Whole Wheat Babka Cupcakes with Chocolate Glaze
Over the past eight years, although I have developed upwards of over 300 desserts for books, websites and magazines, I keep coming back to my chocolate babka. It is the dessert that launched my career and made people remember me. As my baking is slowly moving in a healthier direction using less margarine and sugar and more whole grain flours, I am working on healthier versions of babka, while making sure to retain the characteristic crisp outside and gooey chocolate interior. You can vary these as you like by adding one teaspoon of cinnamon or coffee extract to the filling, but most babka lovers are purists.
- ½ cup warm water
- ½ ounce (2 envelopes) dry yeast
- ¼ cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for sprinkling
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 4 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Chocolate Glaze
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- 1 teaspoon oil
- To make the dough, place warm water, yeast and 1 teaspoon of the sugar in a large mixing bowl, and let sit for 10 minutes or until thick. Add remaining ¼ cup sugar, flours, oil, butter or margarine and eggs. Combine with a wooden spoon or a dough hook in a stand mixer until all the ingredients are mixed together. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm spot for 2½ hours.
- Meanwhile, make the filling. In a medium bowl, combine the sugar with the cocoa. Add the butter or margarine and mix well. Cover and place in the fridge while the dough is rising.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place paper liners in 18 to 20 muffin cups.
- Divide dough in half. On a large piece of parchment paper sprinkled with a little flour, roll each piece into a 9 x 14-inch rectangle. Spread ½ of the filling, sprinkle with ½ of the chocolate chips and roll up the long way. Use a knife to cut 1½-inch slices. Place them cut side up in the muffin cups. Repeat for the other piece of dough. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly golden. Let cool slightly.
- Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave for 45 seconds. Add the oil and whisk well. Remove the cupcakes from the papers. Use a whisk to drizzle the chocolate on top.
- Cupcakes may be made 3 days in advance and served at room temperature or reheated. Store covered in plastic at room temperature for up to 4 days or freeze up to 3 months.