Several weeks ago I was searching for something sweet to make in lieu of a cake for my girlfriend’s birthday and came across a recipe for chocolate brioche. Well, not so much brioche in the traditional shape, but more a brioche-like dough layered with chocolate and then baked in muffin tins. You can see why I was excited to try it.
A few weeks later, I am finally getting around to posting about it. Similar to the delays that kept me from making my english muffins, whenever I kept trying to write this post it seemed like something came up, although not necessarily a bad thing.
College football season started, so that now occupies most of my Saturday, especially if it is a Michigan home game. Most importantly, this past Friday I got engaged! She is the most wonderful woman ,who I also think has the smallest fingers on this Earth (the jeweler did a double take when I said she was a ring size 2.5). I’m lucky enough to have found someone who cares about me enough to love and try everything I bake, even if it is fail-tastic like the brioche I made for her birthday.
Things started out quite well. I prepared the dough with little to no hassle (see recipe below) and set to work on the chocolate filling.
I was really excited about this, because you essentially laminate the dough, much like I did with croissants. Except this time instead of butter, it’s a frozen mixture of cocoa, sugar, butter, and flour. Mouth watering yet?
I mixed together the flour, cocoa, egg, and sugar, waiting patiently as my milk came to a boil.
Mixing everything together over medium heat, I added in the final ingredient, more butter of course, and then transferred it onto a small sheet (actually our toaster tray lined with plastic wrap) and tossed it into the freezer.
And then I waited. And waited. And after 1 hour, then 2 hours, then 3, my chocolate was still not frozen! I got impatient and realizing that it was not going to change, tried to make do with the semi-solid-but-mostly-liquid chocolate block. Felecia, the blogger who I copied the recipe from, later told me that it was most likely due to the fact that I did not ‘cook’ the finished chocolate mixture on the stove long enough. She said it should be quite thick by the time you transfer it to your pan/tray.
I placed the chocolate on my rolled out dough without issue, and enveloped it just fine. Then the chocolate started to warm up, and all bets were off.
I tried to do what is called a tour double, where you fold the edges in towards the middle, and then fold the sides onto each other (here is a much better visual representation). After that you roll the dough back out, and repeat. This creates several dough-chocolate-dough layers.
With the chocolate at this point essentially a liquid and dough bursting everywhere (about 3 seconds before I took the picture above), it was near impossible to roll the dough back out without pressing out all the filling. So, extremely frustrated (probably an understatement…no definitely an understatement), I transferred what could best be called a brioche loaf onto the pan and baked it.
I went on a walk to vent frustration after taking it out of the oven, and then my lovely girlfriend (check that, my lovely fiancé) texted me: “You can be frustrated about how the brioche looks, but frankly it doesn’t matter to me. I just had a piece and it’s delicious.”
And as usual, she was right. It took us almost two weeks to eat it all, and we enjoyed every piece. I intend to try this again and get it right soon, however I currently have other plans for what my next sweet treat is.
Ingredients – Dough
- 300 grams bread flour
- 60 grams sugar
- 1 egg
- 50 grams butter (cut, room temperature)
- 125 g milk
- 1 teaspoon yeast
Ingredients – Chocolate Filling
- 120 ml milk
- 2 egg whites
- 75 grams sugar
- 30 grams flour (AP is fine)
- 30 grams cocoa powder
- 15 grams butter
To make your dough, combine all ingredients except butter in a large bowl (or stand mixer). Mix until a dough is formed, then add butter. If kneading by hand use an unfloured surface. It will feel and look like you are kneading all butter for a while. After a while (about 4 minutes in a mixer, 8-10 by hand) it will transform into a soft dough. Cover and let rise for 2 hours.
Mix the egg whites and sugar together until combined. Slowly bring your milk to a boil. While that’s heating up, mix together your flour and cocoa powder into the sugar/egg white mixture.
Pour your boiling milk over the chocolate mixture, whisking together. Transfer back into the pot, and cook it over medium heat until thick. When it’s ready add your butter, and then spread it on a tray about 20×15 cm. It should freeze in under 2 hours.
When the chocolate is ready, roll your dough out to a 20×30 cm rectangle. Place your chocolate block in the middle, and envelop it with the dough. Do a tour double (illustrated here), then do it again.
Roll your flattened dough into a log, and cut into 12 egual pieces. Place into buttered muffin tins, and let them rise for 45 minutes. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and bake for 15-20 minutes.
Recipe courtesy of FeleciaBeeeh