It's another Tuesday, and you know what that means! Tuesdays with Dorie. I gotta admit... I almost bailed on this week. I threw a party last weekend, and all my attention went to that. I woke up after the party with a sinking feeling. Peabody picked a daunting recipe for this week in the Brioche Raisin Snails. It's three! Three recipes in one! First you have to make the brioche dough and let it chill overnight. Then there's a pastry cream, and then you flame the raisins/dried fruit and put it all together.
Click here for the recipe.
I decided to give it a shot, and I'm really glad I did. I checked out the main blog for the scoop and tips from all those baking before me, and found that most folks were worried about the flaming fruit part. That should probably have worried me, but I was more "het" up about the brioche dough. I've done a pastry cream before, and figured good prep and being careful would work with the flaming part. (Or you know, calling in the big guns and letting Bill do the flame thing while I took pictures. Whatever. )
I did snitch one idea from the other TWDers. Someone (Steph? Slush?) mentioned using dried cherries instead of raisins and I was hooked. I would probably have loved the raisins, but I thought Bill might like cherries better. (He mostly picked them out, doh!)
The dough came together mostly painlessly. I wasn't sure what to expect at each step, so I spent some anxious moments wondering if it had come into a ball too quickly. Mine pretty much pulled away from the sides of the bowl before I even started incorporating the butter.
The pastry cream came out tasty and thiiiiick. I thought about messing around with one of the flavor options listed in the book, but opted for the plain jane version for the first shot.
Flaming the cherries went off without a hitch. I tried to get a good photo (the one above was the best of the bunch), but the constant moving and light didn't really help.
The dough rolled out, and everything came together well. The snails rose beautifully, and all was great until the baking. I switched the sheet placement at the 15 minute mark, but the snails on top were already too brown. The other sheet came out nicely browned for the most part.
Oh, and you may have noticed from the recipe. The snails recipe only calls for half of the brioche dough. I thought about doing another log of snails to freeze, but in the end, decided to make the brioche loaf. Just for kicks. I tried letting the dough proof at room temperature (on the oven because it was still warm from dinner), but there was no rise after an hour. So then, I moved it to the laundry room. (I know, but it seemed like a good idea.) I'd been running the dryer with the door closed, and it was slightly warmer in there. After another hour with little rise, I noticed the oven was still warm. Bingo - an hour in there, and we have rise!
Verdict? Tasty. But just shy of burned even with taking it out 5 minutes before the minimum time listed in the recipe. I gotta check my oven temp or learn to start checking these recipes at the half way time (then every 5 minutes).
Lessons Learned: My house is freezing. I'll do the oven trick the next time I need to proof a yeast dough instead of messing around. Also, I need to be a little more vigilant with the baking times and/or check the oven temp. Wandering away and trusting the minimum time is probably not the smartest approach!
Conclusion: Awesome recipe. I'll definitely be making these for overnight guests. I'd probably make a few stripes for guests though: one chocolate chip, one raisins, and one with just cinnamon sugar. Oh, and I'd love to try some of the flavored pastry cream in these as well.