Chocolate custard brioche

Chocolate custard brioche

Set aside some time at the weekend to make these gorgeous chocolate brioche loaves from master baker Richard Bertinet. The soft brioche is twisted and folded with rich chocolatey custard and finished off with a sweet rum glaze – one for you, one to freeze or give away.

Chocolate custard brioche

Richard says: “I love the enriched dough used in the loaf as it uses honey instead of sugar, and the dough is so versatile and beautiful to work with. You can make cinnamon buns with it, a challah – or put it in a loaf tin to bake for sandwiches.”

Raised in Brittany but based in Britain, Richard has more than 30 years’ baking experience. Classes at his Bath cookery school, The Bertinet Kitchen, are in high demand, he regularly appears on TV, and also offers an online course via BBC Maestro.

Browse all our sweet and savoury brioche recipes.

  • Serves icon Makes 2 loaves (each enough to serve 6)
  • Time icon Hands-on time 1 hour, plus resting and proving. Oven time 25 min

Set aside some time at the weekend to make these gorgeous chocolate brioche loaves from master baker Richard Bertinet. The soft brioche is twisted and folded with rich chocolatey custard and finished off with a sweet rum glaze – one for you, one to freeze or give away.

Richard says: “I love the enriched dough used in the loaf as it uses honey instead of sugar, and the dough is so versatile and beautiful to work with. You can make cinnamon buns with it, a challah – or put it in a loaf tin to bake for sandwiches.”

Raised in Brittany but based in Britain, Richard has more than 30 years’ baking experience. Classes at his Bath cookery school, The Bertinet Kitchen, are in high demand, he regularly appears on TV, and also offers an online course via BBC Maestro.

Browse all our sweet and savoury brioche recipes.

Nutrition: Per serving

Calories
411kcals
Fat
16g (6.8g saturated)
Protein
10g
Carbohydrates
54g (22g sugars)
Fibre
2.6g
Salt
0.9g

Ingredients

  • 250g whole milk
  • 1 medium free-range egg
  • 60g runny honey
  • 50g olive oil
  • 500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 30g fresh yeast (see Know-how)
  • 10g fine sea salt
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • Handful sultanas (optional)

For the custard

  • 3 medium free-range egg yolks (see Tips)
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 40g plain flour
  • 250g whole milk
  • 1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped out
  • 100g good quality dark chocolate chips (or chopped dark chocolate; see Tips)

For the glazes

  • 2 medium free-range eggs
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp dark rum
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Method

  1. Begin with the custard. Put the yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk until pale and creamy. Whisk in the flour until smooth. Pour the milk into a heavy-based saucepan, add the vanilla seeds and pod, then put over a medium heat until just about to boil. Remove from the heat, then slowly pour around half the milk over the eggs, whisking constantly. Add the rest of the milk, whisk again, then pour the mixture back into the pan.
  2. Bring the mixture to the boil, whisking constantly. Cook for 1 minute, then remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate. Pour into a clean bowl, remove the vanilla pod (see Tips), then give the mixture another stir to ensure all the chocolate has melted. Cover with baking paper, making sure it’s touching the custard to prevent a skin forming, then leave to cool (see Tips).
  3. For the brioche dough, put the milk, egg, honey and olive oil in a stand mixer with a dough hook attached. Add the flour, then break up the fresh yeast and put it on one side of the bowl and the salt on the other side. Pinch small pieces of butter and scatter them over the top until all used up. Mix at a slow speed for 4 minutes, then increase the speed to medium and mix for 10-12 minutes or until you have a dough that comes cleanly away from the sides of the bowl.
  4. Lightly dust your work surface and a clean bowl with flour. Use a scraper to turn out the dough, then form it into a ball and leave to rest in the bowl, covered, for 45 minutes until just under double the size.
  5. Flour the work surface again, turn the dough out, knock back (knead briefly), then reform into a ball. Put it back in the bowl, cover and leave for another 30 minutes (see Tips).
  6. Add a little more flour to your work surface, then roll the dough out into a rectangle about 40cm x 30cm. Spread the cooled custard over the top, then add the sultanas (if using). Roll up the dough lengthways (like a swiss roll), then cut in half to create 2 equal rolls.
  7. Cut one of the rolls in half lengthways, exposing the chocolate layers inside. Twist the 2 lengths together to form a plait. Repeat with the second roll. Line 1 large or 2 medium baking trays with baking paper, then put the twisted loaves on top. Cover with freezer bags, then leave to prove somewhere warm-ish for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until nearly doubled in size (see Tips).
  8. Heat the oven to 190°C fan/gas 6½. Make the first glaze by beating the eggs with a pinch of salt. Brush the glaze over each loaf, then put the tray/trays in the oven and turn the temperature down to 180°C fan/gas 6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the custard has set and the dough is golden and shiny.
  9. Meanwhile, make the second glaze. Put the sugar, rum and 100ml water in a small pan and bring to the boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook until you have a thick syrup (about 8 minutes). Remove the loaves from the oven, transfer to a wire rack and, while still warm, brush the tops generously with the rum glaze.

Nutrition

Calories
411kcals
Fat
16g (6.8g saturated)
Protein
10g
Carbohydrates
54g (22g sugars)
Fibre
2.6g
Salt
0.9g

delicious. tips

  1. Don’t waste it Lightly beat the leftover egg whites, then freeze in a labelled freezer bag. Defrost and use for meringues, mousses or cocktails.

    In step 2, after you fish out the vanilla pod, you can wash and dry it for another use – put it in a jar of sugar to gently infuse or chop it up and whizz it with some sugar for a stronger version of vanilla sugar.

     

    Richard’s tips
    • Make sure the custard is completely cold before spreading it on the dough. You can make it the day before and keep in the fridge.
    • To make a coffee version, swap the chocolate in the custard for 1 heaped tbsp ground  coffee. Pour the coffee-infused milk through a fine sieve over the eggs to remove the grounds.
    • Rolling the dough into a rectangle is easier when the dough is chilled, so putting it in the fridge between step 5 and 6 is a good idea.

  2. You can leave the plaited loaves to prove overnight in the fridge (step 7) if you prefer. The custard can also be made a day in advance and kept in the fridge.

  3. Fresh yeast is widely available online, at good delis and Polish shops, and from some supermarkets. If you have any left over, divide it into portions, wrap well and freeze for up to 2 months.

Buy ingredients online

Recipe By

Richard Bertinet

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