Midsommar Tartlets



Today Midsommar (Midsummer) is celebrated in Sweden. Tradionally new potatoes with dill and pickled herring are eaten at Midsommar and fresh strawberries with whipped cream are served as dessert. Most of the time I am not in Sweden during Midsommar but I always try to make this day special. This year my home is filled with bouquets of wild flowers and this evening I will serve tartlets filled with a vanilla mascarpone cream and fresh berries.
Yesterday I hopped on my bike and rode to the woods in order to pick a bunch of wild flowers and elderflowers and it was my lucky day because I found a "smultronstället" (wild strawberry patch) at the edge of the forest. I cannot remember that I ever found so many wild strawberries at once. I had tears in my eyes while I was squatting down and carefully picking one delicate wild strawberry after another. I could not believe my luck. There is nothing like the smell of wild strawberries and there are no better strawberries than wild strawberries - they literally melt in the mouth - and picking wild flowers and wild strawberries are the epitome of early summer days to me.



When I came home from my bike ride - my basket was packed with wild flowers, elderflowers and a little bowl full of amazing smelling wild strawberries - I was so inspired by the beauty of nature and in such agood mood. After making a few bottles of elderflower cordial I decided to make a few berry tartlets. Luckily, I had some tartlet shells left that I made the other day and filled the shells with a vanilla mascarpone cream and pilled on top of the cream different berries. The tartlets looked so beautiful that I could not help myself and I did an impromptu photo shoot modeling my very photogenic tartlets.
I did not use my shortcrust pastry recipe that I always use and I also shared this recipe with you. I tried out a new recipe by the Singaporean pastry chef Cheryl Kho who is one of Asia's leading pastry chefs. Cheryl Koh runs the pastry store Tarte in Singapore which is specialized in tarts. Koh's tarts look so elegant and beautiful and I do admire Koh's tart skills. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you how the tarts taste since I have not had the chance to try Koh's tartes yet. I do hope that I will have the possibility to travel to Singapore in the near future and try one of Koh's tart creations.



Cheryl Koh's shortcrust pastry recipe became to my new favorite tart shell recipe and this is why I really want to share her recipe with you. The dough is very soft and this is why it is important to let the dough chill in the fridge for at least six hours. When rolling out the shortcrust dough it is important to work quick because I found that the dough gets soft relatively quickly in comparion to other shortcrust doughs that I have worked with in the past. Every time I used Koh's recipe the tart shells turend out very crispy and I could not think of better tart shells (at least they were the best tart shells that I have made in my life so far). It is really a fantastic tart recipe.
I cannot wait to indulge in a berry tartlet this evening but until then I will make a Midsommar flower crown. Glad Midsommar who is celebrating today. My dearest readers, I wish you all a wonderful summer time!



Makes 8 to 10 tartlets ( 7 cm / 2.75 inches in diameter)

* The shortcrust pastry recipe is slightly adapted from Cheryl Koh*

INGREDIENTS 

  • 68 g / 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 50 g / 6 1/2 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
  • 22 g egg (equals about 1/2 of a medium sized egg)
  • 28 g / 5 tablespoons almond powder or almond flour *
  • 112 g / 1 cup and 2 tablespoons pastry flour
* Koh's recipe calls for almond powder which I assume is very fine almond flour. I do not know where to get such a fine almond powder and therefore, I used "plain" almond flour and it worked fine.

DIRECTIONS

  • Mix butter and powdered sugar until well combined. Then add the egg and mix again well. 
  • Add almond powder/flour and pastry flour and mix until the almond flour and pastry flour are just combined. 
  • Place the dough on a generous piece of clingwrap, flatten the dough to a disc and then wrap up the dough in the clingwrap. 
  • Let the dough rest for at least 6 hours. I usually prepare the dough at night and bake the tarts the following morning. The dough is quite soft, so the dough really needs to chill in the fridge for several hours. I do not recommend shortening the resting time. 
  • Sprinkle a surface with a little bit of flour (try to use as little flour as possible) and roll out the dough until it is 3 mm / 0.1 inch thick. Last year I wrote a post on how to make tartlets which might be helpful to you. 
  • Cut out circles that are a little bit bigger than your tartlet rings and line the tart rings with the circles. Trim any excess dough with a sharp knife. Prick the bottom of each tart with a fork. Place the tart moulds onto a board or a flat plate lined with parchmend paper and freeze the moulds for 10 to 15 minutes. 
  • Preheat the oven to 160 °C / 320 °F. 
  • Line each tart moulds with a circle of parchment paper and fill each tart with try beans. 
  • Place the tart moulds onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake the tartlets for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes remove the dry beans and the parchmnet paper and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove the tart rings, turn the oven to 180 °C and bake the tart shells for another 5 minutes until the shells are golden in color.
  • Let the tart shells cool completely. You can store the tart shells in an airtight container or a cookie tin up to two weeks. 

Vanilla Mascarpone Cream

  • 150 ml / 1 /2 cup and 2 tablespoons whole milk (3,5 %)
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 30 g egg yolks (equals egg yolks of 2 medium sized eggs)
  • 10 g / 2 1/2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 30 g / 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 275 g / 1 cup and 2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
  • Pour the milk into a medium sized pot. 
  • Split the vanilla pod lengthwise and scrape out the seeds (use the tip of a knife or the dull side of the knife). Add the vanilla seeds and the empty vanilla pod to the milk. Bring the milk to a boil; remove from the pot from the heat. 
  • Place the egg yolks and the corn starch in a medium sized bowl and mix until well combined. Add the granulated sugar to the mixture and mix well again. 
  • Remove the empty vanilla pod from the hot milk, pour the vanilla milk to the egg mixture and stir well. 
  • Pour the milk mixture back into the pot and over medium heat bring the mixture almost to a boil. Let it simmer until the mixture thickens put. As soon as the mixture thickens up stir well for half a minute, then remove from the heat and place the custard onto a flat bowl. Cover the surface of the custard with clingwrap which prevends skin forming. Let the custard cool completely at room temperature (not in the fridge). 
  • Mix the mascarpone cheese creamy. Stir the the cold custard until smooth, then add little by little the mascarpone to the custrad and mix until it has a smoothy consistency. Do not overmix the cream, otherwise the cream might become a little bit runny. 

Assembling

  • Berries such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries
  • Powdered sugar
  • Fill the tart shell almost to the top with the vanilla masacrpone cream. 
  • Decorate the tartlets with fresh berries. I placed one whole strawberry in the middle of each tartlet and around the strawberry I placed rasperries and then topped it off with the delicate wild strawberries.
  • Dust the top of each tartlet with powdered sugar, 
  • I usually assemble the tarts à la minute or not longer than one hour before serving the tartlets because otherwise the tart shells become soft (because of the vanilla mascarpone cream). I prefer a crispy tartlet shell but if you do not mind a softer tart shell feel free to prepare the tartlets a few hours ahead.

Strawberry Lemongrass Mousse Cakes

I am more than thrilled to share this beautiful and utterly delicious strawberry mousse cake recipe with you today. I am so, so, so happy with my latest strawberry cake creation and I have a feeling that I will chose this cake as my favorite summer cake at the end of this summer.
Ever since strawberries popped up at the farmers' market a few weeks ago I was brainstorming what kind of new cake creation I could make that involves strawberries. Last year I shared this classic French strawberry tartlet recipe with you but this year I wanted to share something different. I think you are not surprised that a strawberry mousse was the first thing that came to my mind; you know how much I like mousse cakes. The next question that kept me busy was " how to pair the strawberry flavor". I wanted the strawberry flavor to be the main flavor and to be honest I was a little bit lost how to pair the strawberry flavor. One day I was cooking with lemongrass which I do quite often besides using kaffir lime leaves (it is a delicious pairing with fish) and then I suddenly knew that lemongrass and strawberry were the perfect match.


