Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Chocolate Cherry Brioche with Chocolate Ganache

I smiled constantly while I ate a slice of this bread.

At 7:00 a.m.

In my apartment.


I couldn't help myself.

It's that tasty.

I used to think Chocolate Babka was the ultimate special occasion bread, and it probably is. It's rich and decadent. It requires several pounds of chocolate, sugar and butter, all my favorite foods. The only downside is that it's super time consuming to make.

I can't justify eating that babka every day. I'm not really sure it would be healthy to do that.

Save that chocolate babka for special occasions.

Make this chocolate cherry brioche with chocolate ganache way more often than that. You'll want a slice of this, brushed with unsalted butter and sprinkled with fleur de sel.

I think it's the perfect bread for a birthday breakfast, a work meeting, an "I want to impress you" treat or a "I want to eat chocolate" day.

Lest you think I'm exaggerating, make a loaf of this for yourself quickly. The bread dough comes together in FIVE minutes (I didn't believe it until I tried it), it bakes up beautifully and the flavors weave through it perfectly.

Chocolate Cherry Brioche with Chocolate Ganache
recipe adapted from Artisan Bread Every Day, King Arthur Flour and Martha Stewart

Note: This brioche dough makes enough for 4 loaves of dough. You can keep it in your fridge for a week, or you can freeze it (unbaked) and unfreeze it when you need it.

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
8 large eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, melted
7 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate

1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate

Egg wash:
1 egg white
1 teaspoon water

1 tablespoon sugar

Prepare the dough: In a large bowl, mix the yeast, salt, eggs, honey and melted butter with the water. Mix in the flour, using a spoon until all of the flour is incorporated.

Cover the bread, making sure the cover is not airtight, and allow it to sit and room temperature for at least two hours until it rises and falls.

Chill the dough for several hours, or at least overnight. The dough will be much easier to work with when it is chilled.

Butter a standard-sized bread pan.

Remove a grapefruit-sized portion of the dough from the container. Using your hands, knead in 1/2 cup dried cherries and 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate, until the cherries and chocolate are well mixed throughout the dough.

Prepare the ganache: Heat 1/3 cup heavy cream in a small saucepan over low heat until bubbles form around the edge of the pan. Remove from the heat, and pour over the bittersweet chocolate. Allow the mixture to sit for five minutes, and then stir everything together until smooth.

Flour a work surface, and roll out the dough to a long rectangle about 1/4-inch thick. Cover the dough with chocolate ganache, spreading the ganache in a rectangle, stopping about one inch from the edges.

Roll up the dough into a long log, and pinch the edges. Twist the log five or six times. Pinch the two ends of the log together, twist the bread a few more times, and then fit it into a prepared pan.

Cover the pan with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise for 1 hour and 40 minutes.

Prepare the egg wash by mixing an egg white with one tablespoon water, and brush the top of the dough with the egg wash. Sprinkle with sugar.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the brioche for 45 minutes, until the loaf is golden brown. Remove from the pan immediately, and allow the loaf to cool on a baking rack.

Serve the bread fresh or toast it and top with butter and fleur de sel.


  1. That Brioche looks absolutely fantastic! I would love to recreate the recipe.

    1. Thanks Spencer. I'm definitely going to make this often with some different chocolate/fruit combinations!

  2. What beautiful bread! I would smile too if I had that for breakfast!

    Coincidentally, I measured out ingredients last night to make chocolate brioche today. You have me thinking about revising my original plans!

    1. Ooh. I've been wanting to make a chocolate brioche. I hope you post a recipe soon!

  3. Makes me smile just thinking about it!

    1. I feel you. I've been smiling since this morning.

  4. This looks amazing! I'm pinning it to try later. Love a sweet and chocolaty loaf

    1. Thank you! I love pinning recipes to try later.

    2. lately i'm having a lot of 'i want chocolate' days, plus love the cherry-chocolate combo, so this directly goes on my list of things to try!

    3. I'm afraid every day is a "I want chocolate day" for me. :)

  5. The only thing about this bread is that...I would eat the whole loaf within 24 hours. Is that really a problem? Honestly...I think not. Amazing!

    1. Not.a problem at all. When you only have one slice at a time, it hardly feels like you're eating anything!

  6. Oh, my husband would be all over this...chocolate and cherries and bread...all favorites in his mind. Looks great...such fun to think of you with your big smile enjoying this!

    1. Thanks Kayte! It makes me smile just thinking about it.