Make these festive recipes the night before and enjoy a delicious breakfast on Christmas morning without lifting a finger--just try to wait to open your presents first.
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes Servings: 2 loaves
- 3 tbsp (45 mL) warm water
- 3 tbsp (45 mL) granulated sugar, divided
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) active dry yeast
- ⅔ cup (150 mL) milk, warmed
- 3 eggs, at room temperature, divided
- ¼ cup (60 mL) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 3 ½ cups (875 mL) all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp (2 mL) salt
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) 35% whipping cream
- 1 bar (100 g) Lindt Excellence Madagascar 70% Cacao dark chocolate, chopped
- ⅓ cup (75 mL) walnut halves (optional)
- ⅓ cup (75 mL) granulated sugar
- ½ tsp (2 mL) ground cinnamon
- ⅓ cup (75 mL) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- In bowl of stand mixer, combine water, 1 tsp (5 mL) sugar and yeast; let stand for 8 to 10 minutes or until foamy. Add milk, 2 eggs and melted butter. Stir together flour, remaining sugar and salt; sprinkle over egg mixture in mixing bowl.
- Using dough hook attachment, mix at low speed for 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl; mix at medium speed for 5 to 7 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic (dough should be tacky but not sticky).
- Transfer to greased bowl; cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place for 60 to 70 minutes or until doubled in volume.
- Freeze chocolate for 10 minutes. In food processor, combine chocolate, walnuts (if using), sugar and cinnamon; pulse until coarsely ground. Stir into softened butter until well combined.
- Grease two 9- x 5-inch (2 L) loaf pans. Line with enough parchment to leave overhang at sides.
- On lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 15- x 11-inch (38 x 28 cm) rectangle. Using offset spatula or back of spoon, spread filling evenly over dough, leaving 1/2-inch (1 cm) border all around. Starting at one long end, roll up tightly into log; cut in half to make two logs.
- Working with one log at a time, cut in half lengthwise and arrange halves, cut side up, next to each other. Pinch top ends together, then twist halves tightly around each other to create decorative braid (try to keep the cut side facing out to expose layers of dough and filling to create an attractive effect). Repeat with second log. Transfer each braid to prepared loaf pan.
- Cover and let rise for 35 to 40 minutes or until level with top of pan.
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Whisk remaining egg with cream; brush generously over loaves. Bake in centre of oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown and instant-read thermometer registers internal temperature of 195°F (90°C) when inserted into centre. Transfer to rack; let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto rack; let cool completely.
NOTE: Enjoy within a day or two of baking or freeze for up to 60 days.
Maître Chocolatier Tip This recipe is best served warm to bring out the flavour of the chocolate. If you like your babka richer, simply add more chocolate.
Chocolate Almond Bread Pudding
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 55 minutes Servings: 8-12
- 9 cups (2.25 L) cubed day-old egg bread
- ½ cup (125 mL) chopped toasted slivered almonds
- 1 cup (250 mL) Lindor White Chocolate Stracciatella Truffles, chopped
- 1 ½ cups (375 mL) 35% whipping cream
- ¾ cup (175 mL) milk
- 4 eggs, beaten
- ½ cup (125 mL) packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup (60 mL) bourbon (optional)
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
- 1 cup (250 mL) 35% whipping cream
- ¼ cup (60 mL) icing sugar
- 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
- ¼ cup (60 mL) maple syrup
- Heat oven to 350°F (180°F). Lightly grease 9-inch (23 cm) round springform pan. In large bowl, toss together bread, almonds and half of the chopped Lindor Truffles; set aside.
- Whisk together cream, milk, eggs, sugar, bourbon (if using), vanilla and salt. Slowly pour over bread mixture, tossing to combine. Let stand for 20 to 30 minutes, pressing lightly if needed to ensure that bread absorbs milk mixture. Transfer to prepared pan.
- Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
- Uncover and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden and set. Sprinkle with remaining Lindor Truffles. Let stand for 10 minutes.
- Using electric mixer, whip cream until stiff peaks form; beat in icing sugar and vanilla until just combined.
- Serve bread pudding drizzled with maple syrup and topped with whipped cream.
Ricardo’s Chocolate Brioche Buns
Prep Time: 20 minutes (+1 hour rising) Cook Time: 30 minutes Servings: 8 buns
- 1 cup (250 mL) milk, warm
- ¼ cup (60 mL) sugar
- 3 ¼ cups (810 mL) all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) instant dry yeast
- 1 tsp (4 mL) salt
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- ½ cup (125 mL) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 bar (100 g) Lindt Excellence Ecuador 75% Cacao dark chocolate, roughly chopped
- 1 egg, lightly beaten, for brushing
- Combine milk and sugar in a small bowl.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, yeast and salt. With a wooden spoon or with your hands, add milk mixture, egg and butter to dry ingredients, working vigorously until a dough begins to form.
- Place dough on a floured work surface and knead for about 5 minutes, or until dough is smooth. Form a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a damp cloth and let rest in a warm, humid place (see note) for 10 minutes.
- Line a 17×12-inch (43×30-cm) baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place dough on a lightly floured work surface. While kneading, add the chopped chocolate. Divide dough into 8 equal pieces. Shape into balls by rolling them with your hands on the counter, then place on the baking sheet. Let rise for about 45 to 60 minutes in a warm, humid place, or until balls double in size.
- With the rack in the middle position, preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
- With a brush, lightly coat the buns with the beaten egg. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool then drizzle brioche buns with espresso chocolate ganache if desired. Enjoy!
NOTE: A microwave is a perfect place to make dough rise. By placing a cup of just boiled water next to the dough, the interior will become a warm, humid place.