A desperate cook on weekends (who is missing a fully functional kitchen) and an Associate Professor the rest of the week, this blog chronicles my weekend culinary adventures in my hometown and the food I feed my family who scratches their heads when I make something unusual.
Ok, I promised that I'll divulge a shocker. Babka had been haunting me since I first heard of it in a tv show. What show, you might ask? Why "The Nanny" of course, starring Fran Drescher and Charles Shaughnessy. Fran's character is of Jewish extraction and they love food, to state the obvious. During one episode, they mentioned that folks in Yetta's home go crazy over babka and since then, I've always wondered what it was that made it a must-have food. And you thought I heard it from another favorite, The Golden Girls. Seriously!
I asked a student in the lab who is Jewish and he had no idea what it was and thought that I was talking about latkes. Well, I wasn't, since I've made latkes before and I think a sweet bread is very different from a potato fritter cooked in lard. It seems that fate finally intervened as browsing through the news on the web last week, a list of Easter breads were featured and the first recipe that came up was a babka. After further digging, I managed to find a blog that featured a babka with the following criteria: an excess of chocolate, butter and cinammon.
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Following the directions carefully, I managed to bake my own version of babka. To add a bit of a personal touch, I added a tablespoon of espresso to the filling mixture. Anything with chocolate needs a coffee flavor in my opinion, something I've learned from the Barefoot Contessa herself, Ina Garten.
By the way, the recipe is from the blog, Smitten Kitchen. You should definitely check it out. The blog has tons of recipes and has received a ton of accolades.