Lemon Curd Babka

The weekend before last I made poppy seed babka using a recipe from Cindy at Salt and Serenity as a basis. My grandmother used to make two kinds of cake that she simply called poppy seed cake and nut cake. The basis for both was the same, just with a different filling. Sometimes she just rolled it up and baked it as a roulade, and other times she baked it in this babka shape. As happens so often, no one in the family thought of getting the recipe from her, so since she passed away almost twenty years ago, no one in our family has made those cakes.

Enter Cindy’s video of how to make and especially cut and plait a babka. I was in awe when I saw it was that easy, and my poppy seed version turned out quite fantastic, if I may say so myself. I especially liked that Cindy’s version turned out light and fluffy whereas my grandmother’s was quite firm. I had used only one half of the dough, and the other I froze.

I decided to try my hand at a nut filling but didn’t research it online, just improvised. It turned out OK but not great, so I’ll definitely research it for a future try. As the dough of this half had risen really nicely, I was able to divide it into three smaller parts, so I made one version with lemon curd. Oh my… This one was a winner! The very soft and slightly sweet challah babka combined with the tart lemon curd is a fantastic combination. My intention was to share it at work, but I have to admit I kept it all to myself. I’ll bake a whole loaf of this for Easter, I’m sure I’ll be earning Brownie points with that one 🙂 .

Note: I adapted Cindy’s recipe by using only white flour instead of mixing white and whole wheat, and I used fresh yeast instead of dry.