Heavenly Apricot Spice Brioche!! plus…..

Hubby’s Pavlova:

Not a yeasty beasty but deserves a mention as it’s a NZ dish, divine and Hubby makes it soooooo well. Not sure about the decoration below but you know what they say about ugly things!! They are usually the best.

A favourite NZ dessert…

You will need

  • 8 egg whites at RT ( see Poppy seed cake recipe to use up egg yolks).
  • 2 cups of castor sugar.
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence.
  • 1 tsp vinegar.
  • 2 tsp cornflour.
  • 450 mls cream for whipping later.
  • Sprinkles and/ or fresh fruit for decoration.

Whip those whites!!

  • Preheat oven to about 140 Celsius.
  • Prepare baking tray with baking paper on it.
  • Whip the egg whites until soft and peaky.
  • Add one tsp on sugar at a time.
  • This process takes about 10-15 minutes but you need the sugar to be dissolved and worked in as well as possible.
  • Beat in vanilla, cornflour and vinegar.
  • Don’t beat the whisk or the beaters on the bowl.
  • Spoon Pavlova mix onto the prepared baking tray, forming a round or oval shape.
  • Pile it up!!
  • Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes at 140 Celsius and then reduce heat to 110 and bake for a further 60-90 minutes until the Pavlova is dry and crisp and lifts of the baking paper easily.

Ready to ice!!

  • When cool, transfer to a plate and whip cream and place on top of the Pavlova.
  • Decorate to your taste!

Tastes divine too!!

Below is how we usually decorate the Pavlova but i think the boys told hubby that chocolate drinking chocolate would be nice, which it would taste wise but a brown Pavlova?? But as I said, it tasted divine!! 

A bit more colour …

Back to the Brioche……..

I don’t know why I do this to myself.

Talk about glutton for punishment.

I know these Brioche’s are buggers to make by hand BUT still i insist on making them….Luckily this time, not too long kneading, 20 mins to put in 300+ grams of butter. I need a new mixer with a dough hook. I have on the odd lazy occasion used the breadmakers kneading facility BUT I don’t like to use that with buttery goods as i like it to be worked in well, so by hand it is. I am looking for an old mixer, the old Kenwood’s ,you know they last for ever and I have my eye on a few so will keep you all informed!! HUGE dough hooks, good for at least 1-2 kg of dough…….and i have my beady eyes on some bannettons too:) Sigh….All the makings of yeasty heaven…

What are we aiming for?

Divine intervention from the Yeasty Gods!!

Now the recipe I used was https://greedybread.wordpress.com/2012/05/26/are-you-feeling-beasty-today/ from here so I won’t repeat it .

BUT i will add, that i used 320g of butter not 220g, so an increase in butter and take a little longer to work it in.

You also need half a cup of Raisins and half a cup of chopped apricots and 2 tsp cinnamon.

When you take the brioche out from its night in the fridge, still work as quickly as you can with it. Put it back in the fridge if need be.

Work the apricots etc into the dough and work through, don’t handle it too much though, so work as quickly as you can.

You could add the fruit just after you finish the kneading the day before, just before you place the dough in the fridge. I don’t like to add fruit etc during the kneading process unless its right at the end.

Leave to prove until doubled in size, just as in the above recipe. You may need 5 minutes more cooking time with the added fruit. From the recipe above, I got 1 brioche and one braided plait so you will get a larger plait if you are making only one or you could make 2 smaller ones , the size I did.

Leave to cool and then enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!

Lets look at the photos.

1st starter for Brioche

Ingredients and 1st starter already to go !

Eggy mix into 1st starter

Yeasty eggy mix into Dry

Form that dough!

Work that dough!

Work that butter in!!

Almost done!!

Into the fridge in an oiled bag overnight

Apricots, Raisins and Cinnamon

Grease the tins!

Ready for proving

Add in the Fruit and Spice

Ready to roll and braid

Ready for egg wash

Bit of a prove

Mmmmm ready to eat!!

Sooooooo Nice!!


