Fear Factor….

Baking with yeast. Check.
Setting food on fire. Check.
Tempering eggs. Check.
Yes, this weeks Tuesdays with Dorie recipe covered a lot of people’s cooking/baking fears…all in one stinking recipe. Who was this bitch that chose it?…oh yeah, that was me. :P
I wanted the TWD gals/guys to push past their comfort zone and possibly catch their kitchens on fire(none did that I know of). I wanted them to feel truly accomplished when they finished this one. And when they are done, they will have possibly added a few techniques that they had never done before.
This weeks recipe, Brioche Raisin Snails, could quite possibly give you a heart attack for breakfast…but oh, what a way to go. I had made Dorie’s brioche recipe a few times, so I knew it was a winner, but I had yet to make the raisin snails.
Knowing that my uber-picky husband would not be eating these because they had pastry cream, I made them in a flavor I wanted….tangerine/Grand Marnier. Instead of rum, I used the orange liquor and glazed my snails with a tangerine glaze. The results were super yummy. Don’t feel too bad for the husband though. Since this recipe uses only ½ the brioche recipe I made him Dorie’s sticky buns with the other half and he was more than a happy camper.
Setting the raisins on fire was by far the most feared part of this adventure but from what I read, most people conquered that fear head on and survived quite nicely. I have set many a food on fire(sometimes not on purpose :) ) so there was no fear here for me.
I hope that the TWD group enjoyed this recipe and are not to cranky at all that had to be done.

Brioche Raisin Snails

1 cup moist, plump raisins
3 tablespoons Grand Marnier Liquor
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
Scant 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 recipe for Golden Brioche Loaves(page 48), chilled and ready to shape (make the full recipe and cut the dough in half after refrigerating overnight)
1/2 recipe Pastry Cream (page 448)

For the Tangerine Glaze
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 tsp tangerine juice
zest of ½ tangerine

Getting Ready: Grease and flour a regular sized muffin pan.
Put the raisins in a small saucepan, cover them with hot water and let them steep for about 4 minutes, until they are plumped. Drain the raisins, return them to the saucepan and, stirring constantly, warm them over low heat. When the raisins are very hot, pull the pan from the heat and pour over the Grand Marnier. Standing back, ignite the liquor. Stir until the flames go out, then cover and set aside. (The raisins and liquor an be kept in a covered jar for up to 1 day.)
Mix the sugar and cinnamon together.
On a flour dusted surface, roll the dough into a rectangle about 12 inches wide and 16 inches long, with a short end toward you. Spread the pastry cream across the dough, leaving 1-inch strip bare on the side farthest from you. Scatter the raisins over the pastry cream and sprinkle the raisins and cream with the cinnamon sugar. Starting wit the side nearest you, roll the dough into a cylinder, keeping the roll as tight as you can. (At this point, you can wrap the dough airtight and freeze it up to 2 months; see Storing for further instructions. Or, if you do not want to make the full recipe, use as much of the dough as you’d like and freeze the remainder.)
With a chef’s knife(I use a bread knife), using a gentle sawing motion, trim just a tiny bit from the ends if they’re ragged or not well filled, then cut the log into rounds a scant 1 inch thick. Put the snails inside the individual muffin holes.
Lightly cover the snails with wax paper and set the baking sheet(s) in a warm place until the snails have doubles in volume–they’ll be puffy and soft–about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Getting Ready To Bake: When the snails have almost fully risen, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Remove the wax paper, and bake the snails for about 25 minutes, or until they are puffed and richly browned. Let cool for 5 minutes then remove from muffin pan.

If You Want To Glaze The Snails: Put a piece of wax paper under the rack of warm rolls to act as a drip catcher. Put the confectioners’ sugar into a small bowl, and stir in a teaspoons of juice. Keep adding juice drop by drop until you have an icing that falls from the tip of a spoon. Add the tangerine zest, then drizzle the icing over the hot snails.

Golden Brioche Loaves

2 packets active dry yeast
1/3 cup just-warm-to-the-touch water
1/3 cup just-warm-to-the-touch whole milk
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature but still slightly firm

For The Glaze
1 large egg
1 tablespoon water

To Make The Brioche: Put the yeast, water and milk in the bowl of a stand mixer and, using a wooden spoon, stir until the yeast is dissolved. Add the flour and salt, and fit into the mixer with the dough hook, if you have one. Toss a kitchen towel over the mixer, covering the bowl as completely as you can– this will help keep you, the counter and your kitchen floor from being showered in flour. Turn the mixer on and off a few short pulses, just to dampen the flour (yes, you can peek to see how you’re doing), then remove the towel, increase the mixer speed to medium-low and mix for a minute or two, just until the flour is moistened. At this point, you’ll have a fairly dry, shaggy mess.
Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula, set the mixer to low and add the eggs, followed by the sugar. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for about 3 minutes, until the dough forms a ball. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter in 2-tablespoon-size chunks, beating until each piece is almost incorporated before adding the next. You’ll have a dough that is very soft, almost like batter. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue to beat until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 10 minutes.
Transfer the dough to a clean bowl (or wash out the mixer bowl and use it), cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature until nearly doubled in size, 40 to 60 minutes, depending upon the warmth of your room.
Deflate the dough by lifting it up around the edges and letting it fall with a slap to the bowl. Cover the bowl with the plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator. Slap the dough down in the bowl every 30 minutes until it stops rising, about 2 hours, then leave the uncovered dough in the refrigerator to chill overnight.
The next day, butter and flour two 8 1/2-x-4 1/2-inch pans.
Pull the dough from the fridge and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Cut each piece of the dough into 4 equal pieces and roll each piece into a log about 3 1/2 inches long. Arrange 4 logs crosswise in the bottom of each pan. Put the pans on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat, cover the pans lightly with wax paper and leave the loaves at room temperature until the dough almost fills the pans, 1 to 2 hours.  (Again, rising time with depend on how warm the room is.)

Getting Ready To Bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

To Make the Glaze: Beat the egg with the water. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the tops of the loaves with the glaze.
 Bake the loaves until they are well risen and deeply golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the pans to racks to cool for 15 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the pans and turn the loaves out onto the racks. Invert again and cool for at least 1 hour.
Pastry Cream

2 cups whole milk
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch, sifted
2 teaspoons Grand Marnier Liquor
3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits at room temperature

Bring the milk to a boil in a small saucepan.
Meanwhile, in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the egg yolks together with the sugar and cornstarch until thick and well blended. Still whisking, drizzle in about 1/4 cup of the hot milk– this will temper, or warm, the yolks so they won’t curdle. Whisking all the while, slowly pour in the remainder of the milk. Put the pan over medium heat and, whisking vigorously, constantly and thoroughly (making sure to get the edges of the pot), bring the mixture to a boil. Keep at a boil, still whisking, for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat.
Whisk in the Grand Marnier. Let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk in the bits of butter, stirring until they are full incorporated and the pastry cream is smooth and silky. Scrape the cream into a bowl. You can press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the cream to create an airtight seal and refrigerate the pastry cream until cold or, if you want to cool it quickly–as I always do–put the bowl into a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water, and stir the pastry cream occasionally until it is thoroughly chilled, about 20 minutes.


  1. HAHA! Your title is perfect. But, great job mastering the fear. They look great!

  2. A challenging recipe and you can practically lick the glaze off the screen…tempting.

  3. looks wonderful….i love the idea of changing this up to be an orangey treat :) thanks for picking a great recipe! i had fun w/the flambeeing!

  4. So funny – I made something very similar this week, but with chocolate!

  5. The smell of these baking! What a lovely way to end the winter. Thanks for challenging me to make something I probably passed over dozens of times. It was exactly the challenge I was looking for from TWD.

  6. This is me, as I look at the pictures and read the post:

    “Good Lord, how does Peabody do it? Argh, now she’s trying to kill us with those pictures.” (Sulks of to the living room.) “I want those snails right now!”

  7. Tangerine, what a delightful idea! They look heavenly!

  8. Your snails look just perfect! They must also taste like heaven!!! Very, very well done!!!



  9. That glaze drizzling down the sides looks so amazing. I would kill for one of these for breakfast right now.

  10. The picture with the drizzle of glaze is so enticing, I don’t think I noticed this recipe…wil have to go and look!

  11. Wow, that is quite the recipe. Strangely enough, I find the dough-making more fearsome than the food-igniting. That tangerine glaze sounds yummy. I want to eat a tangerine now.

  12. You got to set it on fire?! Now I’m definitely trying this. As if the gorgeous pictures and brioche/pastry cream thing wasn’t enough…

  13. These look and sound so good! Nice choice!

  14. I love all you’ve done to make the recipe your own. :)

    from Occasional Baker

  15. Oooh oooh oooh … tangerine is my favorite! This flavor combo had never crossed my mind. I am definitely picking up what you’re putting down.

  16. Nom, nom, nom :d
    Those look so good! And I love the tangerine glaze idea. My fathers in the citrus business, so theres always citrus somewhere!

    I’m defiantly going to try these :D

  17. These looks absolutely so delicious! I want to eat one right now!! Great job!

  18. Mmmmmmmmmm … I always knew I liked savoury snails but I never figured I’d like sweet ones so much … delicious!


  19. Wow those are truly stunning. I didn’t get a chance to make these but after seeing yours I know I’ll have to make them at some point!

  20. Yummm – orange glaze. Those look amazing.

  21. Holy cow, Gracie.. lighting raisins on fire.. and I missed it. I would have been the one who set their kitchen on fire. :P

    These look amazingly good.. and it makes me sad that I don’t have the time right now to join in on the fun – I love this book and don’t bake out of it nearly enough as I’d like.

    I look forward to seeing whatelse you gals bake.. plenty of droolage going on! :D


  22. Man, I think I am going to have to join in on the club. I was resisting, thinking I couldn’t fit it in, but I’m going to have to now.
    Btw, nice choice. :-)


  1. […] The full recipe for these Brioche Raisin Snails can be found on pages 56 to 57 of Baking, which is available through Amazon, or try checking out the hostess’ site (Thanks, Peabody!) where a version of the recipe is posted. Peabody’s blog is also a sight to see – be prepared to be amazed. […]

  2. […] Brioche Raisin Snails, pages 56-57 Baking From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan were picked by Culinary Concoctions by Peabody.  (The link will take you to the original post from days of […]

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