I made this decadent bread last Thursday to take to my parents in Seattle for the long weekend. The dough has cocoa powder, melted bittersweet chocolate, coffee, bittersweet chocolate chunks in it, and of course being a brioche, lots of butter (~25%). As if it's not indulging enough, I put some homemade Dulche de leche in each bun. It was a last minute experiment, and OMG, it's perfect!!!! The bread itself is not sweet at all, fragrant with the mocha flavor from coffee and chocolate, which goes so well with the sweet and rich Dulce de leche. I knew it'd be delicious, but it went way beyond my expectations, you must try this mocha+Dulce de leche combo, pure heaven.
For those who are not familiar with Dulce de leche, see this intro: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dulce_de_leche - basically it's a rich milk caramel. Even though you can buy it in cans, it's very simple to make at home. I use the slowcooker method: put cans of condensed milk (unopened, paper label peeled off) in slowcooker, add enough water to have the cans completely submerged, cook on low for 8 hours, then you get perfectly brown and rich Dulce de leche. You can also boil the cans on stove top, but then you MUST take care to add enough water so the cans are completely submerged the whole time, otherwise you risk them exploding! If you don't like to cook it in the cans, you can use this method: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/archives/2005/11/dulce_de_lechec.html - I tried it before as well, slightly more work than the slowcooker method, but still a breeze. Once made, you can use it in breads, cakes, cookies, spread like PB or jam, or eat it with a spoon!
Now back to the bread, the dough formula is adapted from the book "The secrets of Baking" by Sherry Yard.
Chocolate Brioche (makes 2lbs of dough)
bittersweet chocolate, 2oz, finely chopped
butter, 1 stick, 4oz, softened
cocoa powder, 1/4cup
1. melt the chocolate and keep warm
2. beat butter until smooth, add cocoa powder and chocolate, beat until well incorporated. keep aside at room temperature.
instant yeast, 2tsp
coffee, 1 cup (80F) (I used 1tbsp of espresso powder mixed with 1 cup of boiling water, cooled to 80F)
bread flour, 60g
1. mix everything together into a very thin batter, cover and let rest at room temperature for 30 minues until bubbles form
bread flour, 390g
egg yolk, 4, lightly beaten
bittersweet chocolate, 4oz, chopped
1. shift flour and salt into sponge, add yolks, mix with paddle attachment on low speed for 2 minutes, until yolks are absorbed. Increase to medium speed, knead for 5 minutes. The dough is not that wet, so it cleans the bowl and wrapped around the paddle attachment the whole time.
2. on medium low speed, add chocolate butter one tbsp at a time. switch to dough hook, knead until ver well developed, smooth and stretchy. Add chocolate, mix on low until incorporated.
3. cover and bulk rise for 2 hours until double. punch down and rise again until double, about 45 to 60 minutes (or refrigerator for 4hours or overnight).
4. divide and shape. I divided into 50g dough balls and some 25g balls. the 8 inch cake mold wiht removable bottom took one 50g ball in the center, 6 50g balls in the middle layer, 6 50g balls and 6 25g balls in the outside layer. Still had 5X50g balls left for individual rolls. Of course I did put 1tsp of Dulce de leche in each ball. You can shape in other ways of course. The book says this amount of dough is enough for 2 9X5 loaf pans.
5. proof until double, 30min for me, if you refridgerator the dough, it will take 1.5 to 2 hours.
6. brush with egg wash (1 egg yolk + 1 tbsp heavy cream), bake at 350 until center reaches 180F. Rolls took 20min, the large cake mold took 48min.
Sinfully delicious, bread doesn't get more decadent than this. I highly recommentd the dulce de leche filling, but if you don't use it, the bread is till delicious.