1. For the Babka dough: Mix the yeast and warm water. By hand or in a mixer with a beater, mix the flour, salt, sugar, and cubed butter until the mixture becomes slightly sandy and the butter is well integrated into the dough. Then add the yeast and water mixture, egg, and cottage cheese. Knead by hand until the dough is very smooth and no longer sticks to your fingers. This process takes several minutes. Using a mixer, work the dough at medium speed for 5 minutes. Reserve in the fridge, wrapped in plastic wrap for at least 4 hours.
2. For the chocolate filling: In a saucepan, bring the cream and brown sugar to a boil over medium heat for a few minutes. Make sure to keep an eye on it so the mixture does not overflow and stick to the pan. Remove from heat and add the chocolate, butter, and salt. Stir until the ingredients are well melted. Pour the filling into a bowl. Cover and leave the mixture to cool to room temperature so that the texture is more solid and easy to spread on the dough.
3. Assembling the Babka: Divide the Babka dough in half if you want to make two small Babkas and reserve the other half in the fridge. Otherwise, use the entire dough. Roll out the dough into a rectangle of 30cm x 40cm. Spread the chocolate filling thinly (if making two small Babkas, only use half the filling).
4. Roll the dough into a 30cm high log. Cut the log lengthwise. Make a two-strand braid with the two pieces and then wrap it around itself. Secure the end under the Babka. Place the Babka in a lined circle or round cake pan. Let it rest for 1 hour with a cloth on top.
5. Baking: Brush the Babka with an egg wash over the entire surface and place it in the oven preheated to 170°C for 45 minutes. 5 minutes before the Babka is done baking, prepare your sugar syrup. To do this, bring the sugar and water to a boil. When the Babka comes out of the oven, brush it with the hot sugar syrup.
Finally, enjoy with a glass of Doux Ecusson cider!