Are you feeling Beasty today?

Hmm, i am , maybe its cause its Friday but i thought in that case we need a challenge.

I have a nice biga bubbling away on its third refreshment that i will use to make some stupendous Roman bread tomorrow but today, I think we will leave Italy and head to France.

Yes, Brioche , which is absolute heaven to eat but can be a real bugger to make and it can be time-consuming but I have to say regardless, that taste of the warm brioche is like nothing else on earth.It is almost pastry like, yet its still a bread. It is a divine creation.

So what are we aiming for?

Brioche…..words fail me!!

And I think we will be doubley risqué today and make one a Chocolate brioche, sort of like the Pain au chocolat. Mmmmm Hungry just thinking of it 🙂

Remember we need 2 days for this !!

Are we ready to get with the bready readies? I am!!

This recipe is adapted from Peter Reinhart’s “Rich Man Brioche & Poor Man Brioche” that is in his “Breadmakers Apprentice book”.  A divine book, I have to say:)

Personally i found the Rich Man’s brioche just a little too rich for my taste, and I never thought I would say that:) but I do need to say that it did not stop me eating it, I couldn’t stop, that rich, butteryness but so rich…

When I made the chocolate one, I found that it was too much with the Rich man’s version but just right when I adjusted the recipe, then I realized he also had a mid version!! DUH!! for me.

Without further ado:

NZ Brioche:

  • 1/2 cup of strong bread flour
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 1/2 cup of warmed milk
  • 1 tsp sugar

NB: Just reminding everyone that we don’t want the yeast water/milk (any recipe) to be too hot or cold. Too hot will kill the yeast basically and too cold will not activate it.

  • Warm milk and stir in sugar
  • Add in yeast and flour
  • Cover and leave for 20 mins in a warm area (hot water cupboard) or until frothy like.

I like to use a wee bit of sugar in this (above) as i think it helps to activate the yeast and give it something to feed from:). I have found it gives me a better outcome.

  • 6 eggs beaten
  • 3.5 cups of strong bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 220 grams of butter
  • 1 egg/milk beaten for egg wash


  • Add beaten eggs to the spongy mix created above
  • Whisk until blended
  • Place flour, salt, sugar in separate bowl and mix through
  • Slowly add dry mix to the egg mixture, a little at a time
  • Rest for 10 minutes
  • Slowly add butter, 20-30 grams at a time
  • Make sure butter is distributed evenly
  • Dough should be very smooth and moist
  • Place dough in lightly oil bowl and cover with gladwrap.
  • Leave overnight in the fridge.

Remove from fridge and shape while its cold. This is more so important with the Rich man’s version. If the dough gets warm, return to the fridge.

I used 2 small and 2 medium-sized fluted Brioche tine but people also do it in loaf tins.

  • Make sure the tins/moulds are well-greased
  • Place dough in the moulds/tins usually fill  just over half the tin/mould with dough.
  • Cover lightly with gladwrap.
  • Leave to prove for 2-3 hours or until the dough nearly fills the tins/moulds.
  • Preheat oven to 190-200 Celsius
  • Brush with egg wash
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown for the small ones and then 35-40 minutes for the larger ones.
  • Remove from the tins as soon as they come from the oven and cool on racks for at least 30 minutes (unless you are a greedybread person like me and scoff it within 5 mins of coming from the tins).

See had a scoff early on!! Shame


Now i forgot to take a photo of the Chocolate one before they all disappeared so the chocolate brioche piccy come courtesy of http://www.dessertstalking.com . Nice but a less buttery texture of my ones above. My ones above are the Rich man’s version  (which is basically the same recipe but having double the butter) so you can see the difference in the texture that the butter makes. the colour is different as well. I really noticed the difference in this when I made the recipe above.

I am sure I don’t even need to start saying what can be done with these??

That is if they last long enough to make it past the first few hours!! I know mine didn’t.

Enjoy, Enjoy and ENJOY!!!

Tomorrow maybe a short trip to Germany???

Won’t say for what but will say, it has apples in it!!