Monday, November 12, 2007

Brioche Raisin Snails

These were a lot of work and I didn't really think they were worth it. First off, you need half a recipe of the brioche dough from the Dorie Greenspan book. I happened to have the brioche dough available because I was making pecan sticky rolls, so at least I didn't go out of my way for this recipe. You also need half a recipe of pastry cream from the book and some rum steeped raisins. If you happen to have all these things on hand -- this recipe is actually really easy... if you have to make them all it's time consuming and involves lots of standing over the stove (for the raisins and pastry cream.)

The brioche dough alone is a two day process and the first day involves 20-30 minutes of mixing -- without a stand mixer pretty much a workout all on it's own and it would probably take closer to an hour. Even with the mixer it takes a chunk of time. Luckily, once it's all mixed up you just let it rise, first on the counter and later in the fridge.

The raisins were easy, steep them in hot water for a few minutes, then drain them, put them in a small pan and heat them up until very hot, then pour in the rum and light the rum on fire. Nothing easier. Chris even let me run the lighter... brave man, well, either that or he just valued his eye brows more than I value mine. :)

The pastry cream was a pain in the ass and Chris did most of the work. Bring 2 cups of milk to a boil on the stove, meanwhile whisk together some egg yolks, corn starch and sugar, then whisk the boiling milk in slowly (don't want to cook the eggs) and put the whole thing back on the stove to boil some more -- whisking constantly. After it boils for a few minutes -- which we never actually accomplished, add the vanilla and let it sit to cool for a 5 minutes, then slowly stir in some butter. I'm not sure what we missed, but our egg/milk mixture never did boil, it just thickened up pretty quickly, not surprising considering all the corn starch (1/3 cup to 6 egg yolks and 1/2 cup of sugar.) After all that, the whole thing had to cool to room temp before I could use it for the raisin snails.

Finally, roll out the dough, spread half the pastry cream on it, sprinkle the raisins on top of that, and finally sprinkle the whole thing with a little cinnamon sugar. Next roll it up tightly, cut it into 1-inch pieces, put those on a lined cookie sheet and let rise for another hour and a half. After all that, bake for 20 minutes.

For all that work I want something amazing. The pecan sticky rolls are almost as much work, but they are worth every second of it. These just weren't that impressive. I'll see what the peanut gallery has to say tomorrow, I'm really interested what others think of these things. Can't win them all I guess.

If somebody really wants the recipe I will make copies and mail them to you... no way am I typing all three recipes out without several requests...

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