Brioche Chinois aux pépites de chocolat – Why not celebrate Easter with this decadently buttery brioche filled with chocolate chips and custard ?
Although this recipe is perfect for sharing with family and friends, it does come with a warning – Chinois is terribly addictive !
Whilst I love making Hot Cross Buns (The Kitchen Shed oven has been working overtime baking them for friends and neighbours) not everyone in our family is keen on dried fruit so I’ve produced the Brioche Chinois as an alternative. I did the same at Christmas with my Black Forest Chocolate Pudding as a change from traditional Christmas Pudding.
Brioche Chinois translates as Chinese Brioche although it isn’t Chinese at all. Online research suggests a number of possibilities for the term but I’ve yet to find a definitve answer – no one seems to know the actual origins and I couldn’t find an answer on French food blogs either. We first came across this delicious buttery treat on a family camping trip to the Vendée. Our boys often chose a Brioche Chinois to take back to camp and share with friends.
The brioche dough can be prepared ahead and kept in the fridge for up to three days.
Please don’t be put off by suggestions that brioche dough is difficult to make – mixing and kneading can be a bit messy (which is why I prefer to use my KitchenAid mixer) but hand mixed and kneaded works fine. Once your dough has been in the fridge, the next bit is easy as you shape whilst cold and wait for the dough to rise. I used a 23cm (9 inch) tin and I couldn’t quite fit eight Chinois swirls in, so I baked one Chinois swirl in a ramekin. A 25 cm (10 inch) tin would be better or you can always do what I did and use a ramekin to get a cute looking single Brioche Chinois.
- 4 eggs - beaten
- 75 ml (⅓ cup) warm milk
- 450 g (3 ¼ cups) strong white bread flour
- 12.5 g (2 tablespoons) dried yeast - I used Doves Farm
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons caster sugar
- 225 g (1 cup) softened butter cut into small cubes
- 350 ml (1 ⅓ cups) cold, thick custard (you can buy ready made if you like)
- 100 g (4 oz) dark chocolate chips
- Egg wash
- Optional: Perle sugar to decorate
- Whisk together the beaten eggs and milk.
- Place the flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the milk and egg mixture.
- Mix until it comes together and then knead for 5 to 10 minutes until smooth.
- Add the butter a cube or so at a time, kneading and scraping the dough until all the butter is incorporated and the dough is smooth and elastic. Don't worry, the dough will be quite sticky.
- Place the flour, yeast, salt and sugar into the bowl of your mixer fitted with a dough hook.
- On a slow speed slowly pour the egg and milk mixture in a steady stream until incorporated into a soft wet dough.
- With the machine still running, add the butter cube by cube, until all the butter is incorporated.
- Continue needing for about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Don't worry, the dough will be quite sticky.
- Place the dough into a greased bowl and spray with cooking spray. Cover and keep in the fridge overnight (will keep for up to 3 days) DON'T miss out this step or your dough will be too soft to work with.
Shape the Brioche Chinois:
- Remove from the fridge and tip the dough onto a well floured surface.
- Roll out while it is still cold into a large rectangle roughly 25 cm x 35 cm. Spread with the cold custard leaving a 5 cm border on a long edge and sprinkle evenly with the chocolate chips.
- Roll up as tightly as you can. Start with the long side where the custard has been spread to the edge - it's a bit of a messy job but don't worry if some of the custard escapes.
- Cut into 8 equal pieces.
- Grease and line a 25 cm (10 inch) loose bottomed cake tin.
- Place the first piece in the centre of your greased cake tin. Place the other pieces evenly around the centre brioche swirl.
- Cover with a large upturned bowl or place in a large greased bag, making sure there is plenty of room for the brioche to rise, and then seal.
- Leave to rise at room temperature for about 2 hours or until doubled in size.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F / 180°C / Gas Mark 4. Grease and line a 25 cm (10 inch) loose bottomed cake tin.
- Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with pearl sugar if using.
- Bake in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes until the centre feels firm to the touch, cover with foil if the top is getting too brown.
- Leave to cool in the tin for about 20 minutes before removing.
If you do happen to have any left, it does freeze well.
Pin Brioche Chinois for later:
I’m also entering into a few linkys this year:
- Bready Steady Go co hosted by Michelle at Utterly Scrummy and Lucy over at Baking Queen 74, hosted this month by Michelle.
- Blogger Club UK hosted by Cuddle Fairy and Mud Pie Fridays.
- The Yum Tum Linky over at The Mummy Toolbox.
I’m entering Brioche Chinois into:
- Dom’s new blog challenge, Eggcellent over at Belleau Kitchen. I used 8 eggs in total (I made the custard with four egg yolks) and they are definitely free range and local to us as I see the chickens happily roaming around in our neighbour’s garden.
- Lavender & Lovage’s Tea Time Treats (co-hosted by Karen at Lavender & Lovage and Janie at Hedgecombers) this month over at Lavender & Lovage.
And linking to: