Tuesday, March 18, 2008

TWD - Raisin Brioche Snails

This week's Tuesday with Dorie recipe was chosen by Peabody and boy did she pick a doozie! I think this was the most number of steps I've ever taken to bake something. There was multiple stages of rising, cream from scratch, fire and booze - all the things needed for a big win or a big disaster. It was challenging, yet totally fun.

Thankfully, my snails were a success. Sweet, but not too sweet. I stuck with Dorie's directions except that I substituted golden raisins for the dark ones (though she didn't really specify other than 'moist'*).

The hubs and I ate several of the snails and I took the rest to work. They went over well but I did get a suggestion of more cinnamon next time. I think that could be arranged! One other change for next time would be to bake for the full amount of time. I got nervous when they started browning right away and think I may not have let them cook quite long enough. Oh well, lesson learned!

The other half of the dough wasn't wasted but you'll have to wait to see what I Doried up with it.

Be sure to check out the other TWD folks and see how they fared this week. Thanks for reading!

*I hate the word moist.

Brioche Raisin Snails
1 cup moist, plump raisins (Yes, I left in the raisins)
3 tablespoons dark rum
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
Scant 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 recipe for Golden Brioche Loaves(page 48), chilled and ready to shape (make the full recipe and cut the dough in half after refrigerating overnight)
1/2 recipe Pastry Cream (page 448)

For The Optional Glaze
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
About 1 teaspoon water
Drop of pure vanilla extract

Getting Ready: Line one large or two smaller baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

Put the raisins in a small saucepan, cover them with hot water and let them steep for about 4 minutes, until they are plumped. Drain the raisins, return them to the saucepan and, stirring constantly, warm them over low heat. When the raisins are very hot, pull the pan from the heat and pour over the rum. Standing back, ignite the rum. Stair until the flames go out, then cover and set aside. (The raisins and rum an be kept in a covered jar for up to 1 day.)

Mix the sugar and cinnamon together.

On 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 raisins over the pastry cream and sprinkle the raisins and cream with the cinnamon 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 2 months; see Storing for further instructions. Or, if you do not want to make the full recipe, use as much of the dough as you'd like and freeze the remainder.)

With a chef's knife, using a gentle sawing motion, trim just a tiny bit from the ends if they're ragged or not well filled, then cut the log into rounds a scant 1 inch thick. Put the snails on the lined baking sheet(s), leaving some puff space between them.

Lightly 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 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Getting Ready To Bake: When 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. Using a metal spatula, transfer the snails onto a cooling rack.

If You Want To Glaze The Snails: Put a piece of wax paper under the rack of warm rolls to act as a drip catcher. Put the 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
1/3 cup just-warm-to-the-touch water
1/3 cup just-warm-to-the-touch whole milk
3 3/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature but still slightly firm
For The Glaze
1 large egg
1 tablespoon water

To 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.

Scrape 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 in 2-tablespoon-size chunks, 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.

Deflate 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.

Pastry Cream
2 cups whole milk
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits at room temperature

Bring the milk to a boil in a small saucepan.

Meanwhile, in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the egg yolks 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, for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat.

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. You can 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--as I always do--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.


Anonymous said...

Everything looks wonderful! My hubby requested more pastry cream, but these were so good!

CB said...

YUMMO! The golden raisins are so purdy with your golden brioche crust. Whats the story behind the word moist? haha.

slush said...

They look perfect! I like golden raisins too, but I was out. And I like Chelle's hubs request of more pastry cream, I think I will do that too. Great job!

Rebecca said...

"Moist." Ick. What is it about that word?

And what, what, WHAT did you do with the other half of the dough?

Golden raisins. Yum.

Di said...

Ooh, golden raisins would be yummy. One more variation to add to my list of things to try... =) I'm curious to see what else you made. I made a pan of dinner rolls with the rest of my dough. No butter necessary!

Jaime said...

beautiful job! mine browned quicker than i anticipated but i did not think they were undercooked

KN said...

Oh, so pretty!! I love the photos!!!

Rachel said...

Thanks all!

CB and REBECCA - not sure what it is but the word is just "ew".

SLUSH & DI- Glad you liked the golden raisins. We keep it golden in the Golden State. ;)

Anne said...

Those look beautiful! Love the pics and glad to see how well they turned out. Thanks for the welcome!

noskos said...

Nice pictures!! And your snails look delish!

Engineer Baker said...

Golden raisins sound like a good idea (I like the taste of them better), and yes, more cinnamon is always in order. They look awesome, even if you think they were underbaked!

Gretchen Noelle said...

Yours is the only one I have seen with golden raisins. Lovely! You did a great job, they look just wonderful!!!

April said...

These look really good!

Bumblebutton said...

Beautiful! Sweet, but not too sweet--just yummy!

ostwestwind said...

Golden raisins, it's hard to get them in Germany!

Your snails look great

Ulrike from K├╝chenlatein

zebe912 said...

I was just wondering the other day who it was who said they didn't like "moist" as a word...

Anonymous said...

There are now two more reasons to love you. Golden raisins are so good, and the word moist is blech. It's one of those words that can make me not want a dessert, or ruin an intimate moment.

Heather said...

I love the golden raisins! I'll have to try that next time. Great job!

Peabody said...

I always go for golden raisins too. Great job on your snails.