When I made my first trial cakes  I was not entirely convinced if this was the dream flavor match because I never ate this flavor combination and I am always willing to try new things. My worries were totally unnecessary because my first intuition was right. Indeed strawberry and lemongrass is a wonderful flavor combination and I like it a lot. However, I had to made three more cake trials until I got the balance right. The lemongrass flavor was too strong - for my taste -  in my first trials.
The next obstacle  that I had to overcome was the bottom of the cake. In my first trials I used a almond sponge cake but I was not entirely happy with it. It was too soft for my taste and I wanted to have a cake bottom with a little bit of crunch but I could not make up my mind which shortcrust pastry I should make. After several attempts I decided on a sablé Breton but I used less salt than a classic sablé Breton dough.
So here I am presenting you my strawberry mousse cake with a lemongrass mousse and strawberry jelly core, a crunchy sablé Breton bottom and strawberry glaze. 
I am aware that this cake recipe takes a little bit of time bur I promise it is worth the preparation time. I strongly recommend reading through the recipe before start baking and as I always say you do not have to make the cake on one single day but over the course of a few days.
Happy baking and enjoy this delicious strawberry season!


Makes 12 strawberry mousse cakes ( 7 cm / 2.75 inches in diameter)

Lemongrass Mousse Core

  • 20 g /2 stalks of fresh lemongrass
  • 20 g / 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 70 g / 1 /4 cup and 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 sheet gelatin (1.5 g), soaked
  • 5 ml / 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 85 g / 1 /3 cup heavy cream
  • Clean the stalks of lemongrass. In order to free the aromatic oils of the lemongrass bruise the stalks. Smash the stalks with a cleaver or the like. Then cut the bruised lemongrass stalks into pieces. 
  • Pour the heavy cream into a small pot and add the granulated sugar and the lemongrass to the heavy cream. Bring the mixture to a boil. Set the pot aside and cover the pot with a lit and let the mixture steep for ten minutes. Strain the mixture through a sieve, make sure you do not have any lemongrass pieces left in the heavy cream mixture. Pour the mixture back into the pot and bring it almost to boil. Set aside and add the soaked gelatin sheet. Mix until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Pour the mixture into a medium sized bowl and let it cool down to room temperature. Add the lemon juice and mix well. 
  • In the meantime whip the heavy cream until creamy. Fold in the whipped cream into the flavoured lemongrass mixture.
  • Evenly distribute the lemongrass mousse into 12 small (silicon) moulds (2.5 cm / 1 inch in diameter; the height is 2.5 cm / 1 inch). Freeze the moulds for at least 1 1/2 hours. Meanwhile you can make the strawberry puree. 

Strawberry Puree

  • 750 g / 3 1/2 cups fresh strawberries
  • 70 / 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • Wash strawberries and remove the leavy tops of the strawberries. Quarter big strawberries and half smaller strawberries. Place the strawberries and the granulated sugar in a big pot ( do not add any water) and let the mixture cook over medium. Let it simmer until the strawberries are soft which takes about 10 minutes. Remove the strawberry mixture from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes, Puree the strawberry mixture; strain the mixture through a fine sieve. Let the puree cool completely. You can keep the strawberry puree for a few days in the fridge.

Strawberry Jelly

  • 170 g / 2/3 cup and 1 tablespoon strawberry puree
  • 1 1/3 sheets gelatin (2 g), soaked
  • Slowly heat 1/3 of the strawberry puree in a small pot. Set the pot aside and dissolve the gelatin in the warm strawberry puree. Pour the warm strawberry puree to the rest of the puree and mix well. Evenly distribute the strawberry jelly on the frozen lemongrass mousse. Freeze the moulds again for at least 1 hour. 

Strawberry Mousse

  • 100 g / 1/3 cup and 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 2 2/3 sheets gelatin (4 g)
  • 30 g /1 ounce white chocolate, finely chopped
  • 150 g / 2/3 cup strawberry puree
  • 250 g / 1 cup and 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • Pour the the heavy cream into a small pot and bring it almost to a boil. Set the pot aside and dissolve the gelatin in the hot heavy cream. Add the chopped white chocolate and stir again until the chocolate is completely melted. Then add the strawberry puree and mix again. Pour the mixture into a medium sized bowl and let it cool until it has reached room temperature. 
  • Whip the heavy cream creamy. As soon as the strawberry mixture has cooled to room temperature fold in the heavy cream. 
  • Place hemisphere moulds ( 7 cm / 2.75 inches in diameter) onto board or a flat plate. Fill the moulds 2 /3 with the strawberry mousse. Unmould the frozen lemongrass strawberry cores and gently press the frozen cores into the strawberry mousse. Freeze the mousse cakes for at least 6 hours or overnight, You can keep the frozen hemisphere moulds for a few weeks in the freezer. 

