Latest Recipe Testing

Recipe testing babka on

I loved your response to my last recipe testing post and you asked for more behind-the-scenes like this, so let’s do it!

Today I’m sharing a couple new recipes that I’ve been testing this month. What’s been working for me is dedicating one week (or a little over one week, it’s a lot of work!) to recipe testing and kitchen work. It’s a very intense and exhausting week, but it allows me to spend the rest of the month on photography, writing, and other random work. And gives me more time with Noelle, the main reason I’m beginning to do things this way! 🙂

The recipe test week from earlier this month spilled into the weekend. I simply could not get babka to cooperate all week, so I spent the following Sunday working on it again. I didn’t want to give up because my goal this year is to bake new and exciting recipes. And babka has been on my baking bucket list. And it’s babka. And it’s awesome.

Babka recipe testing on

Have you ever had babka? I’ll tell you all about it when I share the (successful!) recipe on Monday. In a nutshell, it’s a rich brioche dough filled and twisted up. Lots of delicious layers. My main babka problems were filling and shaping it. First, I used way too much filling (I went with Nutella!) and it was oozing out everywhere. Could hardly twist it up. What a mess. When I finally got the right amount of filling on there, I used way too much dough. It overflowed into an epic disaster. I wish I took a picture for you to see it. As it baked, it kept growing and growing… and growing. From what I could salvage and taste, the dough wasn’t rich, flaky, and soft as I wanted. In the next batch, I removed an egg white and reduced the flour. Long story short, I ended up with 7 loaves. My kitchen has never smelled better. Most of what you see above is in my freezer. On the menu when we have visitors: babka.

Anyway, twisting babka can be a little tricky so Kevin helped me take a video of me shaping it for you to see. I’ll share it all on Monday, so check back!

Another recipe my assistant and I worked on is the February’s baking challenge. I spent some time looking at your recipe requests for challenge recipes and I’ll share some of them as regular (non challenge!) recipes throughout the year. I already tackled madeleines, a popular request. I was originally going to do some sort of chocolate tart to teach you all about making traditional chocolate ganache, but ended up with something else that’s just as chocolate-y. I photographed the February challenge recipe this past week. Excited for it!

Chocolate cake pops on

You’ll hear more about the recipe on February 1st!


  1. Tiramisu was a popular request and I’d love to work on that in February. Do you have any preferences on it? A traditional tiramisu? A variation?
  2. Thoughts on bread pudding? Do you like it?

And one more thing… I did a podcast with Food Blogger Pro a couple years ago and the episode was featured as a rewind episode this past week. In case you want to give it a listen– it’s all about working hard to create success!

PS: Are engagement anniversaries a thing? Because today’s date will always be special for me. It was 5 years ago!!


  1. YES YES YES to bread pudding PLEASE!!!! My favorite is served by a wonderful restaurant we often go to –it’s baked just right and is stuffed with pecans and chocolate chips, served with chocolate sauce as well as a whiskey cream sauce — and you can get it a la mode as well — completely decadent and probably tons of calories but oh so worth it for an occasional treat! Just as with all of your goodies, Sally — if you’re going to enjoy a splurge, why not enjoy the very best? Thanks for all you do!

    1. Wow !! That sounds like bread pudding on Steroids! Yummo ! Where is this restaurant?? Please say northern New Jersey ?!
      Sally I ditto this type of bread pudding !

  2. Bread pudding? Yes, please.  A nice chocolate one. I have such a hard time with it. Maybe a chocolate combo something?  Oh and creme anglaise to pour over it. I had that at fancy restaurant and never forgot it!

  3. LOVE THIS!! Thanks for sharing some BTS with us. This way we can also help you in trying new and interesting recipes. I’d highly suggest you to try Alfajores (it’s a typical Peruvian or argentinan cookie) which is super airy and crumbly and filled with dulce de leche. YUM. 

    And also major YES for bread pudding!! I’ve been addicted to Sticky Toffee Pudding ever since I tried it in a restaurant and I think I finally nailed the recipe! You should definitely try it! 

  4. Yes and yes! Traditional tiramisu so I can use the tub of mascarpone i bought on a whim the other day! And bread pudding, maybe a sweet one and a savory one. A savory one could be nice with an Easter dinner (yes still a few mths away but I am always thinking ahead to holiday dinners!) I love the babka, I asked for it in the recipe requests post you did, so thank you!

  5. May have to try the babka, with a different filling due to my nut allergy.

    I love a traditional tiramisu. A former co-worker made an apricot one several years ago that was to die for – so would be happy with either!

    1. You could use a jelly filling or a cheese like filling like they do for “Old World” babka 🙂 I mostly use cheese fillings in my babka!

