Chocolate Swirl Babka
1/3 cup milk
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 cup sugar
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
4 large egg yolks (reserve 2 whites for meringue)
4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 oz. good-quality bittersweet chocolate
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 egg whites
1/4 cup sugar
Heat the milk to lukewarm and add the yeast with 1 teaspoon of the
sugar. Stir until blended. Let sit 10 minutes or until the yeast
starts to bubble.
Cut the butter into small bits. Place in a food processor or mixer
and add the egg yolks and yeast mixture, blending well. Gradually
add the flour, salt and remaining sugar, beating into a soft dough.
Cover and leave in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight.
In the morning remove the dough from the refrigerator and leave at
room temperature for 45 minutes.
To make the chocolate filling, melt the chocolate over a double
boiler. Add the sugar, butter and milk. Heat in the double boiler
about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Add the
vanilla and cool.
To make the meringue, bring the egg whites to room temperature and
beat them with the sugar to make a stiff, but not dry, meringue.
Divide the dough in half. Sprinkle with flour. Knead the dough
briefly and roll out into a rectangle about 1/8-inch thick. Spread
with half the chocolate and then half the meringue. Roll up like a
jellyroll and place in half of a greased tube pan. Repeat the
process with the remaining dough, chocolate and meringue, fitting it
in the other half of the pan. Pinch the ends together to form a
circle. Don't worry if some of the filling oozes out.
Cover with a towel and let rise 1 hour.
Bake 35-45 minutes in a preheated 350-degree oven. Cool about 30
minutes in the pan, remove and serve.