Here’s my thing about scones: I don’t want them dry, I do want them flaky. Moist on the inside and kind of crunchy on the edges. And super full of flavor. This is a hard scone to come by but here we have it in the best form possible: babka-ed! I mean, of course I went there.
So, I made up a name for these because I don’t think they exist, lol. Basically a ‘babka style scone’ is a scone dough wrapped around a chocolate ganache filling, with hazelnuts! It’s the same ‘sauce’ used to make homemade babka. These two are a match made in heaven. I make my dough with vanilla like I do my challah and the dark chocolate nicely complements the tender, flaky surrounding.
I did ask myself at one point, why not just melt chocolate rather than going through the trouble of making this particular sauce? (I mean it is very hard to throw four ingredients into a pan and stir ’em until they are melted.) But you know what happens to just chocolate in the oven? It melts like crazy and bursts out of the dough. On the other hand this filling has structure because of the powdered sugar and cocoa which also give it a good flavor. When it bakes, it firms up, as you can see below.
Why make scones with a chocolate hazelnut swirl??
I have never been able to make a successful chocolate scone (like with cocoa in the dough itself), and I kind of think chocolate chip scones are a too common way to incorporate chocolate; you’d probably lack chocolate in most bites, and I’d rather have my studded chocolate in these babies anyway. But a sauce! A ganache sauce that permeates every bite? Yes!
I also gotta tell ya that this scone dough, is a gooooood scone dough. There’s a ton of basic recipes online: all will have flour and butter but the ratios of those two are important. You want it flaky but not dry. Recipes also vary in how much sugar they add and what sort of liquid; a lot might not use eggs. I use a combination of egg and heavy cream here because in my tests this gave me structure and kept the scones moist.
Ingredients for Babka Style Scones
Flour: All Purpose, this and butter make up the base of your scone dough. You can substitute up to half of the flour with a light rye or a white whole wheat and get good results.
Sugar: granulated. Brown would be an interesting addition but the added moisture might compromise the scone.
Baking powder: To leaven the scones.
Salt & Vanilla: These are flavorings for the scone dough. A lot of recipes don’t call for one or either but I always add them and do find it makes for a more flavorful bite.
Chocolate: Dark, 70% cocoa solids or up to 77%. A milk chocolate would probably make a really loose filling and a too dark chocolate would be too dry.
1stick unsalted buttercold and cut into small cubes, 113g
2teaspoonspure vanilla extract
½cupheavy creamcold, 110g
¼cupdutch process cocoa20g
150gchopped dark chocolate
¼cupfinely chopped hazelnutsoptional but recommended!
Make the filling: in a small pot over medium-low heat, add the butter and chopped chocolate. Once melted, sift in the cocoa and powdered sugar. Whisk to combine into a smooth ganache and pour into a bowl to allow to cool while you make the scone dough.
Make the scone dough: Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add the butter and use a pastry cutter to combine it into the flour so that the butter cubes are pea-sized. In a separate bowl, add the heavy cream, egg and vanilla and whisk to combine. Pour this mixture into the flour & butter mix and use a spatula to fold it in. The dough will be dry, use your hands to knead it in the bowl until it mostly comes together in a ball. Turn it onto a well-floured surface and roll it out and then fold it over and roll it again. Repeat once more.
Roll it out to about the size of a laptop, and spread the chocolate ganache over it, then sprinkle the hazelnuts on top. Roll the dough into a long log and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet and in the freezer. Once mostly frozen, after about an hour or two, slice into V shaped scones (the bottom of the V should be a bit wide, as pictured). You can bake them now or store in an airtight container in the freezer for later baking.
To bake the scones: Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place the scones, leaving room for them to spread. Brush heavy cream onto the tops and sprinkle granulated sugar on the top. Bake for about 20 minutes until the tops and edges are golden brown – don’t overbake.