Out of all the dessert/pastries I could ever eat, This is my favourite! There is something about the beautiful sweet brioche style bread, the custard, the cream and then the crunchy sugary almond topping! I think I have always had a thing for custard. It is smooth, silky and melts in your mouth and just plain delicious when it is done right.
I know you are saying, I don’t need to be eating this, but yes you do, you need to try it at least once, to taste that soft, sweet bread, the oozy gooey custard and that crunch!
Normally BTMX (before Thermomix) when I had to take something particularly special I would pop into my local bakery and pick one up! Now I make it… It has taken me a while to get the combinations just right, but it was so worth it!
The brioche dough is a sweet cake/dough/pastry style bread. The best way to make this dough is to make the dough in the night time and leave it in the fridge over night for the best results (at least 12 hours), take it out to get ti to room temperature then cook. But “Ain’t no body got time for that” so just make it and allow it to prove in the kitchen. The proving process of bread is the most complicated… how long do you leave it? When is it ready? Normally it is when it has doubled in size… but what is that? You will have to do a bit of trail and error, sorry… but that is the wonderful process of making bread. Also the time it takes to get to double the size, is varied depending on heat, humidity, etc. I find that in summer proving may take only an hour, but in winter it may take 4 hours, you just never can tell. All I can say is that when it is ready, its ready 🙂
I know it sounds complicated, but it really isn’t that hard, once the dough is made it just need to prove (twice) then cook, then fill… so it just seems like a long time because the dough needs to rest/prove for a long time. Just get your timing right and you will be preparing this at night, cooking in the morning and serving for morning/afternoon tea or dessert.
I am sorry, but I am just including the Thermomix Method, as I have only ever made this in the Thermomix! If you have a dough hook attachment on your Kitchen Aid or other appliance, I’m sure it will work just as well, you will just need to adjust it for your appliance. The other alternative is that you hand knead, this will take a while, and this dough is quite sticky, but it can be very satisfying, if you like that sort of thing.
Ingredients – Cake
125g Full Cream Milk
20g Fresh Yeast or 2 Teaspoons Dry Yeast
300g Bakers Flour
1 Teaspoon Bread Improver (optional)
70g Soft Butter
Ingredients – Custard Cream
300g Extra Pure Cream (for Whipping)
250g Pure Cream (don’t buy thickened)
1 Vanilla Pod
Ingredients – Almond Topping
50g Flaked Almonds
Method – Cake
1. Place yeast, milk and a teaspoon of sugar into the mixing bowl and warm,3 minutes/37/speed 1.
2. Add flour, bread improver, sugar and egg combine 30 seconds/speed 3.
3. Knead ingredients 6 minutes/kneading function. while this is happening add cubed soft butter within the first minute.
4. Tip out dough onto an oiled bench and hand knead into a ball with oiled hands and then let the dough rest in an oiled bowl or ThermoServer for 30 minutes.
**Please note this is a very sticky brioche style dough, you may have to remove your blade to get all the dough out of the bowl.
5. Place dough on an oiled bench and knock it down and cut into two piece, then roll out into a round shape that will fit inside your well oiled cake tins, that have a piece of baking paper just in the bottom as well, so they don’t stick (Approximately 2 x 20cm cake tins).
6. Place dough into cake tins, cover with oiled plastic and allow dough to prove for another 2-3 hours, or until it has doubled in size. (It will only be about 1/3 of the way up the tin).
7. Preheat your oven to 180ºC and place almond topping over the dough mixture of one tin and cook both tins for 20 – 25 minutes or until golden brown. Don’t worry if the dough sinks in places, it gives it character.
8. When cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for about 5 minutes, then gentle remove from tin and place onto a cooling rack. The only places it might stick are where the honey almond mixture has stuck to the tin, so just help it loose with a sharp knife.
9. When completely cold, spread the bottom cake (no almond mixture) with custard first then spread cream over the top. Finally place the almond honey top on the top to finish your creation. The best way to cut the bee sting is with a serrated knife, like you were cutting very fresh bread.
Method – Custard Cream
1. Place butterfly into blade and lock into place, then place extra cream (300g) into mixing bowl and whip on 40 seconds/speed 4 or until cream is whipped. Place in the fridge and set aside for later.
2. Remove butterfly (no need to wash the bowl), then place cream (250g), milk and scraped vanilla pods into the mixing bowl and heat 5 minutes/Varoma/speed 1, MC off.
3. In a separate bowl place in cornflour, sugar and eggs and whisk together until smooth.
4. Remove Vanilla Pods then start Thermomix for 5 minutes/100/speed 2 and gradually add in the egg yolk mixture within the first minute, then add butter and continue cooking.
5. When finished stir 10 seconds/ speed 4.
6. Set aside to cool
Method – Almond Topping
1. Place butter, honey and sugar from almond topping ingredients into the mixing bowl and cook 3 minutes/100º/speed 1.
2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and cook 5 minutes/Varoma/speed 2.
3. Place in flaked almonds and mix 30 seconds/reverse/speed 1.
4. Allow mixture to cool and use as required.
This recipe may feel like a bit of a stretch for you… but once you have mastered the bread part, the rest is very easy… The key for bread is always let it prove to double its size and you will be fine. It is very impressive when complete and people will not believe that you have made it all.
Side bar…. This is a creme patissiere style custard and is just delicious. If you would like to make your standard custard this way but don’t want it a thick… just halve the corn flour and it will be perfect 🙂
I know it is decadent, but if you just have it maybe once every 6 months then there is no problem… You should really feel very sorry for me I had to make 5 of them before I got it right, so at the moment I never want to see another bee sting again!!! LOL!
The other great thing about making these is that everyone will be so impressed that you made it yourself!
Don’t forget to drop in and leave me a message, you know how I love hearing from you all!
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