Having made Joanne Chang’s brioche dough a couple of weekends ago, I was faced with the enviable task of deciding what to do with the second half-batch. Between her two cookbooks (Flour and Flour, too) she gives half a dozen different possibilities, all of which look tasty — plus of course there’s always the possibility of making another loaf of plain brioche. But I still had a third of the original loaf in the freezer (tsk, I know) so I didn’t want to make any more of that. So last weekend I decided to make brioche au chocolat (Flour, p. 78) — not quite as calorific as sticky buns (half the calories, in fact), but more interesting than the even less caloric sugar-and-spice buns. (The great thing is that the brioche dough is dead simple to make, so I could go back and do either of those things later if I wanted. Or I could step out on my own and try to duplicate the Iggy’s pepper brioche hamburger buns that I like so much.)
The process starts out by making a standard pastry cream (milk, eggs, sugar, flour, and vanilla). That mostly takes place over the stovetop and there are no interesting pictures. The custard is then squeezed through a fine-mesh sieve (I have no idea why, it was a lot of work and didn’t seem to do anything useful) and cooled in the refrigerator overnight while the frozen brioche dough thaws. I thought I didn’t get nearly the two cups the recipe is said to make; perhaps I overcooked the pastry cream. The next day, the brioche gets rolled out into a rectangle, and the pastry cream is spread all over:
I took some TCHO 66% dark chocolate discs and roughly chopped them to make the chocolat part of the brioche au chocolat. The chocolate was spread (not quite as evenly as I would have liked) over the pastry cream, and then the brioche was folded over to enclose the pastry. Apparently I didn’t do a very good job of rolling out the brioche dough, as it was clearly much thicker at one end than at the other, which left the finished product a bit uneven.
So, uh, as I mentioned before, I can’t cut anything straight without a guide. These are the ten individual brioches au chocolat sitting on the baking pan and ready to bench-proof. Since it was so warm in my kitchen I just covered them with a sheet of plastic wrap and let them proof where they sat.
After leaving the brioches to proof for a couple of hours, I gave them a quick egg wash and stuck them in the oven. The recipe said to bake for 35 to 45 minutes, but to my eyes (and by my probe thermometer) they were done after only 30 minutes — I suppose my oven is a bit on the hot side — and I took them out:
Of course, I let them cool for half an hour — then ate the misshapen (and underfilled) one!
Well, this is certainly not the healthiest thing you can eat — and I can’t imagine having it for breakfast even if I was the sort of person who eats breakfast. But they are tasty, and sweet, and chocolatey — certainly on par taste-wise and calorie-wise with many popular desserts. Just don’t have them at every meal!
|Serving size: 1 pastry|
|Servings per container: 10|
|Amount per serving|
|Calories 425||Calories from fat 183|
|% Daily Value|
|Total Fat 20g||31%|
|Saturated Fat 12g||60%|
|Monounsaturated Fat 1g|||
|Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5g|||
|Trans Fat 0g|||
|Total Carbohydrate 49g||16%|
|Dietary fiber 1g||3%|