Before starting this Apricot Brioche Chinois recipe, make sure you have organised all the necessary ingredients. Do not trust the quantity of eggs shown in the photo, as proportions were modified to make two cakes. The quantities listed here make 1 brioche Chinois (serves 6).
For the brioche dough: In the stand mixer recipient, shape the flour into a well.
Add the castor sugar...
... and salt.
In a bowl, dilute the yeast in warm water. Set aside.
Place 3 whole eggs in the centre of the flour. The eggs should be at room temperature.
Knead the ingredients with the dough hook...
... until the texture is similar to a dough.
Add the remaining egg.
Knead for a few minutes...
... until the dough is compact and comes away from the sides of the bowl.
Stop the mixer.
Add the butter, cut into cubes...
... and resume kneading until the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl.
Reduce to low speed to avoid splatter and add the diluted yeast...
... then knead until the dough is smooth and homogeneous.
The dough should come away from the sides of the bowl. Stop the mixer and remove the bowl.
Scrape the dough that is stuck on the sides of the bowl...
... and cover with a tea towel. Leave to prove in a warm place for about 1.5 or 2 hours.
The dough should now have doubled in volume.
Knock the dough back with your fist. At this stage, the dough is ready to use. It can be covered and stored in the fridge. I always recommend refrigerating the dough for about 2 hours so it firms up a bit before use.
Assembling the brioche: Divide the dough into 2 portions. One portion should weigh 200 grams, the other about 350 grams.
Roll out the small dough ball into a round shape and arrange it at the bottom of a round cake tin (24cm). Press firmly so it perfectly lines the bottom of the mould. Set aside.
Place the second dough ball on a floured surface.
Roll the dough into a rectangle to dimensions of about 25 x 40 cm.
Stir the crème pâtissière until smooth. Add the dark rum and combine well with a spoon. Add the pearl sugar and combine.
Pour the pastry cream (cold or at room temperature) over the dough.
Spread into an even layer with a small cranked spatula...
... over the whole surface of the brioche dough.
Arrange apricot halves along one side of the dough, leaving a space of 2cm.
Fold the dough back over the apricots.
Roll the dough until the apricots are entirely enclosed.
Arrange a row of apricot halves on top of the roll.
Roll the dough again to wrap the apricots. Arrange another row of apricot halves on top of the roll...
... and roll the dough to enclose the apricots.
Divide the roll...
... into 7 equal portions.
Arrange the rolls on top of the dough base, side with pastry cream facing up. Arrange one roll in the centre first...
... then place the 6 remaining rolls around it. The seams should be pointed towards the centre.
Place the mould in a warm room and leave to proof for about 1 hour or 90 minutes, until the rolls have risen and fill the mould completely.
Using a brush, glaze the surface of the brioche with egg wash (beaten egg yolk with a little water).
Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C (gas 4)...
... for approximately 25 minutes.
When cooked, remove from the oven and let cool a little before releasing from the mould.
Melt the clear apricot glaze and 1 or 2 tablespoons of water in the microwave. Using a brush, glaze the surface of the brioche.
This Brioche Chinois makes the perfect breakfast or afternoon treat. Enjoy!