  6. I absolutely LOVE traditional tiramisu, but my husband found a cake variation so my kids could/would also be able to enjoy! I’d love to see what you could come up with. His used cake mix (:-/) sonits a little **too** moist sometimes! 
    As always LOVE your recipes!! 

  7. I am really excited for your Babka recipe and would love a chocolate bread pudding recipe!  Each year around the holidays we go to a dessert buffet to see Santa and my favorite thing there is the chocolate bread pudding.  They make it in individual size portions, I think by using a large muffin tin.  I would love to recreate it!

  8. Love tiramisu. Happened on a recipe years ago that involved cooking the filling portion – many recipes I have seen since include raw eggs. I’ve also tried various different cake items, since getting ladyfingers I like has sometimes been an issue. Happy to share my various trials, though it’s been a while since I made the dish.

  9. Bread pudding! -basic, traditional bread pudding and chocolate bread pudding! I have an old recipe from my grandma that I make once in awhile. 

  10. We always always remember our engagement anniversary – December 12. So for us, it’s definitely a “thing” lol.  Good for you. Celebrate!
    We had babka every Easter. I’ll skip the Nutella but will give it a whirl with a different filling. Exciting and challenging. I always remember it being a high bread with swirls and yumminess.  And raisens?  We had raisens.  Thanks for the trip down memory lane. I think I have a craving for babka now lol.  

  11. I am a huge bread pudding fan! My favorite to date is still and old recipe of Emeril’s for Banana Walnut Bread Pudding – to die for amazing!I will definately need to try the babka!

  12. Traditional Tiramisu pleaseee! Also, would love to make different flavors of madelines. They look so delicate and taste so wonderful. Maybe chocolate, lavendar, or green tea flavor?? yumm!
    Or the infamously difficult dessert— macaroon! I can never seem to bake it correctly, no matter what method.

  13. I absolutely love bread pudding. I get it at a restaurant I visit. Of course, not all are created equal. I would love a great recipe. 

  14. I love bread pudding too and my favorite recipe came from the back page of a magazine (do I remember which one? No!) But the flavor and the texture — to die for. Main ingredients, as I recall, were slightly stale French bread slices, spread with melted butter and raspberry preserves then layered in a buttered baking dish and the sweetened, eggy custard pour over all and baked. Absolutely amazing. I think I’ll go find the recipe!!!

    1. I think the main part of bread pudding– like what you really need to focus on– is the texture. Because it can just taste soggy! Stale bread is the best place to start.

  15. I’m trying to do every challenge this yr and traditional tiramisu would be great. Any bread pudding will work for me but that banana foster sounds amazing! I haven’t made that one yet. The babka looks like something very difficult but I’ll give it a whirl. We appreciate all your baking skills and tips. Thanks 

  16. I’m so excited for your tirimisu! I would be happy to see both a classic and a variation, but if you are only going to do one, do the classic.

    On a much less glamourous note, I would love to see your version of a bran muffin. I think they are underrated and make a great breakfast!

  17. I think traditional tiramisu would be my preference.  I”ve never made it!  I really love bread pudding (without raisins though).  It’s such an underrated dessert.  There is nothing better than warm bread pudding with homemade whipped cream.  Happy engagement anniversary!

  18. I think traditional tiramisu would be my preference.  I”ve never made it!  I really love bread pudding (without raisins though).  It’s such an underrated dessert.  There is nothing better than warm bread pudding with homemade whipped cream.  Happy engagement anniversary!

  19. I’m tackling croissants ….have you tried them?  Also, real brioche is on my list.  Bread pudding is meh IMO and it and tiramisu are really more an assembly job than acutally baking. But if you’re gojng to do it, let’s do an authentic tiramisu please.

    1. I agree- authentic tiramisu! I’ve been working on croissants… and also putting them off recently. I need to find a REALLY good recipe for them. I’ve been disappointed in a few I’ve tried.

  20. Thank you so much for all of your hard work. I know by the time you have worked out all the kinks, we will have a much better chance of recreating your masterpieces due to your tips and helpful advice. I love the variety of recipes you make. Something for everyday and every occasion!

  21. Love the tiramisu idea, not a fan of bread pudding.  This babka looks incredible.  Can’t wait to try.  Please do a choux pastry challenge!!!

  22. YUMMOH TO BOTH!! I would definitely love to see traditional tiramisu (especially since my hubby’s family is Italian) AND any kind of bread pudding would be fantastic!
    Happy Engagement Anniversary! After 32.5 years of marriage, we not only celebrate our wedding anniversary but we still celebrate the anniversary of our first date 🙂

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally