Chocolate-Cherry Brioche

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Yield: one 9" brioche

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This buttery brioche is packed with dried sweet cherries, chunks of chocolate, and tons of flavor.

Read our blog about this brioche, with additional photos, at Flourish.

Chocolate-Cherry Brioche

star rating (14) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: one 9" brioche
Published: 01/01/2010

Ingredients

Dough

  • 2 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 cup Baker's Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk, white reserved for topping
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 8 tablespoons butter, room temperature preferred

Filling 1

  • 2/3 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips or chocolate chunks
  • 2/3 cup dried sweet cherries

Filling 2

  • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-process

Topping

  • 1 large egg white (reserved from dough) lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons Swedish pearl sugar or coarse white sparkling sugar

Directions

see this recipe's blog »

1) In a stand mixer or in a bread machine, mix together all of the ingredients to form a smooth, shiny dough. Don't worry; what starts out as a sticky mess becomes beautifully satiny as it kneads. If you use a stand mixer, this dough takes longer than most to develop, so be prepared to let it knead for up to 15 minutes. A bread machine will mix and knead this dough perfectly using the dough cycle. We don't recommend trying to knead brioche dough by hand; it's simply too sticky.

2) If you're using a bread machine, add the chocolate chunks and dried cherries about 1 minute before the end of the kneading cycle. Let it complete its entire dough cycle, then cover the bucket with plastic wrap, and refrigerate the dough for several hours, or overnight. If you've kneaded the dough in a stand mixer, add the cherries and chocolate at the end, form it into a ball (it'll be very soft), place it in a greased bowl, cover the bowl, and it let rise for 1 hour. Then refrigerate the dough for several hours, or overnight. Refrigeration will slow the fermentation and chill the butter, making the dough easier to shape.

3) Remove the dough from the refrigerator, and place it on a lightly floured work surface.

4) Shape the dough into a 24" log. Flatten it out so it's about 6" to 7" wide. Don't try to make it perfectly even; it'll look ragged.

5) Make the filling by whisking together the confectioners' sugar and cocoa. Brush the dough with milk or water, and sprinkle the sugar/cocoa filling evenly over the dough. Starting with a long end, roll the dough into a long log.

6) Lay the log in a lightly greased 9" round cake pan that's at least 2" tall. You can coil it into the pan, or simply make it into a circle. Pinch the dough together where the ends meet.

7) Cover the pan, and allow the brioche to rise for 2 to 3 hours, till it's quite puffy. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

8) Brush the risen brioche with the beaten egg white, and sprinkle with the pearl sugar or coarse white sugar.

9) Bake the brioche for 20 minutes. Tent it with aluminum foil, and bake for an additional 30 to 35 minutes, until it's golden brown and its interior registers 190°F on an instant-read thermometer.

10) Remove the brioche from the oven, and after about 5 minutes loosen the edges, and carefully turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool.

Yield: one 9" brioche.