Sablé Breton Bottoms

  • 150 g / 2 2/3 sticks unsalted butter, soft
  • 150 g / 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 60 g egg yolks / equals egg yolk of 4 medium sized eggs
  • 200 g / 2 cups pastry flour
  • 4 g / 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Preheat the oven to 170 °C/ 340 °F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • Mix the soft butter and the granulated sugar with a (wooden) spoon. Add the egg yolks to the mixture and stir until well incorporated. 
  • Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Add the flour mixture to the butter egg mixture and stir again well. 
  • Spread the batter onto the lined baking sheet. Bake the sablé Breton for 17 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Cut out circles with a cookie cutter. Place the baking sheet back into the oven and bake the cookie disks for another 5 to 7 minutes until they are golden brown in color. Remove the discs from the baking sheet and let the cookies cool on a wire rack. 
  • I recommend making the sablé Breton on the day of assembling the cake because the sablé Breton cookies stay crunchy for a day; the next day the cookies get soft. 

Strawberry Glaze

  • 90 g / 1/3 cup and 1 tablespoon strawberry puree
  • 50 g / 3 1/2 tablespoons simple syrup *
  • 2 2/3 sheets of gelatin (4 g), soaked
  • Place the strawberry puree and the sugar syrup in a pot and bring the mixture almost to a boil. Set the pot aside and dissolve the gelatin in the hot mixture. Pour the mixture into a jug (this way it is the easiest to pour the glaze over the mousse cakes). Let the glaze cool to almost room temperature and then glaze the mousse cakes. Make sure that the glaze has room temperature when glazing the cakes. If the glaze is too hot you will realize that the glaze will be too runny. 
  • If you do not use the glaze right away pour the glaze into a jar, let it cool completely, then store the jar in the fridge up to 5 days. Carefully reheat the strawberry glaze. 
* This is how you make a simple syrup: Place 90 g / 1/3 cup and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and 65 g / 1/4 cup water in a pot. Bring the mixture to a boil and let it boil until the granulated sugar is completely dissolved. Let it cool down to room temperature. You can store the simple syrup in the fridge up to two weeks (store it in a sealed jar).

Assembling

  • 12 halved medium sized strawberries, for decoration
  • Unmould the frozen mousse cakes and place the cakes on a wire rack. Place a deep plate under the wire rack, so you can catch the excess strawberry glaze and reuse the glaze.
  • Pour the glaze over the frozen mousse cakes, let the glaze set for a few seconds, then carefully remove the cakes from the wire rack (I use a food turner) and place the glazed hemisphere cake on a sablé Breton disc. If the glaze gets too thick, place the glaze back into the pot and gently reheat the glaze. 
  • I recommend not glazing all the mousse cakes at once. I usually glaze five mousse cakes at a time because then I can make sure that the mousse cakes are completely frozen while glazing.
  • Place each mousse cake on a cake board and decorate the cakes with half a strawberry. Let the strawberry cakes defrost in the fridge which takes about 1 1/2 hours.
  • Keep the cakes in the fridge until consumption. I recommend eating the cake on the same day you assembled the cake because otherwise the sablé Breton bottoms get soft.

Elisabeth-Rhabarber Törtchen

I mostly share posts that involves a recipe on my blog but I want to switch things up and I would like to share more often other baking related topics such as my favorite bakeries and pastry stores, pastry chefs that I admire, talk about produce and baking equipments that I am using for baking.  
Today I have a cake recommendation for you: it is a rhubarb cake from the bakery E. Knapp & R. Wenig in Munich. I always visit this bakery whenever I am buying flour at the flour store which is next door to the bakery (in fact the bakery and the flour store belong to the flourmill which is located in the same building) and I treat myself to a pastry, cake or a pretzel. It is a beautiful tiny bakery which offers traditional breads, buns and cakes. The bakery uses mostly local produce and one can be sure that only high quality products are used for their baked goods. It is always such a joy visiting this bakery. The bakery itself deserves a post of its own which I will prepare very soon. 


