This week, we’re spotlighting recipes from Modern Israeli Cooking: 100 New Recipes for Traditional Classics by Danielle Oron (Page Street Publishing Co.), chef and owner of Toronto’s Moo Milk Bar and founder of the blog I Will Not Eat Oysters. Try making the recipe at home and let us know what you think!
Photograph by Danielle Oron
Makes 4 servings
Babka has become a fad. But in reality, it’s been a bread delicacy for many a year. It’s made from a yeasty bread dough that is rolled with chocolate, poppy seeds, or cinnamon, then split in half and braided for the ultimate swirled bread. If you make this at home, more power to you. Store-bought babka is great and when you can buy it from the store, you don’t have to make it (unless you work at that store). So instead of a boring challah French toast, we’re going babka on it. Be ready for a sugar high and then a sugar crash. But a happy sugar crash nonetheless.
1 loaf chocolate babka
1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream (35%–40%)
1 cup (240 ml) milk
6 large eggs
1 ½ tablespoons (23 ml) vanilla bean paste, or extract
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (240 ml) heavy whipping cream (35%–50%)
3 tablespoons (40 g) sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
Butter for frying
Slice the babka into 8 thick slices. The slices will be fragile so take care when moving them around.
Whisk together the heavy cream, milk, eggs, vanilla bean paste, and salt in a large baking dish.
To make the whipped cream, whisk together the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla bean paste in a cold metal bowl until soft peaks form.
Preheat the oven to 180˚F (85˚C). And prepare a baking sheet with cooling rack.
Heat a few tablespoons (about 28 g) of butter in a large frying pan or griddle over medium-low heat. Do these next steps in batches depending on how many slices you can fit in your pan. Soak the slices of babka in the custard for 15 seconds on each side and place straight into the pan. Cook for 3–4 minutes on each side. Transfer the French toast onto a cooling rack and into the oven to keep warm while you finish making the rest of the French toast. Add more butter to the pan with each new batch.
When ready to serve, plate 2 pieces of French toast on each serving dish and dust lightly with powdered sugar. Garnish with chopped pistachios and whipped cream. Serve with maple syrup.
Reprinted with permission from Modern Israeli Cooking: 100 New Recipes for Traditional Classics