I have seen many recipes for a chocolate babka, which is Polish (I think), and looks like a bread. This isn’t that.
Belarussian babka is a potato and meat pie/bake/thing. It consists of a layer of meat (pork and lard) sandwiched between two layers of a potato and flour mixture, and coated in sour cream. I decided to make this instead of its parent recipe, a meat-stuffed potato pancake, because I wanted to go for something a little less oily.
As with the draniki, the recipe called for eggs in the potato layers. I substituted with some egg replacer and soy milk, as well as increasing the amount of flour and liquid in the recipe.
For the “meat” mixture, I crumbled tempeh, with cooked onion, cabbage and carrots to add some flavour and, you know, vitamins and stuff. I also added sage, nutritional yeast, some vegie salt, and a tiny bit of marmite. It was very tasty in the end.
I layered it, pasted it lightly with vegan sour cream, and baked it. It didn’t rise (I don’t know if its meant to) or colour up as I’d hoped. That Tofutti stuff is tasty, but a little creepy – it stayed white as snow even on the top shelf of the oven. That’s just not right.
I served it up with a big green garden salad, and I have to say it was with trepidation that I took the first bite. I needn’t have worried. It was really, really good. Warm, filling, and had a flavour that reminded me a little of my Nan’s vegetable soup.