If it were not for Downton Abbey, I wouldn’t have known that ironing newsprint sets the ink, leaving the reader stain-free. Then again, I have yet to test this method. My last newspaper delivery subscription ended more than half a decade ago. J’s mom, on the other hand, still gets her daily Globe and Mail. I kind of miss it and I must admit, I don’t think I’ll mind having stained palms. They remind me of simpler times.
I remember being six or seven, eagerly awaiting the warm-off-the-press newspaper and a big jug of freshly pasteurized carabao’s milk from the nearby dairy farm. The milk would usually arrive first, and aside from drinking it for breakfast, it would sometimes be poured over fried or steamed rice and sprinkled with rock salt– I kid you not. And it was damn good. As for the newspaper, I would take it to the dining table and everyone would have their piece of it. I took the comics section, with Garfield and Dennis the Menace. On Sundays, they came in full color. Breakfast chatter was a mix of chatter about the headlines, sports (oh, how Filipinos love their basketball), and everything and anything that’s going on. There were no table-side electronic gadgets that demanded attention then.
W (J’s mom) shares her newspapers every now and then, when there’s something interesting to read (we don’t live close enough to share papers reguarly), like the 2-page spread of the different FIFA teams and schedule of games two months ago. She’ll sometimes bring a newspaper clipping of a recipe she thinks we’ll enjoy, like this chocolate babka. She gave it to us on a Thursday night and after quickly going through it, I decided to make it the next evening. Saturdays being our cleaning days, I go for recipes I can make ahead on Friday nights. This fits the criteria perfectly.
In the morning, I did the egg wash, and made and sprinkled the crumble, while preheating the oven.
You’ll know the chocolate is melting between layers of dough when the scent of chocolate makes its way from the kitchen to adjacent rooms. For us, it’s practically knocking on the second floor bedroom doors by the time it’s baked. Open the oven and you’ll meet an impressive-looking loaf.
However, don’t start calling every one to the table just yet. Unless you are alright with having the chocolate ooze out while the bread is being sliced, it is best to delay (every)one’s gratification and let it cool for a bit before slicing. Your reward after a two-hour (!!!) wait is having cleanly sliced pieces of bread with the chocolate intact.
Of course the wait is worth it, or I wouldn’t tell you about this. It can melt any morning grumpiness. Truly.
If you want to take it one chocolate step further, spread Nutella on a slice. And know what else this would be good for? Chocolate French toast.
I’ve included a lot of photos to guide you through the different processes. Please report back if you get a chance to make it.