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.” 😉


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. 🙂


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

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.


The Brioche recipe has been adapted from Christophe Felder.


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


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

Bon Apetit!

Bon Apetit!

The quintessential “Opéra” Cake


Glazed Chocolate and Coffee Layer Cake

Who doesn’t love the Opera cake? When I would walk into a patisserie to buy a croissant or macarons, my eyes would always fall on the rich, dark, mysterious cake.  It is almost as if I was falling in love with it over and over again.  They look so attractive and always make you test your will power….. 😉 Just a bite of these dreamy little cakes can take all worries off your mind. Literally!

I haven’t eaten the Opéra cake in a long time and when I found myself thinking about it for days together, I decided it was time to get baking! 🙂 They sure do have a lot of elements, but time flies when you make these and the effort is totally worth it. It would make for an outstanding dessert to finish off a dinner party.

This recipe has been adapted from Cristophe Felder’s “Patisserie”. If I have to make this again, I would eliminate the egg yolk buttercream from the buttercream recipe and use just butter, coffee and italian meringue. I have used half of the recipe and made a small cake.
The cake turned out moist and light, with perfectly tempered chocolate. What more can one ask for? 😉

Makes 16 by 12 inch cake

Coffee Syrup : ( I have made 1/4 of the recipe)
400 ml warm coffee
150 g caster sugar

Jaconde Cake: ( I have made 1/2 of the recipe)
8 eggs, 4 whole, 4 separated
220 g ground almonds
275 g sugar
100 g all purpose flour

Chocolate Ganache : ( I have made 1/2 of the recipe)
170 g dark chocolate (60% cocoa)
120 ml milk
40 ml heavy cream
2 tbsp butter, softened

Coffee Buttercream:
20 ml espresso or strong coffee, at room temperature
Italian Meringue:
62 g sugar
1.5 tbsp water
1 egg white
Egg Yolk Buttercream:
2.5 egg yolks
120 g sugar
50 ml water
180 g butter, softened

Chocolate Glaze: ( I have made 1/2 of the recipe)
400 g chocolate (%2% cocoa)
50 g vegetable shortening (replaced with butter)
50 g grapeseed oil (replaced with butter)

Instructions :

Coffee Syrup :

Combine the coffee and sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Keep aside.

Jaconde Cake:
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line 3 baking sheets with baking paper. ( I have used 2 baking sheets)

Combine the whole eggs, egg yolks, ground almonds and half of the sugar in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 15 minutes.

Whip the egg whites in a bowl until soft peaks. Add the remaining sugar and beat until firm and glossy.

Gently fold the egg whites into the egg-almond mixture.

Gradually sift in the flour and gently fold until smooth.

Spread one-third of the cake batter on each prepared sheet. Bake one sheet at a time for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned.

Remove and let cool.

Chocolate Ganache :

Finely chop the chocolate and place in a bowl.

Bring the milk and cream to a boil in a small saucepan and pour over the chocolate. Add the butter and whisk until smooth.

Coffee Buttercream :
Step 1: Italian Meringue
Whisk the egg whites in a kitchen mixer on a medium speed.

Meanwhile, place the sugar and water in a small pan and cook over a high heat until it has reached 117C/242F or the ‘soft ball’ stage.You can tell when the bubbles are almost the same size, that’s the stage we are looking to achieve here.
Reduce the speed on the mixer to its lowest setting and pour the sugar syrup from the sides of the bowl onto the firmly whipped egg whites.
Increase the speed to high and continue to whisk until the mixture returns at room temperature. Touch the bottom of the bowl, it should not be hot.
Step 2: Egg yolk buttercream :
Whisk the egg yolks at low speed.

Meanwhile, place the sugar and water in a small pan and cook over a high heat until it has reached 117C/242F or the ‘soft ball’ stage.You can tell when the bubbles are almost the same size, that’s the stage we are looking to achieve here.
Reduce the speed on the mixer to its lowest setting and pour the sugar syrup from the sides of the bowl onto the egg yolks and beat until they are pale. This should be the ribbon stage.
Step 3 :
Whip the butter until it is creamy and smooth.
Step 4:
Add the egg yolk mixture to the butter and beat at low speed until the texture is light.
Beat in the italian meringue at low speed.
COntinue beating at medium speed for about 10 minutes.

Step 5:
Add the espresso to the buttercream and whip at low speed until smooth.
Assembling the Cake:

  • Line the cake board with parchment paper. (Optional) I just used some buttercream on the board. 🙂
  • Place one sponge cake and brush with coffee syrup.
  • Spread half of the coffee buttercream over the cake with an offbeat spatula.
  • Place the second sponge onto it and brush with coffee syrup.
  • Spread a thin layer of chocolate ganache over it.
  • Place the third sponge cake on top. Brush with coffee syrup.
  • Spread the remaining buttercream and smooth with the spatula.
  • Chill until set, at least an hour.

Chocolate Glaze:
Finely chop the chocolate and place with butter in a bowl. Place over a double boiler and let melt, stiring until the chocolate reaches between 95 and 104° F or 35 to 40° C. Remove the bowl from the heat.

Pour the glaze over the top of the cake, smooth with an offbeat spatula and chill until set.

Decorate as you please… 🙂

Dip the knife into hot water and wipe it dry after each cut. Serve with a big smile…:)

Bon Apetit!

Bon Apetit!