Some time ago I saw a recipe with this original shape and fell in love with it. I had never seen anything like that before and I thought that I had to try it too for Christmas. After all, this star shape is perfect for Christmas!
The recipe I saw had nutella in it and although I love it (who doesn't?!) I wanted to use something more natural than that. For this reason, I decided to make a chocolate cream with ricotta and hazelnuts. This is something I made up so I wasn't really sure about it but luckily, it turned out delicious, and even better than what I expected!
The recipe of the dough is the classic brioche bread that many of you may know.
It turned out extremely soft and the chocolate cream is perfect with it.
I get hungry just writing about it :D
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
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Step 1: Ingredients
- 500gr all purpose flour (2.5 cups)
- 2 eggs
- 60gr sugar (1/3 cup)
- 180ml room temperature milk (3/4 cup)
- 80gr room temperature butter (5.57 tbsp)
- 7gr active dry yeast (2.47 tsp)
- 8gr salt (1.41 tsp)
- an orange peel
- 35gr cocoa powder (1/3 cup)
- 75gr sugar (3/8 cup)
- 250gr ricotta (1 cup)
- 30gr hazelnuts (1.06 oz)
Step 2: Make the Dough
First of all, let's prepare the dough because it takes longer.
I used a mixer for this but you can do everything in a bowl using a fork or your hands so don't worry if you don't have one!
Put the flour in the mixer and add the yeast, milk, sugar and eggs.
As you mix these ingredients, add the butter, salt and orange peel.
Keep mixing until you obtain a smooth and compact dough.
I started using the mixer but I noticed that the dough didn't incorporate the butter the way it should so I continued to mix the dough by hand. I recommend you to do the same to make sure that the dough turns out right and not too sticky. If it is (mine was), keep working the dough with your hands and after a while it will become perfect!
Form a ball with your dough and let it rest in a bowl covered with plastic wrap or dish cloth (it needs to stay warm) until it's double the size.
Step 3: Make the Chocolate Cream
While you wait for your dough to rise, prepare the chocolate cream.
Mix the sugar and hazelnuts together until you obtain a powder. It's fine if there are still bigger pieces in it.
Now sift the cocoa and put it in a bowl with the sugar/hazelnut powder you made.
Add the ricotta and mix everything together with a hand mixer until your mixture becomes a cream.
The chocolate cream is done!
Step 4: Divide the Dough
Once your dough has leavened, divide it in 4 equal pieces and make 4 separate balls.
Make a disc with each of the 4 balls using a rolling pin.
The discs must be a little smaller than the baking tin you'll use to bake your brioche bread in. If you are going to use a 28cm baking tin (11 inches), make the discs with a diameter of about 25cm (9.84 inches).
The most important thing is that the discs are all the same size.
Step 5: Fill With Chocolate
Place the first disc on a piece of parchment paper and spread some chocolate cream on it, making sure to leave about 1 or 2cm (0.78 inch) of free border all around.
Lay the second disc on the first one and press the border with your fingers to join them together.
Now spread some other chocolate cream on the second disc (always leaving a free border), add the third disc and close it with your fingers.
Do the same on the third disc and close it with the last disc, but DON'T spread the chocolate on it this time. The 4th disc is going to be free.
You will probably have some chocolate cream left, and since you don't need it anymore for this recipe...you can eat it the way it is (there's no need to cook it) or make another recipe with it! This is all up to you...it's so good that I am sure it won't be wasted :D
Step 6: Cut
Using a knife, divide the dough in 4 with 4 cuts. It's extremely important that you don't cut the center of the disc (see pictures).
Now make other 4 cuts between the others, for a total of 8, always leaving the center free.
Finally, make 8 cuts between the ones you already made, just like the others.
You will have a total of 16 sections now.
Step 7: Create the Shape
The funniest part now!
Consider 2 sections that are next to each other: lift one with one hand and the other with the other hand and twist each of them towards the outside. This means that the piece you are holding with your right hand will be twisted to the right and the one you are holding with your left hand will be twisted to the left.
Do this for all the sections.
Your disc will look like a snowflake this way. Isn't that amazing? :)
Now put it in the baking tin with the help of the parchment paper (don't remove it) and let it rest and rise for another hour.
Step 8: Bake!
Now that the dough has leavened some more, it's time to bake it!
Preheat your oven and bake at 180°C (350°F) for 25/30 minutes.
You can enjoy your brioche bread as soon as you take it out from the oven!
This is not only beautiful, it tastes delicious too! :)
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