Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus cooling time
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Resting time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Refrigeration time: 3 hours minimum
- 14 oz. (400 g) raw brioche dough, homemade
- 1 egg for an egg wash
- Pearl sugar and/or cocoa nibs
- Confectioners’ (icing) sugar for dusting
For the raw brioche dough
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons (25 ml) whole milk
- 1/5 oz. (6 g) fresh (compressed) yeast
- 2 ½ cups (9 oz./250 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons (¾ oz./25 g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon (5 g) salt
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/3 stick (5 ½ oz./150 g) unsalted butter, cubed
For the whipped ivory ganache with orange blossom water
- 5 2/3 oz. (160 g) white chocolate, 35 per cent cocoa
- Whipping cream, divided: ½ cup minus 1 tablespoon (110 ml), plus 1 cup, plus 1 tablespoon (270 ml)
- A few drops of orange blossom water
For the syrup
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) water
- 2 ½ tablespoons (1 oz./30 g) granulated sugar
- 1 pastry brush
- 1 spatula or piping bag
- 1 stand-alone mixer fitted with a dough hook
1Three hours ahead, or preferably a day ahead, prepare the white chocolate ganache. Chop the chocolate and melt it slowly in a bain-marie or in the microwave oven (on “defrost” or at 500 W maximum, stirring from time to time).
2Bring the ½ cup minus 1 tablespoon (110 ml) cream to the boil in a saucepan. Gradually pour one-third of the boiling cream over the melted chocolate. Using a flexible spatula, energetically mix the cream into the chocolate, drawing small, quick circles in the centre to create a shiny, elastic “kernel”. Incorporate the second third of the cream and mix in exactly the same way.
3Pour in the remaining third, using the same stirring technique. Stir in the remaining cold whipping cream as well as a little orange blossom water. Cover with plastic wrap flush with the surface of the ganache and chill for at least 3 hours in the refrigerator.
4Prepare the brioche. Slightly warm the milk in a small saucepan and dilute the yeast in it. Pour the flour, sugar, salt, milk and yeast mixture, and the 3 eggs into the bowl of the mixer fitted with the dough hook. Knead for about 15 minutes at low speed so as not to heat the mixture, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Gradually add the cubed butter and knead until the dough is smooth. Cover it with a clean damp cloth and leave it to double in volume. Punch the dough down until it returns to its original volume (this is to remove the air) and chill for 1 hour.
5Preheat the oven to 350°F (170°C). Cut out an 8 ½ in. (22 cm) disk of raw brioche dough. Leave it to rise for 1 hour 30 minutes. Brush it with the egg wash, sprinkle with pearl sugar and/or cocoa nibs, and bake for about 25 minutes. Leave to cool and then cut it into two horizontally.
6Prepare the syrup. Bring the water and sugar to the boil and add the orange blossom water. Remove immediately from the heat.
7To assemble, moisten the cut surfaces of the brioche halves with a pastry brush. Whisk the ganache until its texture becomes creamy. Using a piping bag or a spatula, spread the whisked ganache over the lower half of the brioche. Cover it with the top half, dust with confectioners’ sugar, and serve.
Pearl (or “nibbed”) sugar can be found in the sugar aisle of the supermarket or in speciality stores. If you can’t find pearl sugar, substitute crystallised sugar.
IMAGE © CLAY MCLACHLAN
First printed in our sister publication France Today
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