for this week's tuesdays with dorie, madam chow of madam chow's kitchen choose dorie's ooey gooey sticky pecan buns. everyone loves sticky pecan buns ... except for the mimis. even the gorgeous gooey photo in dorie's book didn't appeal to us.
but brioche ... now that is something even the village idiot would love! i've never made brioche before, so i was up to the challenge. also, dorie's brioche method is slightly different than others i have read, from the way the butter is added to the way it is rolled for the loaf pan. so let's give it a whirl and see what happens!
and a whirrled it went, my poor KA was huffing and puffing and still those butter chunks were just whirrling around the side of my dough instead of getting properly incorporated. no way i could finish this dough on LOW speed as dorie instructs. so a little faster, a little more huffing and puffing, and finally it came together.
for my alternative to sticky buns, i chose a previous TWD selection of brioche raisin snails. yumm. i didn't quite have enough raisins on hand, but i always have a bunch of dried apricots around, so i chopped those up too. i also used armagnac instead of rum for a more traditional flambé. i also doubled the sugar filling because i like it like that.
but oops, i used a pastry cutter to slice my snails and they ended up a wee bit squished. and oops, i don't know what happened but they got really really brown (burnt?) and i cooked them for probably 10 minutes less than indicated. i have an oven thermometer, so i know the temp was right (in fact, it was a little low in the beginning) so i have no idea what happened. but it wasn't anything a little drizzled sugary icing couldn't fix!
a little toasty
meets a little icing
and what about the rest of the brioche dough? we went for the obvious. some classic brioche french toast the next morning. to make myself feel better for all that buttery goodness i tried to pretend i wasn't eating i went out and played two hours of tennis afterwards. somehow it all balances out, riiight? ;)
to get your goo on with hundreds of sticky pecan buns, please check out the rest of tuesdays with dorie!
brioche raisin snails
adapted from dorie's baking handbook (p. 56)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
a pour of armagnac or other brandy
3 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
your favorite brioche recipe
your favorite pastry cream recipe
your usual sugar icing recipe
1. line one or two baking sheets with parchment. mix sugar and cinnamon (you probably won't use the full doubled amount, so reduce if you want).
2. put raisins and apricots in small pan, cover with hot water and let them steep for about 4 minutes until they are plumped. drain raisins/apricots and return to pan, stirring, and warming them over low heat. pour a bit of armagnac on the mix, and ignite with long match or lighter. if your kitchen hasn't burned down (haha, just kidding, really flambéing is easier than you think) set aside.
3. on well floured surface, roll dough into rectangle 12 inches wide and 16 inches long, with short end towards you - oops!! i don't think i did this either! spread pastry cream across dough, leaving 1 inch strip bare on the side farthest from you. scatter raisins/apricots and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mix.
4. starting with side nearest, roll dough into cylinder. with chef's knife, using sawing motion, trim just a bit of the ends if not even. then cut the log into rounds 1 inch thick. put snails on lined baking sheet, leaving some space between each. cover with wax paper and let double in volume, about 1-2 hours.
4. meanwhile preheat oven to 375F. bake snails for about 25 minutes or until puffed and richly brown (or really dark brown in my case, mwahaha!) transfer snails to cooling rack and then drizzle with the good sugary stuff.