Reviews

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  • star rating 08/24/2014
  • Arlene from London, UK
  • Really nice result, but did have to pop it back in the oven as it was underdone in the middle. Should have used a thermometer as instructed! Pretty easy though
  • star rating 03/30/2011
  • Jeanne loves to bake from KAF Community
  • We made this yesterday, and I had already promised my son we'd try it before I realized how long it was supposed to take. So I didn't do the overnight rise -- just a few hours in the fridge. And the next rise was about 2 hours. Then I went to put it in the oven after that, and we were in the middle of watching a movie. So I rushed, of course, and didn't brush with egg white or sprinkle the sugar on it, and I set the timer for 30 minutes. When I took it out, I realized it was too dark, and I read the recipe more closely. Rushing and cooking aren't good partners, and one day I'll remember this! haha I brushed it and sprinkled and tented it with the foil and baked another 15 minutes. It turned out great even with all my rushed errors! I'm making another one tonight. It's already in the refrigerator. I doubled this batch, and I made half with chocolate and dried blueberries, and the other half I'm doing with just chocolate. If it turns out anything less than fantastic, I'll post an update, but I don't expect any problems. This was delicious and made a beautiful loaf. This is in my "best recipes" file!
  • star rating 02/19/2011
  • larag35 from KAF Community
  • Wow... this one surprised me! After I refridgerated the dough, and went to roll it into a log and roll it flat I was really skeptical because the dough seemed so stiff and dry... but none the less I went ahead and completed the steps and I am amazed at how light and fluffy this bread is. It turned out beautiful and tastes amazing. I even doubled the recipe and I look forward to making the second loaf tomorrow! Thanks again KAF for once again making me believe that despite being a total rookie maybe I really can bake!
  • star rating 04/20/2010
  • LeAnne from Northern New York
  • I made this yesterday afternoon. I used my bread machine to mix, knead and rise, then put it into the refrigerator for several hours. The dough was very easy to work with when it was time to roll out. The filling is delicious and the finished product was beautiful. I would recommend checking the brioche for doneness after 25 minutes (for a total of 45 minutes) and then continue baking as needed. I think that it would have been perfect if I had pulled it out just a bit sooner. Can't wait to make it again, so I can compare results! Thanks for another delicious recipe!
  • star rating 03/17/2010
  • from
  • star rating 02/09/2010
  • Susan from PA
  • I admit I am a new baker... but this recipe was a total bust. I used all KAF products and followed the blog which was very clear and well illustrated. The results were so poor that I removed the finished brioche from the guest table and took it away to examine later. My oven has a fancy thermometer, the temp was correct and my perfect pan was also purchased from KAF. The baked brioche looked pretty. My issue is that this brioche was very dry and dull tasting, except for the specific chocolate and cherry ingredients. I cooked it for 32 minutes, the bottom and sides were toasted too brown in my perfect 9" pan. I ended up throwing it out. I would never recommend this recipe. The aggregate ingredients were too expensive to end up tasting so poorly. I was very disappointed.
    I'm sorry you had trouble with that recipe. How did you measure your flour? See how we recommend here. Mary@ KAF
  • star rating 01/03/2010
  • Michael from Orlando
  • The jury was still out on this one until this morning. I made it just beautifully, even if I did miss the point to add the cherries and chocolate to the bread machine cycle, and had to just roll them in at the very end of the first rising cycle. I was impressed at just how much it rose; it looked amazing. My oven cooks a little hot (waiting for a thermometer to remedy this!), so it came out a little over done on the outside and drier in the center than I would have liked. So I need to do this again sometime at a lower temperture and see what happens. Where this recipe truly shined was in using it for other recipes. The french toast it made was spectacular (just the simple milk, egg, vanilla, and cinnamon like Dad used to make! Well, I may have added the cinnamon and vanilla...), and I just got back from church where I turned it into a brioche bread pudding that I found at Epicurious. Soaking the chocolate and cherries in an amaretto, cream, and egg mixture was just beautiful. So, even though it didn't get eaten on it's own very much, I certainly got my money's worth out of this rather tricky recipe. I even broke out the bread machine that has gone unused for almost eight years, and I cannot imagine making it without one.
  • 01/01/2010
  • from
  • I plan to bake this for a brunch at 11 on Sunday, and I'm struggling with the timing. Realistically, I don't think I can get it rolled up by 7 am to rise and bake on time. Can I roll it and let it rise Saturday night, then fridge it and bring it to room temperature and bake on Sunday morning?
    Many yeast breads can be shaped and then rise in the refrigerator overnight. This technique may work well for you with this recipe as well. Take it out of the refrigerator so you can let it come to room temp. and continue to rise before you bake it. Since this recipe rests 2-3 hours at room temp. You may wait another hour before you place in the oven to bake. When in doubt, call our bakers hotline at 802-649-3717. Irene @ KAF
  • star rating 12/27/2009
  • Janey from Arlington, VA
  • I didn't have dry milk, so I substituted with regular milk (figuring that 1/4 cup dry milk = 1 cup regular milk) and added about a cup or so more flour. I also added roughly another teaspoon of almond extract but proceeded otherwise as directed. This is absolutely delectable. I might add a bit more butter and salt the next go-around if I try it without salt, but as is it's just phenomenal. It's also kind of like a White Russian: tastes almost fluffy and light at first, but then the richness of it hits you like a brick. Definitely making this again!
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