A few weeks ago I tried the "Elisabeth - Rhabarber Törtchen" ("Rhabarber" means rhubarb, "Törtchen" means little cake and I assume that the cake is named after Elisabeth Knapp who was the wife of the baker Rudolf Wenig and the bakery is named after the couple) for the first time. I really liked this rhubarb cake and if you know me than you know that I am very picky when it comes to cake. Ever since I ate the cake a couple of times and every time I think to myself " it's such an utterly delicious cake". The bottom half of the cake consists of a delicious crispy shortcrust pastry shell which is filled with a rhubarb compote and the cake is topped with a meringue swirl. This rhubarb cake is probably one of the best rhubarb cakes that I have ever bought. And isn't the cake adorable looking.?
If you happen to visit Munich in the spring time ( I am afraid that you won't find the cake outside of the rhubarb season) pay a visit to the E. Knapp & R. Wenig Bäckerei and treat yourself to this scrumptious rhubarb cake.


Address:
E. Knapp & R. Wenig Bäckerei
Neuturmstraße 3
80331 München
(The bakery is a ten minutes walk from the Marienplatz. It is next to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and the Hofbräuhaus is around the corner, too.)
Opening Hours: 
Monday to Saturday: 7:30 am to 7:00 pm
Sundays: closed


Chocolate Heaven



I am aware of the fact that I mention my passion and admiration for French patisserie quite often here on the blog. Many of my recipes are French inspired and I often publish petite cake recipes. It is because I really really like it and I want to share my passion for French patisserie with you my dear readers. I want to share that an amateur pastry chef - such as me - can make pretty looking and of course delicious petite gâteaux. It is not that complicated as it might seem like and it does not necessarily require any special kitchen tools for making little exquisite cakes. The only important thing you need to keep in mind is time. Allow enough time to make the cakes because the cakes - in particular mousse cakes - often need to be in the freezer for a couple of hours. Some petite gateaux takes more time than others but if you plan the preparation time wisely it takes less time than you think.
Well, lets talk about the cake I would like to introduce you today: it is a very chocolaty little cake. The cakes consist of a brownie bottom, a very creamy and light chocolate noisette / nougat mousse and a chocolate mirror glaze decorated with ground hazelnut brittle. It is a decadent and definietly rich cake but it is incredible delicious. It is a dream cake for any chocolate lover.
When I made the cakes for the first time I decorated the cakes with ground brittle because I thought it it looked pretty. I still think that the britle makes a beautiful decoration but it is more than decoration. The brittle gives the cake a nice crunch and is a delicious contrast to the creamy mousse and soft brownie bottom. Do not omit the brittle because it is more than decoration.
Happy baking time and bon apétit!


NOTE:  I have difficulties to find the right translation for the chocolate that I am using for the noisette mousse. In German it is called "Nougat", nougat, but is not the white chewy nougat that one might associate nougat with. The German variation of nougat consists of nuts (mostly hazelnuts), sugar, cocoa butter and mass. The consistency is mellow and it is more like a chocolate. I read that this kind of nougat is also called Wiener (Viennese) nougat. If you have a better explanation let me know
I used this noisette chocolate which is a German brand that is in particular known for its marzipan. It might be difficult to get hold of this chocolate. This brand might be easier to find but any German nougat chocolate works. Or feel free to contact me and I can help you out with nougat chocolate.

Makes 8 little hemisphere cakes ( 7 cm / 2.75 inches in diameter)

Noisette Mousse

  • 50 g / 2 ounces chocolate (45 -50 %)
  • 75 g / 2 1/2 ounces noisette/ nougat chocolate, see my note above
  • 45 ml / 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 sheet gelatin (1.5 g), soaked
  • 185 ml / 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • Chop the chocolate and nougat chocolate finely. 
  • Pour the heavy cream into a saucepan and bring it almost to a boil. Set the saucepan aside and add the chopped chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted, then add the gelatin and stir again until the gelatin is dissolved. Pour the mixture into a bowl and let it cool to room temperature. 
  • In the meantime whip the heavy cream until it is creamy. Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. 
  • Place hemisphere moulds on a flat plate or board. I use moulds that are 7 cm / 2.75 inches in diameter. Fill the hemisphere moulds 2/3 with the mousse. Freeze the moulds for at least 6 hours or overnight. 

