Coconut, matcha & white chocolate babka

Coconut, matcha & white chocolate babka

The first time I saw this dessert, or one that resembles it, was at the Thai street food eatery House located in Sydney’s Surry Hills. Its decadent combination of toasted brioche and luscious pandan ice cream drizzle with palm sugar syrup had me raptured and wanting more. I’ve since had this BTS dessert at House two or three times and just recently thought of replicating it myself, with a slight twist.

Borrowing the recipe for babka from Gourmet Traveller, I replaced the nut filling with my own mix of coconut, matcha and white chocolate. For the ice cream I used a recipe I had stored away in my recipe folder for years and the syrup of palm sugar and pomegranate is something I just knocked up last minute. Once the syrup is drizzled over the pandan ice cream it sets firmly and just about fuses your teeth together with the sweet and slightly sour toffee. If you lose a filling, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

panda leaves

Coconut & match babka recipe

Coconut & match babka recipe

coconut, matcha & white chocolate babka with pandan ice cream & palm sugar pomegranate syrup

pandan ice cream:

  • 2 cups milk
  • 2/3 cup caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp glucose
  • ½ cup coconut cream
  • 5 tsp chopped pandan leaf
  • 2 tbsp desiccated coconut


Combine all ingredients except the desiccated coconut in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat.

Remove from heat, allow to cool and refrigerate overnight.

Strain and churn in an ice cream machine for 20-30 minutes before adding the desiccated coconut.

Transfer to a container and freeze.

the babka:

  • 180 ml lukewarm milk
  • 14 g (2 sachets) dry yeast
  • ½ cup palm sugar
  • 485 g plain flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp match
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg, separated (reserve the white for brushing)
  • 210 g soft butter
  • 100 g dessicated coconut
  • 2 tsp matcha, extra
  • 100 g white chocolate, grated
  • Raw sugar


Combine the milk, yeast and 1 tbsp sugar in a bowl and set aside in a warm place until foamy (6-7 minutes). Add 75 g flour, mix to combine and add eggs, yolk, remaining sugar, 1 tsp matcha, a pinch of salt and mix to combine. Gradually add the remaining flour until combined, while mixing, then add 150 g of the butter a little at a time, beating until the dough is shiny and elastic (about 5 minutes).

Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with oiled plastic wrap and set aside until doubled in size (1-1½ hrs).

Preheat oven 180°C.

Combine the desiccated coconut and matcha, set aside.

Knock back the dough and divide in two. Working with one half at a time, roll the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 20cm x 30 cm rectangle. With the longest side facing you, spread over half of the coconut matcha mix and white chocolate, leaving a 4 cm border. Roll away from you to form a cylinder, brush the ends with egg white, then join the ends to make a loop. Twist into a figure of eight and place in a loaf tin lined with baking paper. Set aside in a warm place until dough reaches the top of the tin (about an hour).

Repeat with the remaining dough.

Once risen, brush with egg white and sprinkle with coarse raw sugar. Bake in centre of oven until golden and cooked through (35-40 mins).

Cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a rack to cool completely.

palm sugar & pomegranate syrup:

  • ½ cup palm sugar, grated
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 2 tbsp water


Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Set aside to cool.

To assemble the dessert – toast a thick slice of babka and top with a scoop of pandan ice cream. Drizzle over the syrup and serve.

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