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Polish “Babka” with almonds and white chocolate

I suppose to be on bed rest but it’s not that easy when you’re pregnant and when you crave so many different homemade goods. Last week, for example I had homemade chocolate milk pudding for dinner. Four times. What means that for four days I didn’t eat anything else for dinner just my pudding. Oh wait… I did have something else. A few slices of fresh strawberry and a banana on top of my pudding😉 That counts, right?!

I want to share that recipe here on my blog, but every time I make it there is almost no time between when it’s made and when it’s in our bellies.

Last Saturday when it was raining and dark outside I finally decide to make Babka. Finally, because that cake was stuck in my head for a long time. “Babka” is Polish name for a sweet yeast cake but actually it can be made without the yeast and then it resembles pound cake. That’s how my mom and my sister used to make it – without the yeast. It’s not very babka-like but many people do that and call that cake babka and when they use the original recipe with yeast then they call it “yeast babka”.

My mom wasn’t a baker and she even didn’t tried to become one. Whenever she baked something (and it happened really rare), she would always make something VERY easy and fast to fix. Babka and a simple chocolate cake were our most often eaten desserts (and pudding or kisiel, of course). She almost never made a glaze. It was too much work with something that she actually didn’t enjoy – baking. Instead of glaze she would spread a homemade jam (raspberry or black currants) on top of each slice of those cakes and that was it. Just like you would do with open-faced sandwich. It actually was pretty delicious.

These days those simple dishes are my comfort food and whenever I feel under the weather I always come back to it.

Following my family steps I made my babka without the yeast. Although, I do want to try to make it the original way someday. But not when I am on bed rest😉

This cake is really moist and not sweet at all, at least not too sweet like you would think after reading the recipe.

I do not have the right pan for baking babka but I used 9inch loaf pan and it worked great.

Ingredients for cake: 

1/2 cup white chocolate cut into really small pieces (or white chocolate baking chips),

5 1/2 Tbsp. butter, softened and cut into small pieces,

8 tsp. sugar,

1 tsp. baking powder,

1 tsp. baking soda, (if you don’t have it, don’t worry, this cake will be fine without it)

3 eggs, yolks separated from whites,

1/3 cup all-purpose flour,

1 cup ground almonds, blanched

2 tsp. orange zest,

Ingredients for glaze:

3/4 cup milk chocolate, cut into pieces (milk chocolate chips will do), or if you want to make white chocolate glaze use white chocolate (or chocolate chips),

1/3 cup whipped cream,

1 tsp. fresh squeezed orange juice (or orange liquor),

1 tsp. orange zest.

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Into a glass bowl put chocolate and butter. Put that bowl over a pot with small amount of boiling water. Stirr until ingredients melt together. Now you can take it off the heat and add egg yolk, but still over the double bath. Add one yolk at a time stirring really fast. Add sugar and mix well.

Remove the bowl from the pot and add sieved flour with baking soda, baking powder and ground almonds. Stirr with a spoon.

Beat the egg whites until stiff and add to the almond-chocolate batter. Mix well with a spoon. Add orange zest.

Transfer the batter to a greased pan and bake for about 40-45 minutes. After about 40 minutes you can check with a toothpick if it’s done.

Cool on cooling wrack.

While the cake is baking prepare the glaze:

Again, over double bath melt together chocolate and whipped cream. At the end add orange juice and orange zest.

Wait until cake and the glaze are cool then spread the glaze over the cake.

Enjoy!

28 thoughts on “Polish “Babka” with almonds and white chocolate”

    1. that’s great to hear about your ex Polish roots and that you liked the food he cooked. My husband is not a big fan of Polish cuisine at all. He likes my cooking but if it’s not Polish😉

      … and I’m resting… I really am🙂 Thank you

      1. I know how you feel though. I was supposed to be on bed rest with my twins at 31 weeks until they were born at 37. It was really hard to stay still all day long for all those weeks. As long as I had someone around who could literally pull me and my big belly out of bed, I would putter around and do stuff…mostly eat!

        1. “mostly eat” lol!!! the last few week I found myself eating a lot, too. maybe because of the boredom. the most annoying thing is that even with the pantry and the fridge full I still wander around the kitchen and complain that there is nothing to eat at the house.🙂

          1. Then you must be a craving-inspired eater like me. If I don’t have a taste for it, I don’t really need to eat it.

            The boredom was the worst. Luckily I had to get checked several times a week and looked forward to getting out. The best days were when I got to sit and listen to my kids’ heartbeats for 1/2 hour. They sounded like galloping horses!

            1. with my frist kid I didn’t crave as much as I do with the second one.
              as for the checkings, I’ve been to a doctor twice this week and as you I really enjoyed it because it takes a while and I don’t have to sit at the house thinking about all the stuff I should be doing right now.

  1. Hey! You are on bed rest, you should be resting, not baking and taking pictures!🙂 I think it’s okay to blog though. This babka looks delicious, especially the chocolate! Thank you so much for sharing it with food photography! Now, go back to resting.

    1. I already have planned what to bake tomorrow🙂 Feeling better, got a bit more energy and getting back to my normal routine. I know I shouldn’t but I’m trying to make things that are VERY easy, fast and don’t require me standing in the kitchen for a long time.
      Speaking about that chocolate glaze: it’s delicious!

  2. Ewa I am going to have a difficult time going gluten free while I read your blog ;)…no seriously I am thinking about going gluten free for a while but not until after our Spring Break of course! Your pictures are so good I feel like I am there with you eating that wonderful cake! Your family is so lucky you are so talented well….lucky or blessed either way its good my friend! How are you feeling? Keep us posted I may be offline for a little while but I will be back! Take Care’

    1. Gluten free?!?!??! Are you crazy?!😉 I can imagine myself a vegetarian (used to be one) but gluten free… NEVER!!! That’s a serious life change. Good for you!
      Thank you for you sweet words. I’m feeling better, trying to rest as much as I can while at the same time not to go bananas from boredom. Got a great book which keeps me preoccupied and in a good mood.
      Take care and enjoy your “offline time”!
      Warm hugs from my cloudy and rainy corner🙂

  3. I like this easy version of babka, I was planning to make one with yeast.As with two little ones it is difficult to find time. How many weeks you are. Congrats on your second blessing. Thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop.

    1. Hi Swathi! I know that is hard to find the time to make something very complex when you have kids around you. Sometimes I find it difficult with only one🙂 That’s why I really like easy and fast recipes.
      I’m almost 38 weeks. One more and that Little One will be here (I’ve got scheduled a c-section).
      Take care!

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