Brioche Donuts

Another recipe from the Great British Bake Off. One thing I appreciate about the show is how accessible they make baking to people who might not normally try. Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry make everything seem so simple, and truth is baking really can be simple IF you follow the directions and have patience (which I usually have none). Let get into these Brioche Donuts. I essentially followed the recipe from  Great British Bake off, but with the chocolate donuts I decided to use ganache instead of whole chocolate.

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Ganache

Ingredients

  • 2 oz heavy cream
  • 2 ½ oz bittersweet chocolate

Process

  1. Bring the cream to a boil and then pour over the bittersweet chocolate. Whisk together until shiny and smooth.
  2. Allow to cool in the fridge and you can scoop it for the filling. Then microwave it for about 30 seconds and you can use it to dip the top of the donuts.

Donuts

Ingredients

  • 9 oz bread flour
  • 4 grams salt
  • 1 oz sugar
  • 5 grams instant yeast
  • 2 1/3 oz whole milk, warmed
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 ½ oz unsalted butter, soft

Process

  1. Place the flour, sugar and salt (to one side) in a mixing bowl of stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the yeast to the other side of the bowl. Add the warmed milk and eggs and mix on low for two minutes, then on move up to a medium speed for about 8-10 minutes.
  2. Add the soften butter to the dough in pieces and keep mixing for about 5-6 minutes, periodically you’ll want to stop and scrap down to ensure that the butter is completely mixed in. The dough will be very soft but if you check the gluten window it should be developed.
  3. Place the dough in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge over night. This will allow the yeast to proof slowly but also firm up the dough so you can handle it.
  4. Tip the dough out onto a floured counter and knead it a few times.
  5. Dived the dough into 1 oz portions (I got 19 pieces) and flatten each portion slightly. Place your filling (in my case I used either a scoop of ganache or raspberries stuffed with blueberries) in the center of the dough disc. Then fold the dough up and over the filling and shape each portion into a ball. You’ll want to keep the two flavors separated and allow to proof at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  6. Preheat your deep fryer to 340 F.
  7. Fry your donuts on each side for about 3 minutes and remove using a slotted spoon.
  8. To decorate I rolled the fruit donuts in sugar and I dipped the chocolate donuts in the remaining ganache.
  9. Let set, enjoy with a cup of coffee!

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My friend Sophie once said “If Challah is the king of bread, Brioche would be the queen”  this is how I like to think of it, Brioche is rich, buttery and eggy. I once heard someone say that brioche isn’t that big of a deal because it’s “just the bread you use for French toast” and I couldn’t disagree more. Brioche is SO versatile that I’m glad I attempted these donuts because now that I have the yeast and bread flour for the brioche I’m pretty sure you can expect to see more brioche recipes from me in the future. I truly enjoy teaching others how to prepare recipes and with these chocolate brioche donuts I had my robot make the ganache. Now ganache is a simple two ingredient process, but I loved being in the kitchen with him. Not only did he make the ganache he helped me fill and form the donuts and as I fried them, he finished them off by rolling them in the sugar. More importantly he helped me eat them!

Chocolate Cream Pie

I can’t get over this chocolate cream pie, the filling came out so smooth and the addition of coffee really adds a richness to the chocolate. I essentially followed Ina Garten’s recipe for chocolate banana cream pie but then left out the bananas; but truly that could be something fun for another day.IMG_1681

Crust

Ingredients

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumb (I used 9 crackers and crushed them in a food processor)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Process

  1. For the crust, combine everything in a bowl and mixed together. Press the mixture into a 9” pie pan (Ina’s recipe calls for an 11-inch false bottom tart pan, this is likely why I had extra.)
  2. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees, then set aside to cool completely.

Filling

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 5 yolks
  • 1/3 cup of cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 cups whole milk, scalded
  • 7 ounces of bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
  • Splash of Vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon coffee liqueur (I used 1 tablespoon of cold brew concentrate)

Process

  1. Bring the milk to a slight boil.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together the yolks, sugar, salt and cornstarch.
  3. When the milk is hot, pour it slowly into the egg mixture while constantly and vigoursly whisking to avoid scrambled eggs. Put back into the pot over a medium to low heat and whisk until thickened (this might take about 5 minutes).
  4. When thickened, remove from the heat and pour over chopped chocolate. Whisk in the vanilla, butter and coffee. Run through a sieve.
  5. To get your filling really smooth you can run it through a food processor. This isn’t completely necessary, but you’ll get a beautifully smooth filling.
  6. Pour into baked shell and allow to set in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

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I made this as a not so secret surprise for my darling robot when he came home from a business trip. I’m absolutely in love with this pie, I’ve had chocolate silk pies before, but the addition of the coffee really makes it something special. I used to be so terrible at making graham cracker crusts but with a bit of practice I got the hang of it, truthfully you really need to make sure you get the correct texture before attempting to push it into your pie tin; or just buy one of those ready-made crust from the store. I know as a pastry cook, I probably should insist on doing it by hand but honestly if it’s going to frustrate you, I say take the easy way out. Dessert should be fun.

Ina’s original recipe calls for using an 11-inch tart pan, I didn’t have one of those lying around to use so I made mine in a 9-inch pan and I had left over filling. You could pour the filling into little cups and eat it like pudding, or you can do what I did and use tiny ready-made crusts for mini pies. I think these would be so cute for a party to just have a cake stand filled with mini pies.

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