Chocolate & Creme Patissiere Brioche Swirls

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I recently made some brioche buns which were a great success, so trying to build on that today I made some Chocolate & Creme Patissiere Brioche Swirls.   These will take the same brioche recipe but then instead of creating the Brioche a Tete the dough will be rolled out and covered in creme patissiere and chocolate chunks, then rolled up and cut into 12 pieces which, when placed on the sides with show the swirl.

Brioche, as you know, takes a long time to make but in this instance, where I do a second proof for at least 7 hours in the fridge, you can move straight from the first proof into the rolling process.  That means skipping the 7 hour proof.  I did that proof, simply as I think is helps to develop the flavour that bit more.

Then I created the brioche swirls and after a final proving I just brushed the tops and sides with egg wash and sprinkled a little pearl sugar over and then baked.

I am very pleased with how they turned out, maybe not the neatest but still ok and very tasty indeed.  The light and very soft texture of the brioche mixed with the lovely flavour of the filling is just delicious.

Although I specify rolling the dough into a sausage after adding the creme patissiere and chocolate chips an alternative is to cover the rolled out dough with the creme patissiere and chocolate and then use a pizza cutter to cut into strips for rolling up.  This may turn out to be a neater way to create the swirls.  Another little alternative is that having rolled them into swirls instead of putting them on a baking sheet you could put each one into the cup of a jumbo muffin tin and, with the swirl on the bottom and the top, and bake for the same time.

Chocolate & Creme Patissiere Brioche Swirls
           Chocolate & Creme Patissiere Brioche Swirls – Video
for the brioche:
  • 500g(4 cups) strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 6g salt
  • 50g(1/4 cup) caster sugar
  • 10g instant yeast
  • 140ml(1/3 cup +1/4 cup) whole milk
  • 5 medium eggs(large in USA)
  • 250g(2 sticks plus scant 2 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • Pearl sugar, for sprinkling, if desired
  • 1 egg, beaten, for an egg wash
for the creme pat and chocolate filling etc:
  • 4 medium egg yolks (large in USA)
  • 60g(1/4 cup + 2 tsp) caster sugar
  • 25g(1/5 cup) plain flour
  • 2 tsp cornflour/cornstarch
  • 280ml(1/2  cup+2/3 cup) whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 70-100g chocolate chips(milk or dark)
  • 1 beaten egg for egg wash
  • pearl sugar for sprinkling, if desired
  1. Warm the milk to about 43C/110F.
  2. Put the flour into the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook.
  3. Add the salt and sugar to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other. 
  4. Add the milk and eggs and mix on a slow speed for 2 minutes.
  5. Increase the speed to medium for a further 6 – 8 minutes, until you have a soft, glossy, elastic dough.
  6. Add the softened butter and continue to mix for a further 5 – 6 minutes, scraping down the bowl periodically to ensure that the butter is thoroughly incorporated. The dough will be very soft and sticky.
  7. Tip the dough into a plastic bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to prove in a warm place for 2 hours, the dough should double in size.
  8. While the dough is proving make the creme patissiere by placing the sugar and eggs into a bowl and whisk until it has thickened a little and gone pale.
  9. Add the  vanilla extract, cornflour and flour and whisk again until all is combined.
  10. Heat the milk until it is almost boiling.
  11. Pour into the egg mixture and whisk together. 
  12. Return the mixture to the saucepan and, whisking all the time, heat until it is boiling and thickens well. It is very important to keep whisking to avoid any lumps forming.
  13. If any lumps have formed you can pass the mixture through a sieve to remove them.
  14. Place the creme patissiere into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressed against the creme patissiere to stop it forming a film on top.
  15. Allow the creme patissiere to cool completely.
  16. Knock the dough back and cover again.
  17. Chill overnight or for at least 7 hours, until it is firmed up and you are able to shape it. If the dough reaches the top of the bowl during this resting time you can gently knock it back and cover again. (if you wish you can skip this step entirely)
  18. Lightly dust the worktop with flour and tip out the dough onto it
  19. Knock the dough down  to knock the air out.
  20. Sprinkle with flour and roll out in a rectangle with the long edge about 48cm(19 inches), to a thickness of about 8 mm(1/3 inch).
  21. Spread creme pattisiere over the dough, leaving a margin clear along one long edge(about an inch).
  22. Sprinkle as much of the chocolate over the creme patissiere as you wish.
  23. Starting at the long edge that has creme patissiere on it roll up into a sausage, as tightly as you can, ensureing the chocolate doesn’t all get pushed out.
  24. Cut the sausage into 12 equal sized pieces.
  25. Place each piece into a jumbo/large muffin pan, or onto a parchment lined baking tray, being sure to leave lots of space between each one.
  26. Cover and allow to prove again until doubled in size(1 to 2 hours).
  27. Preheat the oven to 190C/170C 375F
  28. Brush egg wash over tops and sides and, if using, sprinkle some pearl sugar over too.
  29. Bake in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes, until the swirls are a lovely golden brown. Mine took just the 20 minutes.
  30. Remove from the oven and let cool for a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

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