Pastabites makes kokosh

A recipe – Chocolate & tonka beans kokosh

Traditions and trend… babka?

Last year babka was all the rage, and it seems, still is. From the classic chocolate version to some more traditional like cinnamon, to creative variations such as matcha, social media was full of babka images and recipes. I tried cinnamon babka in New York last year from Russ & Daughters, which was very good, then I tried rugelach (a similar bake) at a famous bakery and hated it (was about 80% butter). A week or so ago, I came across something that looked like babka on Instagram but was called kokosh: I was intrigued by it, and decided to try to make one. It is another traditional Jewish cake, of Hungarian origins, but I confess I do not know enough about Jewish food traditions. Looks similar to its more famous sibling but it is allegedly easier to make. Indeed it is a fairly easy and fun bake to make, and it tastes absolutely delicious, full of chocolate and sugar goodness (we all need a little sugar!).

Pastabites makes kokosh
As usual I used a couple of different sources, and added my own take on the recipe. The one I followed most closely is here. I used tonka beans instead of vanilla as I really like the unique aroma, and coconut palm sugar as I love its caramel hues. The results are great and perfect with a cup of tea or coffee, but I confess, I ate a piece whenever I went close to it any time of day. It was gone in no time and even my fussy husband loved it!

Let’s make kokosh!Pastabites makes kokosh

Chocolate & tonka bean kokosh
Serves 12
An easy to make, traditional Jewish cake
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
35 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
35 min
  1. For the filling
  2. 1/2 cup raw cocoa powder
  3. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  4. 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
  5. 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  6. A generous grating of tonka bean
  7. 2 tablespoons poppy seeds, ground coarsely
  8. For the dough
  9. 3 cups plain flour
  10. 2 tablespoons rye flour
  11. 1 tablespoon dry yeast
  12. 1/4 cup warm water (for the yeast)
  13. 1/3 cup blood orange juice
  14. 1/4 cup brown vanilla sugar
  15. 2 eggs (for the dough)
  16. 140gr unsalted butter, melted
  17. A handful of cocoa nibs
  18. 3 teaspoons sweet almond oil
  19. 1 egg, beaten (for the egg wash)
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  1. For the filling
  2. To a medium-size bowl, add all the ingredients, and mix well. Set aside.
  3. For the dough
  4. Heat the oven to 180c (fan).
  5. In a small bowl mix the yeast and warm water. Leave it bubbling for around 10 minutes.
  6. To a mixer bowl with the dough hook, add the flour, orange juice, sugar, eggs and butter, set at low speed and gradually add the yeast mixture.
  7. After around 5 minutes the dough should be ready; it will be very soft, but not sticky due to the butter content. Place it on a floured surface, divide in two halves, leaving one aside. With a rolling pin, roll the first half into a rectangle, about 4mm thick. Brush it with half of the almond oil and then spread half of the cocoa mixture covering pretty much the whole rectangle. Start rolling from the longest side to make a full roll, pinching the sides close and finally, leaving the long edge at the bottom, move the roll onto a flat baking tray lined with parchment or silicone mat. Repeat with the left over dough. Finally, beat the egg and brush the two rolls with the egg wash all over. Dust a little brown sugar on the top of each.
  8. Bake for around 30 minutes or until it turns golden.
  9. Cool on a wire rack, slice and serve warm preferably.

4 thoughts on “A recipe – Chocolate & tonka beans kokosh

    1. I have never seen it – so will look it up. I had not seen this before either, and it’s really easy to make too.

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