I totally blame MY MOTHER. And yes mum, you know it's your fault. Mum used to take me to the city when I was younger for a little outing. I loved it. It was so exciting.
The store window displays would be dazzling with lights and mannequins wearing gorgeous clothes. There were people busking and entertaining us on every street corner. Even the everyday people walking around fascinated me. There was a homeless man that used to walk around with a Cockatoo on his shoulder. I will never forget him. He reminded me of Santa Claus, but with a Cockatoo....
The city was always teeming with people hustling to work. I couldn't wait to grow up and be one of those people, in my business suit and running to work. Now I am sooooo grateful I do not have to do this, I could think of nothing worse than sitting behind a desk and having to wear a suit ALL DAY!
I distinctly remember walking through Centrepoint Tower, now the Sydney Tower, towards David Jones. I always knew we were close by, cause the warm, and completely intoxicating aroma of fresh bread and pastries would be wafting towards us through the centre. Seriously mouthwatering!
I will never forget the bakery in David Jones. The glass front was amazing. Little jeweled and glossy fruit tarts, fruit and custard filled pasties, brioche sugared and plain, croissants plain, chocolate and almond, french sticks, and animal shaped brioche bread.
This was the first time I laid my eyes on the heavenly Croquembouche. What a tower of magnificence. Our tradition was to order one of these for every Christmas! Oh wholly heck it was good. Little puff pastry balls dipped in crunchy caramel toffee, and smooth creamy custard on the inside.
Now every time I smell a french patisserie, it always takes me back to the time mum took me shopping in the city with her. Good times.
2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoon yeast or 1 sachet
1/4 cup warm milk
2 tablespoon sugar
125 grams soft butter
80 grams chocolate chunks
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
1 beaten egg
caster sugar to sprinkle on top
1. Mix the yeast, sugar and milk together. Set it aside to froth about 5-8 minutes. If you know the yeast is good you can skip this step. Meanwhile place the flour, eggs and a pinch of salt in a mixer.
2. Then once the yeast is ready to use pour it into the flour mixture. Mix, with a dough hook, for about 5 minutes. Once that is done start to incorporate the butter a knob at a time. you will end up with a slightly sticky dough. Scrape out the dough, and finish kneading on a bench with a dusting of flour to form a dough.
3. Place the dough into a clean bowl, cover with cling wrap, and place in the fridge! Yes in the fridge for at least an hour. You can make this the night before and leave it over night.
4. Place the chocolate chunks, cinnamon and cocoa in a small bowl. Add just enough water to combine it, I used 2 teaspoons. Set this aside.
5. Cut the dough into 12 pieces. I made 6 plain and 6 chocolate. For the plain I cut a small amount for the little dough head. I made a rounded shape and glued the head on with the beaten egg. For the chocolate brioche, I made a rounded shape and made a sort of well, or dent in the centre using my thumb. Then I filled the brioche with the chocolate mix, and then pinched the edges together to seal it. Place them sealed side down. Let these rest in a warm place for an hour to rise.
6. Brush all of them with the beaten egg and sprinkle with caster sugar. Bake for 12 minutes in a 200C oven.
Best eaten warm with a cup of coffee or tea.