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From these last holidays, I had a leftover of homemade praline paste and was wondering what to make with it. This Chocolate and Praline Braided Brioche came across my mind.
I made my own spread by mixing my leftover praline paste (recipe below) with some dark chocolate and sprinkled a few crushed hazelnuts on top.
The taste of this brioche reminds me of the French viennoiserie called “pain au chocolat” except it is less buttery.
Believe me, it did not last long with the irresistible chocolate Praline filling inside. My teens asked me to double the recipe next time :-D
To make brioche dough:
- 400 g flour
- 50 g sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 package dry yeast
- 1 egg, slightly bitten
- 150 ml milk
- 80 g Plugra butter(1*), cut in small cubes at room temperature
To make praline paste:
- 150 g hazelnut
- 150 g sugar
The mix praline and chocolate:
- 80 g dark chocolate, melted
- 2 tbsp whole milk or heavy whipped cream
- 60 g praline paste
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3-4 tbsp hazelnut crushed
To make brioche dough:
- In the bowl of your mixer, add flour, dry yeast, sugar, salt (put on one side of the bowl and not close to the dry yeast), the egg, and milk. Knead with the hook on low speed for 10 minutes until the dough pulls away from the bowl.
- Cover the bowl and place it in a warm place for 2 hours. I like to put the bowl in a lightly preheated oven to avoid air currents.
Meanwhile the brioche dough rest, make praline:
- In a skillet, add sugar and hazelnuts. Cook over medium heat and mix time to time.
- At first, the hazelnuts will be covered with a film of sugar that looks like white sand. Keep mixing well. Then the sugar will caramelize. Stop cooking when all hazelnuts are coated with caramel.
- Pour immediately onto a flat surface covered with parchment paper and spread the caramelized hazelnuts. Let cool completely. Break the caramel into small pieces and put it in the bowl of your mixer.
- Pulse the coated hazelnuts into a coarse powder called "pralin".
- Then continue processing the powder. It will become more humid and creamy as it turns into "praline paste". Stop at this point. You will not need all of the praline for the recipe. The leftover can be easily stored for a few months in the fridge for other recipes.
Roll out brioche dough:
- Once the brioche dough is well raised, place the dough on your work surface lightly floured. Spread it out to form into a rectangle measuring about 15 x 12 inches.
Make spread filling and roll:
- In a bowl, add the chocolate with the milk or heavy whipped cream and put in the microwave for a few seconds to melt completely. Stir. Add the 60 g praline paste and put it back a few seconds in the microwave to soften the praline paste. Add vanilla extract and mix well.
- Spread the chocolate hazelnut with an offset spatula over the dough leaving 1/2 inch border around the edges and sprinkle over the crushed hazelnut.
- Roll tightly, starting at the long edge nearest you, into a tight log. Wrap the log into a plastic film and put this 15 min. into the freezer. This will help you to cut properly and easily the log.
- Take out the log from the freezer. Cut in half lengthwise with a well-sharpened knife.
Shape the chocolate-praline braided brioche and rest:
- Braid the two parts making sure to keep the cut part on top. Press well the two ends so they stick together.
- Put the braided brioche on a baking sheet with parchment paper and let it rise again for 1-hour covered.
Bake the chocolate-praline braided brioche:
Preheat your oven to 360 F. Brush the brioche with a beaten egg mixed with 1 teaspoon of water (to make smoothing the egg yolk easier).
- Put in the oven for about 30-35 minutes, until light golden brown. Remove from oven and let it cool completely before slicing.