Easy Homemade: Raspberry Hazelnut Brioche Bostock Recipe

Easy Homemade: Raspberry Hazelnut Brioche Bostock Recipe - Many Years ago, before the web was sufficiently populated to tell you everything you needed to know about an eatery before you got there, we lived a few blocks from a pastry shop that had a line out the door every morning. We had all sorts of theories about it. “I bet they make an awesome chocolate croissant,” he wondered. “Or brioche! I bet they make amazingly tender and buttery brioche!” I hoped. When we finally made our way over there to try their croissants and brioche, we realized two things: one, both were delicious, but not exactly line-worthy; and, two, we had ordered wrong. Just about every other customer in the place was there for something else: a square of bread covered in almonds and icing sugar that I had never seen before.
I’ve spent years making up for lost time with brioche bostock, a clever invention of French bakeries in which day-old brioche is brought back to life with a dousing of syrup, usually flavored with orange and liqueur, then spread with frangipane (a sweet, buttery almond paste) and thinly sliced almonds, before being baked until crisp and bronzed from corner to corner, and finally showered with icing sugar. You might even call it “French French toast.” There’s no batter, no dipping, and no knife and fork needed. This toast is delightfully portable.
Though I love almond paste, when I made it at home, this combination of deeply toasted hazelnuts and fresh raspberries quickly became our favorite. A light coating of smashed berries perfectly offsets the buttery sweetness of the hazelnut frangipane on top, and a final crunch of coarse nuts and a dusting of sugar make it worth forming a line out the kitchen door. I promise.

Makes 8 toasts
Easy Homemade: Raspberry Hazelnut Brioche Bostock Recipe

Ingredients for Raspberry Hazelnut Brioche Bostock Recipe

Hazelnut Cream
  • 175 grams (1¼ cups) skinned hazelnuts, well toasted
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 75 grams (6 tablespoons) granulated sugar
  • 85 grams (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cold if using food processor; otherwise at room temp
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract, 1 teaspoon brandy, or 2 teaspoons Frangelico liqueur

Syrup
  • 155 ml (⅔ cup) water
  • 130 grams (⅔ cup) granulated sugar
  • A few thick peel strips from ½ orange
  • 1 tablespoon orange liqueur, or ½ teaspoon orange oil (optional)
  • brioche toast
  • 8 slices brioche, ¾-to-1-inch thick, lightly toasted if not already stale
  • 125 grams (1 cup) fresh raspberries
  • Icing sugar, for dusting

Directions for Raspberry Hazelnut Brioche Bostock Recipe

  1. To make the hazelnut cream in a food processor Combine 100 grams of the hazelnuts—reserve the remainder for garnish—the salt, and the sugar in a food processor, and grind as finely as possible. Add butter, and blend until combined, scraping down the sides if needed. Add the egg and extract or flavoring; blend until combined. Transfer to a bowl, and chill until firm but spreadable.
  2. To make the cream without a food processor Finely chop 100 grams hazelnuts to a fine powder and mix with sugar and salt. Whisk butter with the hazelnut-sugar mixture, egg, and flavoring until combined. Chill until firm but spreadable.
  3. Make the syrup Combine the water, sugar, and orange peels in a small saucepan, and bring to a simmer. Stirring frequently, simmer until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool slightly, then fish out and discard the peels and add any liqueur or flavoring.
  4. Heat the oven to 190°C/gas 5. Place an oven-safe cooling rack on a baking sheet and arrange the brioche slices in one layer.
  5. Generously brush each slice with the syrup. Divide the raspberries among slices of brioche and mash them roughly, unevenly, into the syrup-soaked bread. Dollop each slice with equal amounts of hazelnut cream, and use a small offset spatula or butter knife to spread it evenly over each surface. Don’t worry if it makes a mess of the raspberries already mashed on—that’s the point! Coarsely chop the remaining hazelnuts, and sprinkle some over each slice.
  6. Bake the brioche for 10 to 15 minutes, until puffed and golden all over. Remove from the oven, and dust with icing sugar. Eat warm or at room temperature.

Note: Brioche is traditional here, but you can use any enriched bread instead (such as challah).

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