Brownie Bottom

  • 100 g / 3 1/2 ounces chocolate (70 %)
  • 150 g / 1 stick butter and 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 145 g / 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon strong coffee, cold
  • 2 eggs (medium size)
  • 75 g / 3/4 cup pastry flour, sifted
  • Preheat the oven to 175 °C / 350 F°. 
  • Line a baking pan with parchment paper or line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place a cake frame on the baking sheet ( the size of the pan: 22 cm 22 cm / 8.5 inches x 8.5 inches).
  • Place chocolate and butter in a saucepan and melt over low medium heat. Stir occasionally, so the chocolate does not burn. 
  • In the meantime add eggs, sugar and a pinch of salt in a bowl and whisk with an egg whisk for a minute. 
  • Add the butter chocolate mixture (make sure it is lukewarm and not hot) to the egg sugar mixture and mix well. Add the flour to the mixture and stir until the flour is just combined. Do not overmix the brownie batter. 
  • Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. 
  • Bake the brownie for 8 to 10 minutes. 
  • Let the brownie cool completely. With a round cookie cutter cut out circles in the size of your hemisphere moulds (mine have a diameter of 7 cm / 2.75 inches).

Chocolate Glaze

  • 95 g 3 1/2 ounces milk chocolate
  • 30 g / 1 ounce dark chocolate (70 %)
  • 25 ml / 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 10 g / 1 1/2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 45 ml / 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/3 sheet gelatin (1/2 g), soaked
  • Chop milk and dark chocolate very finely. 
  • Add heavy cream, maple syrup and water in a saucepan and bring the mixture almost to a boil. Set the saucepan aside and add the finely chopped chocolate. Mix until the chocolate is melted and add the gelatin to it. Stir the mixture until smooth. If the mixture is very thick, add a few drops of water and mix again. 
  • If you do not use the glaze right away, pour the glaze into a jar and let it cool to room temperature. Cover the jar with a lit and store in the fridge. You can keep the glaze for a few days in the fridge. If you want to use the glaze right away, let the glaze cool until it is lukewarm. 

Assembling

  • Ground hazelnut brittle for decoration
  • If you made the glaze in advance, place the glaze (it has a very thick consistency) in a saucepan and gently reheat the glaze. If the glaze is too thick (which often happens when stored for a few days in the fridge) add a little bit of water to it. 
  • Pour the glaze into a jug (I use a measuring jug) because than it is easier to pour the glaze over teh cakes. When glazing the cake it is important that the glaze is lukewarm and not hot. 
  • I recommend not glazing all cakes at once. Glaze three or four mousse cakes at a time, so you can make sure that the cakes are frozen. The glaze thickens up over time. If this happens to you, do not worry. Reheat the glaze again. 
  • Unmould the mousse cakes and place each hemisphere cake onto a brownie circle. Place the frozen cakes on a wire rack and place a deep plate under the wire rack in order to catch the excess glaze and so you can reuse the glaze again.
  • Pour the  glaze over the frozen the cakes. Make sure that the mousse cakes are frozen when pouring the glaze over the cakes. 
  • Sprinkle the lower part of the cakes with ground brittle. 
  • Carefully place each cake on a cake board and let it defrost in the fridge.  

Chocolate Brioche



Since I have a weakness for all things sweet I try to keep my breakfast, lunch and dinner relatively healthy. In fact, I really like vegetables, whole grains and such a lot and I could not live without these foods. Breakfast food is a little bit difficult for me because I am not a big breakfast person and most of the time I am not hungry at all in the moning but I try my best not to skip breakfast and have a healthy breakfast. However, once a week I indulge in a not so healthy breakfast which is sometimes a croissant, one or two of my oatmeal cookies (my recipe is here) and sometimes it is a chocolate brioche which recipe I want to share with you today. 
There are different opinions which ratio of egg, butter and flour makes the best brioche dough. I cannot give you an answer because I am no a brioche expert but most of the time a brioche contains a lot of butter and eggs which gives the yeasted bread a very rich texture. But there is one thing that is imprortant to me when making brioche (and making yeasted dough in general): it is kneading the dough with my hands and not using any kitchen machine. I think it really makes a difference. 




