Whisky Walnut Babka
I first heard of this Eastern European pastry back in the 1990s. In more recent years, it taunted me on social media. I could bear it no more. And so it was that on the first afternoon of my sweet eating adventure, I went to Breads Bakery, ordered their legendary Nutella babka, and ate the whole thing.The rich, buttery brioche slathered in chocolate-hazelnut spread, rolled up, braided and drenched in sugar syrup is everything it promises. Bread’s Nutella take also ignited a New York babka renaissance, and now you can savor it as an ice-cream sandwich at Russ & Daughters, as a doughnut-babka hybrid at Dough, and more.My babka takes inspiration from Arcade Bakery, another game-changer, where traditional brioche is replaced with laminated brioche for countless more soft flaky layers, and chocolate with boozy nuts. Like many pastries, there’s time and work involved, but for me, this is the ultimate babka and worth every rest and fold. You’ll also learn some neat new skills if you haven’t tried your hand at laminating brioche before. — Yasmin Newman, author of The Desserts of New York (And How to Eat Them All)
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