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Chocolate Cherry Babka



Ingredients for 1 loaf or 20 slices:

3/4 cup unsalted butter (6 ounces) plus 1 tablespoon at room templ.

1/3 cup ground almonds plus 2 tablespoons

1 - 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar

4 large eggs, separated, at room temperature

2 cups unbleached flour measured after sifting

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoons baking powder

1/2 tablespoon powdered vanilla

3/4 cup milk, warmed

1/2 cup dried sour cherries

1-tablespoon high quality cocoa dissolved in 1-tablespoon hot water



Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.  Use the tablespoon of butter to generously butter a bundt pan.  Sprinkle the interior with the 2 tablespoons of ground almonds.  Set aside.


Beat the butter for 3 minutes with a paddle attachment in the workbowl of an electric mixer.  Add the sugar and beat another 2 minutes.  Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time and continue beating another 2 minutes.


Sift together the sifted flour, salt, baking powder and powdered vanilla.  Add it to the butter and eggs in three installments alternating with the warm milk.


Beat the egg whites to firm peaks.  Fold the whites into the batter in three installments.  Fold in the cherries.


Spoon the batter into the prepared mold.  Drizzle the chocolate mixture and the almonds over the top and swirl them into the batter with a circular motion using a fork.


Bake for 50 minutes. The internal temperature of the babka should reach 200 degrees.  Cool on a rack for 10 minutes.  Unmold and allow to cool to room temperature before slicing.