The brioche recipe  - that I am sharing with you today - is a brioche with less butter and eggs than a classic brioche - maybe it is not considered as a "real" brioche -  but I really like the consistency of this chocolate brioche. The brioche is rich but not too rich, dense but not too dense and moist at the same time and the chocolate chips gives the bread sweetness as well which makes it, at least for me, the perfect indulgent breakfast treat. I could not think of a sweeter start to the morning than a brioche fresh out of the oven or a defrosted brioche heated in the oven, cooled down for a few minutes, with a little bit of butter. It is so so delicious and it is really hard to resist a soft and warm yeasted bread in the morning. I recommend picking your least favorite day of the week and have a chocolate brioche for breakfast and I assure you that it will be a good day.

NOTEI used for this recipe brioche moulds that are 7 cm / 2.75 inches in diameter in size. If you do not have any brioche moulds on hand you can use a muffin tin instead but make sure that you grease the muffin well, so the brioche won't stick to the pan. Sometimes I also make a big brioche instead of petite brioche. I use a 18 cm / 7 inches brioche mould.
The big brioche keeps fresh for several days (store the bread in a plastic bag), whereas the small brioches taste the very best fresh out of the oven or on the same day but heated in the oven for a few minutes. The petite brioches freeze very well. Defrost the brioches in the oven at 75 °C / 160 °F for 10 to 12 minutes. Bon apétit.

Makes 10 petite brioches or one big brioche (see my note above)

INGREDIENTS

  • 35 g / 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 125 ml / 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 15 g fresh yeast / 1 3/4 teaspoons instant active dry yeast / 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast 
  • 1 egg (medium size)
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 45 g / 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 300 to 325 g all-purpose flour
  • 85 g / 1/2 cup chocolate chunks, semi sweet

DIRECTIONS

  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the milk to the melted butter and heat the mixture until it is lukewarm. Make sure the mixture is lukewarm and not hot, otherwise the yeast won't rise.
  • Crumble the fresh yeast* into a bowl. Pour a little bit of the butter milk mixture to the crumbled yeast and stir until the yeast is dissolved. Whisk the egg in a cup; put aside two tablespoons of the whisked egg for the egg wash (keep it in the fridge until you brush the brioche with the egg wash). Add the remaining egg wash along with the remaining butter milk mixture, salt and sugar and mix well. Add most of the flour and mix with a spoon. As soon as the dough comes together transfer the dough to a well floured surface and knead the dough until smooth. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour to the dough. 
  • Place the dough in a bowl and cover the bowl with a kitchen towel
  • *If you use instant active dry yeast: mix all dry ingredients in a big bowl, then add the lukewarm butter-milk mixture and proceed as written above. 
  • If you use active dry yeast: heat the milk until lukewarm. Add the active dry yeast to a mug and dissolve the yeast with two tablespoons of milk. Melt the butter. Mix all dry ingredients in a big bowl, add the melted butter, remaining lukewarm milk and the dissolved yeast. Proceed as written above.
  • Let the yeast dough rise in a draft-free and warm place for about 40 minutes until the dough has doubled in size. 
  • Grease and flour brioche moulds or a muffin tin. 
  • Knead the dough again on a well floured surface. If the dough is sticky add a little bit of flour to the dough. Incorporate the chocolate chunks into the dough. Divide the dough into 10 pieces and form each piece into a ball. Place the balls into the greased brioche moulds or muffin tin. If you make one big brioche, form one bif ball out of the yeast dough and place it into the brioche mould. 
  • Cover the moulds with a kitchen towel and let the brioches rest for 15 minutes. 
  • In the meantime preheat the oven to 200 °C / 390 °F. 
  • Brush the brioches with the egg wash. 
  • Bake the petite brioches for 8 to 10 minutes; the big brioche for 20 to 25 minutes. The brioches brown quickly so keep a close eye while the brioche are in the oven. After 5 or 6 minutes in the oven the brioche are golden in color, cover the brioches with aluminium foil and bake them for another few minutes. If you insert a toothpick in the middle and it comes out clean, the brioches is done. 
  • Let the brioches cool for a few minutes; unmould the brioches and enjoy while the bread is still warm.