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. They look delightful! My goodness, your husband must be cracked in the head not to like those. Is something wrong with his taste buds? I guess we like what we like and don’t like. (I still think he is wired wrong or something.)

  2. mmm, flambe. Careful, you may get addicted to setting things on fire. If you’re not careful, you’ll have yourself a real propane torch under your sink like me!

  3. Thanks you very much for picking this recipe, it was so much fun to make and they taste SO good!!
    Your snails look fabulous, how did you get them to be lower at the outside?? Did you cut them on a bias? Did you reroll them, please solve this mystery!!! :-)

  4. I LOVED this recipe! I had so much fun making it, and I thought they tasted DIVINE! Very, very good choice!

    Quick q: did you cut yours extra thick in order to bake them in the muffin pan?

  5. Thanks for picking a great recipe! I definitely learned a lot with this one, and with such a tasty end result. I like how you baked yours in a muffin tin–I’ll have to try that. Mine spread out too much, but that’s okay, since they still tasted great.

  6. They look gorgeous and heart attack or not, I’d love to sink my teeth into one right now. Your post are always humorous and the photos stunning. Well done!

  7. My husband, the resident baker, has done Dorie’s brioche, which is so delicious. Has not yet tried this variation… but I’ll suggest it. The snails look lovely.

  8. what a great idea to bake them in a tin– they are nice and high! tangerine glaze looks awesome! i have found that with most potentially scary kitchen things (including fire) as long as you don´t fear it, everything works out fine.

  9. Oh, yum. I glazed mine with an orange glaze. I must say, though, your hubbie doesn’t like pastry cream?!

  10. I think lighting something on fire would definitely make me want to make the recipe! Looks great! I would never think of the tangerine combination! delicious!

  11. You are the best for picking this recipe. The idea of doing brioche by hand sounded awfull, but when I tried it I was happy with how easy it was to make! Had never made brioche before, and I’m so gratefull to you for giving me reason to learn it. Allready wanna make more! Yours look so perfect!

  12. Wow, are those ever lovely.
    It’s so nice when a recipe can be divided and make everybody happy!

  13. Thank you so much for getting me past my fear of tempered eggs and massive amounts of butter – Unfortunately, now that means I have to make brioche and pastry cream all the time. Sooo tasty!

  14. I do love the idea of the orange liquor and tangerine glaze. I bet they were just delicious! Great pick!

  15. These are worth taking all those risks, Pea. They look fantastic!

  16. These look wonderful! I bet the grand marnier/tangerine glaze made these REALLY good.

  17. Thanks so much for hosting Peabody! No crankiness here, I was so excited to have the chance to give brioche a try. I made a loaf out of the other half of my dough and omg, I’m in love.

  18. These look fabulous!

  19. I wouldn’t say cranky! ;) LOL Mine turned out kind of bland though. I want to play around with the pastry cream some more though. I had never made it before and had always wanted to. Your snails look amazing! :)

  20. I would’ve been more impressed if you had set the eggs on fire ;)

  21. These look wonderful! I bet the glaze was fabulous- next time I will play around with different creams and glazes. I will also bake them in a muffin tin. I love the way it made yours look. Thank you for choosing such a great recipe and encouraging us all to try new things in the kitchen. I had a great time with this one!

  22. Anything with pastry cream is a keeper for me! These look great!

    So glad you didn’t burn your beautiful new kitchen down! ;)

  23. These look fabulous! I love the idea of using Grand Marnier instead of rum.

  24. WOW! Gorgeous. I loved it. Thanks for choosing it because I had an absolute blast.

  25. These look wonderful. I made the brioche last christmas and my dad liked it. I thought it made good cinnamon rolls but was underwhelmed just as regular bread.

  26. I think your rolls look fabulous and love the idea of the grand marnier and orange glaze. How positively yummy! Thanks so much for suggesting such a wonderful challenge! I, for one, really enjoyed it!

  27. TWD keeps picking recipes I haven’t made yet, you guys are killing me!

  28. deliciously perfect!

  29. I admit I groaned when I saw the recipe and since I know I am not at your expert skill level I thought I would totally fug this recipe up! But I am happy to say that I am now in love with snails. haha. Thanks for hosting! Love your brioche snail muffins. You rock.

  30. I’ll take a dozen, please. ;)

  31. Haha!! Peabody, you’re too funny (as always) – but hey, at least you got people to face their baking fears (I’m STILL afraid of baking with yeast!!)

    Those brioche “snails” look incredible – I love anything with plump raisins in it :0)

  32. Yum! Your snails look amazing!

  33. yours look great! Thanks for picking this recipe. It was fun and a great learning experience.

  34. Thanks for chosing that recipe, I liked it a lot. Your snails look great! Perhaps next time I try your flavours of Grand Marnier and tangerin

  35. You weren’t kidding about three big fears! None of which I’ve tried yet. Your brioche loaves do look yummy.

  36. you know i am in the midst of conquering my fear factor right? Then you show me this – I am drooling and also doing my voodoo dance. Because I know I want to make these. Pea, you are the master! These look great.

  37. You definitely had me out of my comfort zone for this challenge, but it was so worth it! These are some of the yummiest things I’ve ever tasted! I love that you baked yours in muffin tins, what a great idea!

  38. Very pretty buns. My tummy hurts a bit, imagining having to eat aaaaall those buns on my own, but I’m sure you made a valiant effort to give them all a good gastric home.

  39. Your snails look awesome! I love the sound of orange glaze, yum! Thanks so much for picking this recipe. It did indeed push me out of my comfort level, and I thank you for it. (My waistline is kind of pissy about it though.) I will definitely make the brioche again. Thanks Peabody!

  40. How could anyone be cranky about making such lovely rolls? I think the tangerine glaze would be over the top yummy.

  41. Growing up we would walk to the bakery every other day to get either these or pain au chocolat for our 4pm snack. Fond memories indeed! They look yummy!

  42. oh my god! oh my god! this looks sooooooo good!

  43. Your second and third shot make me drool – Grand Marnier and a tangerine glaze?! Awesome. And putting the snails in a muffin pan? Genius.

    I have to confess that I was taking your name in vain when I looked up the recipe :) But totally in an “Auughghh! Woman! You’re killing me!” way! I thought about bailing for the week, then decided that even a disaster would make for good blogging.

  44. Your snails look lovely. Great pick this week!

  45. My fear’s not related to the yeast bugs, scrambling eggs or setting the kitchen ablaze. I’m afraid that if I make this recipe without supervision, twelve raisin snails will wind up in my stomach (and ultimately on my thighs). So I’m waiting until the weekend when we have house guests I can tempt and tantalize with this one.

  46. Oh sure… I’m going home tonight to work on a baking project I’m NOT thrilled about and you go and put something like THIS up… Guess I’m making Brioche too!

  47. I just love your blog – have been reading it for quite a while now. Thank you for the “Snails” pick this week – of the items I have made since starting blogging in Feb. these were the most delicious.

  48. Oh. My. Gah. Brioche rolled up with pastry cream?
    Does it get any better than that? Yuuuuuum!

  49. brioche. pastry cream. booze. things on fire. a recipe for genius!

  50. This was such a great pick! Even though there was a lot of work involved, they were one of the most fun things I’ve baked recently. I’d been eyeing the recipe ever since I got Baking. Yours look gorgeous, and your flavor variation sounds delicious!


  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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