We were once asked to fill out a questionnaire at work that was meant to assess our strengths and weaknesses. The survey had over 150 questions and we were meant to share our results with our group when done. After the 10th question, I gave up, there was simply no way I was going to sit through the remaining 140. I decided instead to ask my husband what he thought my strengths were, and what areas I could improve on.
“On the positive side,” he said “you are resourceful, always wanting to learn new things and you get along well with others.”
“But…” I asked.
“Well, you’re impatient” he told me. ”Impatient?? I’m not impatient!” I protested.
“You are – you can’t even sit down long enough to fill out a survey!” he answered.
When I want something, I want it right NOW. The smallest hint of delay can frustrate and exasperate me.
Unless I’m cooking, then, my motto is all good things come to those who wait. I will brine chicken for a few hours prior to roasting, make pasta from scratch, spend a few hours making home made stock, and once cooked a lamb shoulder for over seven hours. You see, I’m perfectly willing to bide my time when I know that there’s something to look forward to in the end.
I had been meaning to make this ever since I tried the Raspberry and Sour Cream Brioche at Bourke Street Bakery. I loved the creamy cheese filling, cut by the slightly tart raspberries and was determined to make it myself. I first started by browsing over ten different baking books (and a few magazines) for a basic brioche recipe. Many of the recipes were similar in ratio, and I finally settled on this one adapted from Pierre Herme. First, the dough needs to be mixed using a stand mixer for at least ten minutes until the dough comes together and looks shiny and elastic but do note that it will be quite sticky. The dough is then prooved (allowed to rest and rise to around double it’s size) twice, after the first time the dough is pressed down (referred to as “punching down”) and proved for a second time. Then the dough is shaped in little tart tins and allowed to rise one final time before filling and baking. Each rise can take between 45 minutes to 2 hours – so you see – why making brioche a whole day affair and a true test of patience.
Rich, buttery, with a tender crumb, the resulting brioche is well worth the wait and effort.
Raspberry and Cream Cheese Brioche
For the brioche dough
- 250 grams bread flour (or all purpose)
- 4 grams instant yeast
- 30 grams caster sugar
- pinch of salt
- 4 eggs
- 200 grams butter, make sure the butter is cold so it can withstand the long mixing time required.
- pinch of salt
For the raspberry sauce
- 150 grams frozen raspberries
- 30 grams sugar
For the cream cheese filling
- 215 grams cream cheese, room temperature
- 50 grams sugar
- 1 egg
For the Egg Wash
- 1 egg
- 20 grams caster sugar
- 40 grams melted butter
- 50 grams caster sugar
- Place the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low speed and add the eggs, one at a time, the mixture will look quite dry at this point.
- Cut the butter into four or five pieces and add this to the batter, one at a time. Make sure the butter is cold so that it does not melt with the continuous mixing. Increase the speed to medium, around 10 minutes. The dough will remain quite sticky.
- In the meantime, heat some water and pour this over a tea towel, remove the excess water so the towel is warm and damp.
- Remove the dough and place in a large buttered bowl and cover with the damp towel.
- Set the dough aside and allow to double in size, around 2 to 3 hours.
- Once the dough has doubled, remove the dough from the bowl and place this in a lightly floured surface, push down the dough lightly so that the dough is roughly the size before the first rise.
- Place the dough back in the bowl and once again, wet the tea towel with hot water, remove excess water and cover the bowl with a damp towel, around 2 hours, until doubled in size.
- When the dough has doubled in size again, it is now ready for use.
- Butter eight mini tart tins (around 7.5 cm in diameter) and take around 80 grams of the dough and push it lightly down on the tart tin so it covers the circumference. Continue with the rest of the dough, each tin should have around 80 grams of dough.
- Allow the dough to rise slightly, around 45 minutes to 1 hour so that the dough rises to the sides of the tin.
- To make the raspberry filling, gently heat the frozen raspberries in a saucepan along with the sugar, around 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- To make the cream cheese filling, mix the cream cheese, sugar and egg in a bowl of a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat until smooth. Set aside.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180c (fan forced).
- When the dough has risen, push down on the center of the dough so you can spoon the cream cheese and raspberry sauce on it prior to baking.
- Spoon the cream cheese and then top with the raspberry filling.
- To make the egg wash, beat the egg and the sugar together.
- Place the tart tins in a tray and brush the sides with egg wash and bake for 14 minutes, or until golden. Remove the oven and allow to cool slightly. Brush the sides with melted butter and then sprinkle some caster sugar on the sides of the brioche.