Not so Brioche “Sugar Brioche” Bars

I love all kinds of viennoiserie. Be it croissants, pain au chocolat, danish pastries or bricohes. Unfortunately, these pastries are not easily available in my city. If i really want to have some, I must make them myself.

As I am quite scared of any thing that involves yeast I need to muster up some courage to dig in and dirty my hands. The worst thing i could do would be to just bin them if they turned out too horrible. Alas, I tried my hand at a brioche recipe and it did not turn out as it should have. However, it was just as much tasty and quite addicitve to be frank.

A good Brioche must be rich, slightly puffy with a flaky, soft crust. Mine wasn’t as flaky as it should be. The yeast did not get activated correctly as my dough did not rise too much. Oh! What a bugger! I went ahead and baked them anyway. Much to my surprise, they turned out to be super delicious and a great addition for a Sunday special brunch or tea time snack. These had a buttery, flaky texture and just melted in the mouth.

As they say,”All’s well that ends well.” 😉

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Well, not exactly. I felt quite edgy and wanted to make the perfect brioche. So I did the next day. i made a cinnamon walnut brioche loaf and it turned out really well. 🙂

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Ingredients:
Parisian Brioche :

250 g all purpose flour
30 g sugar
1 tsp salt
10 g yeast
3 eggs
165 g butter, diced and softened
100 g pearl sugar

Glaze
1 egg/ some milk

Instructions :
Making the Bricohe Dough:

Place the flour, sugar, salt in a mixing bowl. Add in the yeast making sure it doesn’t touch the salt. Knead in the eggs one at a time. Add the softened butter to the dense dough. Continue kneading until the dough is elastic and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, 5 to 10 minutes. Stop when you can hold the dough in your hand and it keeps its shape.
Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about one hour. Line a baking sheet with baking paper.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a rectangle. Cut it crosswise into bars. Place the bars on the baking sheet spacing them well apart. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 2 hours.

Baking the Brioche Sugar Bars:
Preheat the oven to 180 C. Lightly beat an egg for the glaze. Brush the brioche bars with the egg glaze and sprinkle with the pearl sugar. You can substitute coarse or brown sugar for the topping.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool before serving.

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The Brioche recipe has been adapted from Christophe Felder.

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For more oomph, sandwich raspberries and nutella between two of these bars! 🙂

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I am taking these delicious bars over to Angie’s Fiesta Friday party. See you there!

Bon Apetit!

Bon Apetit!

Chocolate Eclairs

As I was raiding my fridge today I realized I still had some of the orange mint curd leftover from Sunday. I was wondering whether it was time to toss it into the bin, but my heart did not approve of it! While i was contemplating what I should make out of it I realized that I do not have a choux pastry on my blog yet. For any baker, choux pastry is the basic, most important to master. I wouldn’t go to the lengths of saying I have mastered it, but I have a basic grasp of it.

I first tried it about 2 years back using Michel Roux’s recipe, however it did not work out as well for me. I then gave Raymond Blanc’s recipe a go and voila! I made my first batch of edible, good looking choux puffs. I always used his recipe whenever I wanted to make choux pastry and this time I thought of experimenting with a different one.
Here, I have used Christophe Felder’s recipe which is similar to Raymond’s with the exception of milk and lesser use of eggs. It is a good recipe and my second favorite now.

Here too, I have paired my orange curd with chocolate in the form of chocolate eclairs, which turned out to be a brilliant thing if I may say so myself. It leaves a subtle orange flavor back of the throat which is quite refreshing.

I have a strange weakness for these eclairs. While paying the check at a patisserie, I usually end up asking them for chocolate eclairs without even having an inkling. Maybe, it’s bred deep into my sub-conscious mind. haha
I would gorge on croissants and these bundles of joy while i was in Paris for days at a stretch as if the world was going to end 😉

Yours Truly having breakfast ;)

Yours Truly having breakfast 😉

I shall try the same recipe again and hopefully post some different version of the eclairs!

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Ingredients :

Choux Pastry :

125 ml water
55 g unsalted butter
1/2 tsp caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
70 g plain flour
2-3 eggs
1 egg, for glaze

Orange Mint Curd, recipe please click here

Chocolate Glaze :

120 g dark chocolate
100 ml heavy cream
20 g butter, softened

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Instructions:

Choux Pastry:

Preheat the oven to 170 C (non fan). Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.

For the choux pastry, place the water, butter, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan over a high heat and bring the mixture to a boil.
Remove the pan from the heat and, using a wooden spoon, quickly beat in the flour until the mixture is COMPLETELY smooth.
Turn the heat down to medium, return the pan to the hob and cook for about one minute, beating all the time, or until the mixture comes away from the edge of the pan.
Remove the pan from the heat and gradually beat in one egg at a time. For the third egg, beat it lightly in another bowl. As much as you need one spoon at a time to make a dough that is very shiny and just falls off the spoon.

Transfer the paste to a large piping bag and let the mixture to cool for about five minutes in the bag to stiffen slightly before you begin the piping. Pipe on the éclairs into 8-10 cm logs or small mounds to make profiteroles.

Bake the éclairs in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until brown, then transfer to a rack and leave to cool.

Chocolate Profiteroles

Chocolate Profiteroles

Chocolate Glaze :
Boil the cream in a saucepan. Meanwhile chop the chocolate and place in a bowl.

Add half of the boiled milk to the chocolate and whisk well. Add the remaining cream and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the butter.

Chocolate Eclairs

Chocolate Eclairs

Assemble the eclairs :

When you are ready to fill the éclairs, transfer the orange mint curd filling to a piping bag. Pierce the underside of each éclair 3 times with the tip of a pointed nozzle, and gently pipe a little of the filling into the éclair as you do so.

Pipe or brush the glaze onto the top of each éclair, then place in the fridge for the glaze to set before serving.

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There are amazing eclair festivals in Paris which I am so keen to experience… hopefully, some day! 🙂

Bon Apetit

Bon Apetit

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