In a large glass measuring cup or bowl, combine milk and water and heat in the microwave until hot. Stick a thermometer in the liquid and let cool to between 110 and 115 degrees, then add 2 tablespoons of the sugar and the yeast. Stir well, then stir in ½ cup of the flour. Cover and let stand in a warm place for 1 hour.
Whip the egg white into soft peaks and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and remaining 1/4 cup of sugar until creamy, then beat in the egg yolks until well blended.
Beat in the salt, vanilla, cardamom and orange zest, then add the flour/yeast mixture.
Add the remaining 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups of flour, about 1/2 cup at a time, until you have a soft dough. It will be very sticky.
Fold the beaten egg white into the dough.
Switch to the dough hook and knead for 5 minutes. The dough will be very soft with just a bit of elasticity.
Transfer to a well-oiled bowl and let rise for about 90 minutes. Dough may not quite double in size, but it should rise substantially.
Punch down dough and add the drained raisins, chocolate and almonds, folding dough around the add-ins the best you can to make a ball.
Put the ball of dough in a panettone mold (5 inch base, 4 inch high sides) and let it rise for another hour. Alternatively, you can use two 29 oz cans lined with parchment to make two stumpier but still nice loaves.
Set the mold (or molds) on a rimmed baking sheet.
Bake the kulich for about 40-45 minutes at 350 or until a meat thermometer inserted measures 205 F. Let cool completely.