Happy 2018!! How are your breaks going? Mine has been full of discussions about college apps, essays for said apps, bread, food, and submitting the previously mentioned apps. But now that I’m officially done with apps, I’ve been baking enough to make my mom cry of horror. The hoards of brioche, Swedish cinnamon rolls, and faux sourdough bread are apparently no longer welcome in our household. Thankfully, with school resuming, I can stuff them in the faces of my very *very* good friends who are always willing to take more free food.
I’m very excited about this semester though! Because of some – in my opinion, stupid – policies at the university, I’m forced to take less than the optimal amount of coursework and as a result, my schedule is the most open it’s ever been (since probably I was 4 years old…). Thus one of my goals in 2018 (well, at least in the first half) is to resume posting every week which I stopped doing around junior year when things got completely out of control. First up, this Dark Chocolate and Orange Brioche!
The most surprising aspect of this brioche loaf is not the flavor combo, but the fact that I’m publishing it in time for Valentine’s Day. *yes I finally managed to do something holiday-ish themed!* I’m gonna pretend that it was intentional (little secret: it wasn’t). This recipe really had no inspiration; I was just feeling slightly unoriginal and depressed during the college app process and what *always* works for cheering me up is chocolate + butter + clementines (I can eat an entire bag of clementines… in one sitting… stop judging….) so I combined them all into this gorgeously golden loaf (except not clementines bc I ate them all). In my world, loaves are always split into two categories – shreddable, fluffy, cloud-like, or holey, crackly, and brick-like. This one is the former (which, honestly, is the better of the two categories anyways). As a testament to it’s fluffiness and shreddability, here’s a gif.
(side note: if that isn’t the most gorgeous and delicious thing you’ve seen, please send me a pic of what you think is better)
With generous chunks of melty, gooey dark chocolate burst out of the seams, a fragrant hint of orange, and a light crunch from the nutty almonds on top, this Dark Chocolate and Orange Brioche loaf is absolutely perfect for Valentine’s day. It’s soft, lighter than a cloud, and completely shreddable. In the case that you’re completely and absolutely single like me, there’s no reason not to stuff yourself with its little pieces that melt once they hit liquid (unless… of course… you’re in the middle of a diet, in which case, go see my banana pancakes. this, is not diet food dears…)
Chocolate and Orange Brioche
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 1/4 tsp yeast
- 1/3 cup condensed milk
- 1 egg
- 2 1/2 cup flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup butter softened
- zest of one orange
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chopped
- 1 egg
- slivered/sliced almonds, pearl sugar, etc. (optional)
In a large bowl, combine the milk and heavy cream and microwave until lukewarm (about 30 seconds). Sprinkle over the yeast and stir.
Add the condensed milk, egg, salt, and butter. Mix until the mixture forms a ball and turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until the dough is bouncy.
Add in the butter, one tablespoon at a time until thoroughly combined. It's almost impossible to overknead so just keep kneading! The finished dough should be able to be stretched until almost see through. Add the
Cover and let rise for 1-2 hrs, or until nearly doubled.
Punch the dough and split into 5 equal sized pieces. Roll each one into an oval, fold in the sides and roll up like a snail. Let rest. Then re-role each one like before and place in a baking dish so that the swirls of the snail face the long end of the baking pan (look at photos for reference).
Cover and let rise for 2 hours, or until doubled.
Preheat the oven to 425 C. Beat an egg and brush it gently onto the loaf. Sprinkle on almonds or pearl sugar if desired. Bake for 15 minutes, or until lightly golden.
Turn down the oven to 325 C and bake for 20 minutes, or until loaf is very golden and sounds hollow when tapped.
Cool and enjoy!