Monday, May 25, 2015

Chocolate Brioche


While in New York City with my family last week, we made a bee-line to Aux Merveillex de Fred, a French pastry shop in the West Village that just opened this year on January 9th and is chef Frederic Vaucamps' first shop outside of Europe.

Their menu is simple, just meringue and cream coated Merveilleux Cakes and soft brioches that the shop calls Cramiques. We had to try something but weren't in the mood for a sweet cake so we went with the very last Chocolate Brioche on the shelf. It was a good choice. It was absolutely delicious —  yeasty, light, airy and filled with large dark chocolate chunks. I was also impressed with the $1.75 price, very fair considering the quality and prime location.
The tongs are behind the very last chocolate brioche on the shelf at Aux Merveilleux de Fred.
My husband Joe and our daughter Eleanor with our delicious purchase.

So beautiful and a bargain at $1.75.
Once home,  I decided to try my best to recreate the taste and so I spent yesterday experimenting and created this recipe. These chocolate brioches are especially delicious warm right out of the oven but if you can manage to set a few aside, they would make a fabulous bread pudding. My husband has requested that making these doesn't become a habit because they are just too hard to resist.

Here's the recipe:

Chocolate Brioche
(makes 15 large rolls)

1 1/3 cups milk
2/3 cups sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into small pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
3 eggs
1 1/2  teaspoons sea salt
6 to 8 cups unbleached flour
10 oz. dark chocolate chunks or chips
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
Swedish pearl sugar (optional)

In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the milk with the sugar and butter. Heat just until the butter is almost completely melted

Pour the milk mixture into a large bowl and let it cool until it is still warm but not above 115-degrees.

It's important to make sure the milk mixture is warm, not hot, or it will kill the yeast.
Add the yeast and stir until dissolved. Add the three eggs and salt and mix well to combine. Add the flour, a cup at a time until a soft dough forms. Flatten the dough in the bowl and pour on the chocolate chunks or chips.
Adding the chocolate chunks.
 Knead the dough for 5 to 7-minutes, adding additional flour as necessary. It takes a while to get the chocolate evenly distributed throughout the dough. Don't rush this process.
The chocolate is beginning to get incorporated but it still needs some more kneading time.
Now it's ready for it's first rise.
Transfer the dough to a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel. Let the dough rise for 60 to 90 minutes or until double in bulk. Punch the dough down and let it rise a second time until double in bulk.

Divide the dough into 15 portions and shape rolls. Place the rolls on a parchment lined baking sheet, leaving about 1.5 inches of space between them.
The rolls ready for their last rise of 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375-degrees and let the rolls rise for 30 minutes. After rising, whip the egg with the 1 tablespoon of water to make a wash and brush it over the tops of the rolls.
Adding the egg wash.
 At this time, you can also sprinkle on some Swedish pearl sugar if desired.
 Bake the rolls for 25 minutes or until done and golden brown.
The finished chocolate brioches. I added pearl sugar to some and left some plain.
The inside of a warm brioche. The chocolate is gooey and this is my preferred way to enjoy them.
The inside of a cooled brioche. The chocolate has set but they are still a treat to eat.


4 comments:

  1. I had one of these from this same bakery in Paris last week. It was one of the most delicious things I have ever tasted. I searched high and low for a recipe but was only finding big loaves of bread chock full of raisins (ick!). I can't wait to try out your recipe!!!!!!!! (All the exclamations because I'm SUPER PUMPED I found this!!!!) :)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Drew,
      I can't wait to hear what you think of the recipe. Please let me know. Thank you!
      Happy Baking,
      Heidi

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  2. We had these from a bakery around the corner from our London flat two years ago, and it was all I could think about when we went back this year. They are out-of-this-world delicious! I am making these for Christmas morning this year. So excited to have a recipe!

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  3. We stopped at the one in London by the Kennsington station almost every morning on our honeymoon. I'm SO excited to find your recipe!

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