Berry Compote (can be made a day ahead):
50g fresh blackberries
100g fresh raspberries
40g fresh blueberries
2.5g Heilala vanilla bean paste
40g caster sugar
115g full cream milk
8g instant dry yeast
5g caster sugar (A)
390g plain flour
60g caster sugar (B)
4g Heilala vanilla bean paste
80g egg yolks
115g unsalted butter at room temperature
Vegetable oil spray
Prepared berry compote
80g Callebaut milk chocolate, roughly chopped
130g caster sugar
Place all ingredients into a saucepan and boil over a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring continuously.
Transfer compote to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, ensuring it is touching the surface.
Allow to cool in the fridge.
Heat milk to 40 C.
Add yeast to warm milk, followed by sugar (A) and mix to combine. Allow yeast mixture to ferment at room temperature for about 5-10 minutes, until it begins to froth.
Place flour, sugar (B) and salt into bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a hook attachment and combine.
Add vanilla, egg yolks and yeast mixture to the flour and begin to mix on low speed.
Add butter to dough and mix on medium for up to 15 minutes. To test if the dough is ready, take a small piece and stretch it between your fingers. If the dough stretches enough to become transparent without breaking it is ready.
Place dough into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to prove at room temperature for 2-3 hours.
Once dough has doubled in size, place bowl into fridge for at least two hours.
Gently knock back the dough to release some of the gas, created during the proving process.
Roll dough into a rectangle about 330mm x 250mm in size.
Prepare a 200mm x 100mm loaf tin by spraying with oil and lining with a strip of baking paper, so that it covers the sides.
Spread the berry compote evenly over dough and sprinkle chocolate over compote.
Roll dough into a semi-tight log lengthways and pinch to seal the seams
Cut the log in half, lengthways and intertwine two halves to create a braid, ensuring the cut sides are facing outwards.
Transfer the babka into prepared loaf tin, adjusting dough to allow the braid to fit.
Cover top of babka with plastic wrap and set aside to prove for 1-2 hours, until it doubles in size.
Preheat oven to 165 C, fan forced. Bake for about 45-55 minutes.
Check babka halfway through baking. If top appears to be browning too quickly, reduce oven temperature by up to 20 C.
Prepare syrup by combining water and sugar in a saucepan. Boil until sugar has completely dissolved.
Brush syrup over the babka, once removed from the oven.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes, before removing from tin. Allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.
Note: Babka can be kept for 3-4 days at room temperature, in an air-tight container.
Credits: Kirsten Tibballs
Photo Credits: Kirsten Tibballs