Since I live in NYC, my oven is often used as an extra storage compartment. This means that if I want to bake something, I'll not only have to unload the oven, but I'll also need to find temporary storage around my kitchen and other rooms. It's a hassle.
Enter the toaster oven, an urban baker's trusty sidekick. I invested in a Krups Convection Toaster Oven, which has served me well over the years. Whether I need to bake up a quick batch of Lemon Bars, my Jam Crumb Cake or any other "small dessert," I've been able to do it...sometimes they come out better than if I did bake it in my regular oven.
So, with my oven on the lam and me with a three-day weekend, I decided to bake Babka. Yes, Babka- that quintessential Jewish sweet treat that I buy in bulk when I go to Zabar's. Since I love the Chocolate Babka they sell there, I was able to find a great recipe on Epicurious.com and thus attempt to recreate one of my favorite treats. My only addition was the powdered sugar and melted semi-sweet chocolate drizzle on top. I also added cinnamon to the filling, because cinnamon and chocolate complement each other well flavor-wise.
It was a long and arduous process, and I was afraid many a time of falling flat (lame dough rising joke here), but everything turned out more or less OK. Not exactly as airy as the delectable Babka I get at Zabar's, but still pretty darn good for an amateur attempt and a toaster oven.
Let's just say that everything is better with Babka.