Serving size can make a big difference with food, especially finger foods. Smaller sizes can make imposing desserts or sides more accessible by empowering eaters to control the quantity. I have adapted Flour Bakery’s famous Brioche au Chocolat recipe for my own use, cutting down on the size of the treats.
Mini Brioche au Chocolat
An airy yet rich chocolate treat.
These brioche buns are similar to those made by Flour Bakery, but are cooked a bit less and are considerably smaller in size, making them great for parties or to slow down ravenous kids. Plan in advance – the dough has to rise for several hours, ideally overnight in the refrigerator, and the butter should be at room temperature before you start. The custard also sits overnight in the fridge, so you can make both a day in advance.
- Brioche dough (makes twice as much as you need – freeze the rest or double the filling):
- 350 g all purpose flour
- 375 g bread flour
- 10 g yeast
- 90 g sugar
- 20 g salt
- 120 g all cold water
- 6 eggs
- 342 g butter (3 sticks)
- 300 g milk
- 100 g sugar
- 30 g cake flour
- 3 g salt
- 4 egg yolks
- 5 g vanilla extract
- 150 g semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- Add all ingredients except butter into a stand mixer. Stir with a large spoon to roughly combine, then attach the dough hook.
- Beat on low speed until a rough dough forms.
- Add butter about one tablespoon at a time. Let each piece get absorbed into the dough before adding the next.
- Once the butter is added, increase the speed to medium and beat until the dough ball becomes smooth. It will take a while, up to 20 minutes. It can help to briefly crank up the speed to high.
- Place the dough ball in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- In medium bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, and salt.
- Add the egg yolks to the flour mixture and whisk into a thick paste.
- Heat the milk until simmering in a pot (e.g. 2 quart saucier) until bubbles form, stirring occasionally.
- Slowly spoon the warm milk into the egg mixture, whisking to incorporate as you go. You can speed up once about half the milk has been added.
- Return the mixture to the pot on medium heat, whisking constantly until it boils when you briefly pause whisking. Continue for about 10 more seconds, then remove from heat.
- Using a rubber spatula, press the resulting custard through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. You may need to scrape the bottom of the strainer to maximize custard yield.
- Stir in the vanilla extract
- Press plastic wrap on the surface of the custard, so minimal air remains between the two, and store in the refrigerator overnight.
- After it has rested overnight, divide the brioche dough in half. The remaining half can be wrapped in plastic wrap, stored in a freezer bag, and frozen (or you can make a double batch of the pastry cream and repeat the instructions here).
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into approximately a 20″ x 10″ rectangle. Using a bench scraper or knife, divide the dough into two 20″ x 5″ rectangles.
- Spread the pastry cream evenly over the surface of the dough.
- Distribute the chopped chocolate over the bottom half (a 2.5″ strip) of each rectangle.
- Fold the top half of each rectangle (without the chocolate) over the bottom half (with chocolate). Press the edge slightly to seal.
- Using a sharp knife, divide the dough vertically approximately every 2″, so you end up with about 20 2×2.5″ pieces.
- Place any pieces you plan to bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving a couple inches between each piece. Any pieces you are not baking can be frozen on a baking sheet, wrapped in plastic wrap and stored for the future.
- Let the buns rise at room temperature for 1-2 hours until slightly puffed.
- Brush the buns with a beaten egg and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Make the Brioche Dough (day before baking):
Make the Pastry Cream (day before baking):
Make the Buns: