becomes transparent.
  • Remove from the heat. Then add the peeled chestnuts and the syrup in a blender. Blend them until become a cream.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil and boil for 15 minutes.
  • Then add 1/3 cup of chopped dark chocolate. Stir with a wooden spoon until combined.

Make the babka

  • On a clean surface we spread some flour and place the dough. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a rectangular shape.
  • Spread the filling mixture all over the surface, leaving clean 2-3 cm from the edge.
  • Then add the chopped dark chocolate.
  • We roll our dough along as tightly as possible to end up in a roll. If the dough does not stick, add a few drops of milk.
  • By using a sharp knife we cut along to create three strips. Knit the braid.
  • Place inside a loaf pan line with parchment paper and allow to rest under a towel in a warm spot for 60 minutes. I have used my oven at 30*C.
  • Bake babka for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown in a preheated oven, at 175*C.
  • While baking prepare the syrup in a small saucepan. Add water and sugar and cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
  • After removing the babka from the oven, add the syrup.