Be it the NYT chocolate babka recipe or any other that you can find on cookbook or online, the sweet braided cake is not exactly known being an instant appeal visually. Rather, the soft and buttery cake veined with chocolate and sugar syrup that makes the whole bread tender, moist, and a bit sticky, lies beneath a seemingly unstylish exterior with sunken crust and bumpy streusel.

NYT chocolate babka is inspired from the old-country Jewish cake, which barely had any popularity back then before the current uproar. It was said to be too bread-textured to be served for dessert and too rich to be served for breakfast.

However, if you’re like a lot of people out there who have grown to appreciate its charms after trying the recipe of NYTimes chocolate babka, here are some helpful tips that may be able to help you enhance the taste and texture of this sweet-braided cake.

Don’t rush the process

One of the most essential things that a babka-baker has to understand is that babkas require time. You may need to set aside the entire day—or longer—to create one. Parts of the reasons are because the dough will be easier to work with if you refrigerated it for a significant amount time and you can achieve a more complex flavor if you allocate longer time for proofing.


Freeze the babkas

As if the bread itself wants to compensate for its lengthy and elaborate process, you can freeze the babka up to 3 months. This is why most babka recipes you have or will come across produce two loaves: one for immediate consumption and the other for frosting.


Don’t be afraid to experiment with the filling

Chocolate and cinnamon are two of the most popular babka fillings, but by no means they both are the only ones. In fact, you can actually fill up the bread with any type of fillings, preferably those that have kind of thick and gooey texture and sweet flavor. Some examples of great fillings for babkas are Nutella, jam, ganache, and dulce de leche.

If you have experiences with baking, especially bread, you will know that chocolate babka is up there on the list of recipes that shouldn’t be taken casually, considering its abundance steps and cooking time. However, once you have perfected skills at making NYT chocolate babka, there’s no way the moist, fresh-baked, homemade cake won’t satisfy you.


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