Giving in to Babka

Ever since I moved to Minneapolis and started eating at Kramarczuk’s, I’ve been intrigued by many of their delicacies, and over time I’ve sampled many, from kielbasa to varenyky. In case you’re not familiar, Kramaczuk’s is a NE Minneapolis landmark serving up homemade Eurpoean foods, from sausages to bakery.

One product in particular has always caught my eye in the bakery section of the market. I’ve often stopped to look at it, perched on the shelf innocently, captivating the customer with its swirling chocolate madness and modest “chocolate babka” label. Although I’d been tempted many times, I hadn’t indulged in the chocolate babka.

Last week, however, we had guests visiting, and I was compelled to go ahead with the purchase I’d been anticipating for years. I selected a loaf of chocolate babka and said to my husband, “I’m getting this,” attempting to conceal my dither with nonchalance. The gentleman behind the counter nodded with approval, “Good choice.”

As we sliced into the delicate loaf of babka back at home, we noticed chocolate swirls and plenty of them. The sweet dough was lightly rolled with layers of dark chocolate, most of which had melted creating smooth chocolate coils with layers of dough. A few bits of un-melted chocolate added an interesting texture to the treat. We each sampled a bite, then another, and yet another. We sliced up the remaining babka loaf and stashed it in freezer for a later date. I suspect that date will come sooner than expected.