Ghirardelli Chocolate sent me some of their new Intense Dark chocolate
to try and ever since my carefully wrapped package arrived I've been dreaming about the perfect recipe to use them for. The bars themselves are beautiful and gold wrapped- seriously tempting. They've got sexy names like "Evening Dream" and "Twilight Delight" to go along with the perfect packaging and high cacoa content. This was a big decision! I finally settled on my favorite ever Tuesdays with Dorie
recipe- the Brioche Raisin Snails
. Brioche is rich dough made with eggs and butter, rolled up with a homemade vanilla pudding and fancy raisins (or in my case, chocolate). I used my Bosch mixer
but a KitchenAid or even a big bowl with a wooden spoon will work just fine.
I love that the recipe is made of several components- it's kind of therapeutic to assemble basic things into something extra special and each piece isn't too much work. The bread dough improves with a little stay in the fridge, so I made it the other night. Last night I made the pastry cream and let it chill until this morning. Each step only takes 15 minutes or so but this morning I whipped up a fabulous French pastry that takes me right back to Paris with each bite. The assembly is just like a regular cinnamon roll but uses different components- roll out the dough, spread the cream, sprinkle with chopped Ghirardelli
chocolate (I used the Midnight Reverie 86% Cacao bar) and a little sugar. Roll it up, slice, and try to be patient while they rise. It's not that different than cinnamon rolls, really, but SO much better.
You could easily fake this recipe with a regular dough (or even thawed Rhodes rolls if your that terrified of yeast) and chocolate chips, but the Intense dark chocolate with it's luxurious texture and flavor and the silky pastry cream baked together with the rich brioche makes a treat that's extra special. You can even roll up the logs before you slice them and freeze them for a perfectly decadent treat anytime.
I absolutely loved this recipe before but now that I've had it all fancied up, I'm pretty sure a delicious cinnamon roll is going to pale in comparison. I'm going try my favorite brownies next with some more of the Ghirardelli Intense Dark
and I'll be back later in the week to let you know how they turn out. Stop by their website
and check out their line-up. Ghiradelli will donate $1 from each package up to $100000 to the National Breast Cancer Foundation when you enter the code found inside your bar. You can even print out a coupon here
. Deliciousness and an important cause
- this is a win win for me!
PS Don't tell but when my mom had a bite of these she totally moaned. They're that good. There are two left on my counter. Let's see if they make it until dinner time (with Baby Strawberry, sporting her dad's super metabolism and roving the house yelling "Chockit! Chockit!" it doesn't seem likely!)
Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate Sweet Rolls
from Anne Strawberry
6 squares Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate (I used the 86% Cacao Midnight Revelrie), or 3/4 of a package, chopped finely
2 tablespoons Sugar
recipe for Golden Brioche Loaves (see below), chilled and ready to
shape (make the full recipe and cut the dough in half after
1/2 recipe Pastry Cream (see below)
Shiny Sugar Coating (see below)
Powdered Sugar Glaze (see below)
one large or two smaller baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
a flour dusted surface, roll the dough into a rectangle about 12 inches
wide and 16 inches long, with a short end toward you. Spread the pastry
cream across the dough, leaving 1-inch strip bare on the side farthest
from you. Scatter the chopped chocolate over the pastry cream and sprinkle the cream with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Starting wit the side nearest
you, roll the dough into a cylinder, keeping the roll as tight as you
can. (At this point, you can wrap the dough airtight and freeze it up to
Cut the log into rounds a 1 inch thick using a chef's knife, bench cutter
, or dental floss. Put the
snails on the lined baking sheet(s), leaving some puff space between
them (half of the brioche yielded 12 rolls for me so I put them in a 3 x 4 pattern on my baking sheet).
cover the snails with wax paper and set the baking sheet(s) in a warm
place until the snails have doubles in volume--they'll be puffy and
soft--about an hour or two depending on the temperature of the kitchen.
the snails have almost fully risen, preheat the oven: depending on the
number of baking sheets you have, either center a rack in the oven or
position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven
to 375 degrees F.
Remove the wax paper, and bake the snails for
about 25 minutes (rotate the sheets if you're using two, from top to
bottom and front to back after 15 minutes), or until they are puffed and
richly browned. After they've been out of the oven for a minute or two, brush them with the shiny sugar coating. Allow to cool for a couple minutes then drizzle with the optional glaze (recipe below).
Shiny Sugar Coating
Note- This is optional but only takes a minute or two and helps keep your rolls shiny and moist. Ever since I read about it on this wonderful blog I use it for all my cinnamon rolls. I don't think these would last long enough to need it but I wouldn't skip it! Check out her cinnamon twist post for gorgeous pictures on shaping and glazing sweet rolls.
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil, take off heat and set aside to brush the bread when it comes out of the oven.
Powdered Sugar Glaze
1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
About 1 teaspoon water
Drop of pure vanilla extract
confectioners' sugar into a small bowl, and stir in a teaspoon of water.
Keep adding water drop by drop until you have an icing that falls from
the tip of a spoon. Add the vanilla extract, then drizzle the icing over
the hot snails.
Golden Brioche Loaves
2 packets active dry yeast (or 5 teaspoons yeast)
2/3 cup just-warm-to-the-touch 2% milk
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt (or 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt)
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature but still slightly firm (cut into 1 Tablespoon pieces while cold and let sit on the counter for a few minutes to soften)
Make The Brioche: Put the yeast, water and milk in the bowl of a stand
mixer and, using a wooden spoon, stir until the yeast is dissolved. Add
the flour and salt, and fit into the mixer with the dough hook, if you
have one. Toss a kitchen towel over the mixer, covering the bowl as
completely as you can-- this will help keep you, the counter and your
kitchen floor from being showered in flour. Turn the mixer on and off a
few short pulses, just to dampen the flour (yes, you can peek to see how
you're doing), then remove the towel, increase the mixer speed to
medium-low and mix for a minute or two, just until the flour is
moistened. At this point, you'll have a fairly dry, shaggy mess.
the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula, set the mixer
to low and add the eggs, followed by the sugar. Increase the mixer speed
to medium and beat for about 3 minutes, until the dough forms a ball.
Reduce the speed to low and add the butter 2 tablespoons at a time,
beating until each piece is almost incorporated before adding the next.
You'll have a dough that is very soft, almost like batter. Increase the
speed to medium-high and continue to beat until the dough pulls away
from the sides of the bowl, about 10 minutes.
Transfer the dough
to a clean bowl (or wash out the mixer bowl and use it), cover with
plastic wrap and leave at room temperature until nearly doubled in size,
40 to 60 minutes, depending upon the warmth of your room.
the dough by lifting it up around the edges and letting it fall with a
slap to the bowl. Cover the bowl with the plastic wrap and put it in the
refrigerator. Slap the dough down in the bowl every 30 minutes until it
stops rising, about 2 hours, then leave the uncovered dough in the
refrigerator to chill overnight.
Pull the dough from the fridge and divide
it into 2 equal pieces.
Anne Strawerry's Favorite "Slightly Lighted" Pastry Cream
adapted from Baking by Dorie Greenspan
2 1/2 cups 2% milk
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits at room temperature
Bring the milk to a boil in a small saucepan (I usually multitask this step and warm it in my Pyrex liquid measuring cup in the microwave).
Meanwhile, in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the egg yolks and egg
together with the sugar and cornstarch until thick and well blended.
Still whisking, drizzle in about 1/4 cup of the hot milk-- this will
temper, or warm, the yolks so they won't curdle. Whisking all the
while, slowly pour in the remainder of the milk. Put the pan over
medium heat and, whisking vigorously, constantly and thoroughly (making
sure to get the edges of the pot), bring the mixture to a boil. Keep
at a boil, still whisking to be sure the bottom doesn't burn, for 1 minute, then remove the pan from
Whisk in the vanilla extract. Let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk in the
bits of butter, stirring until they are full incorporated and the
pastry cream is smooth and silky. Scrape the cream into a bowl. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the cream to
create an airtight seal and refrigerate the pastry cream until cold or,
if you want to cool it quickly, put the bowl into a
larger bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water, and stir the pastry
cream occasionally until it is thoroughly chilled, about 20 minutes.