Recipe and styling by Claire Ferrandi Assisted by Nomvuselelo Mncube
Photograph by Dylan Swart
Milk chocolate, hazelnut and rosemary brioche wreath
- 100ml milk
- 1 tbsp castor sugar
- 2 x 10g sachets instant dry yeast
- 720g cake flour + extra, to dust
- 1½ tsp fine salt
- 1 tbsp rosemary leaves, finely chopped
- 6 eggs
- 240g butter, cubed and softened + extra, to serve
- 180g Nutella
- 100g hazelnuts, roughly chopped and toasted
- 1 x 80g slab milk chocolate, chopped into small cubes
For the brioche, combine the milk and castor sugar in a large jug. Add the instant dry yeast and gently mix into the milk mixture. In a large bowl, combine the cake flour, salt, rosemary leaves, eggs and milk mixture, and stir to incorporate, about 5 minutes.
Mix the soft butter cubes into the flour and milk mixture, little by little. Knead until a soft dough is formed, about 10 minutes. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a clean, damp tea towel and set aside to prove in a warm place, 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 180˚C and line a large baking sheet with baking paper. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle of 37cm x 30cm on a flourdusted surface. Spread the Nutella on the surface of the rectangle, and sprinkle over the hazelnuts and the chopped milk chocolate cubes.
Starting with one of the longer sides of the rectangle, tightly roll up the dough (like a Swiss roll), pinching the edges to seal. With a sharp knife, cut the dough roll in half, lengthways, to expose the layers of dough and Nutella. Carefully turn the 2 halves, so the cut sides are facing up, then stretch them a bit to create longer, thinner lengths. Loosely twist the halves around each other, keeping the cut sides up (this is what adds the aesthetic touch to the brioche once baked).
Carefully transfer the twisted dough rope to the baking sheet and shape into a wreath, pinching the ends together to seal. Allow the brioche to rise, uncovered in a warm place, about 45 minutes.
Bake the wreath in the preheated oven, 35 minutes, until cooked through and golden on the outside. Serve warm, with lashings of soft butter for spreading.