Julie Le Clerc, cafe@home

I first noticed Julie Le Clerc when I was in NZ back in February, her books were seemingly everywhere I looked. The other week when I was browsing the library shelves to see if there was any new cookery books that I hadn’t looked at before I saw Julie’s cafe@home on the shelf and without having a flick through I grabbed it off the shelf. I have really enjoyed reading it and plan to make some more things from the book yet.

On Sunday, I had a quick panic when I thought it was my turn to cook morning tea for work on Monday so after a quick flip through the book I settled on the Coconut Cream Loaf, it was only after I had baked the cake did I realise that I was a week early. Oh well I now have slices of cake tucked away in the freezer to be taken as morning/afternoon tea when needed.

Lemon Coconut Cake

Lemon Coconut Loaf with Pink Icing
(adapted from Coconut Cream Loaf with Pink Icing, p. 162)

125g softened butter
1C sugar
2 eggs
165ml coconut milk
1.5C self raising flour
3/4C desicated coconut
juice of 2 lemons

Preheat oven to 180, grease and flour a 21cm loaf tin.
Cream the butter and sugar. Then add eggs one at a time. Add the coconut milk and lemon juice. Stir in the flour and coconut. Pour into loaf tin and bake for 40 minutes or until cooked. Ice with simple icing sugar icing and decorate with some more coconut.

I have really enjoyed this cake warmed up in the microwave for a few seconds as it really brings out the coconut flavours.

Blueberry Brioche Scrolls

Blueberry Brioche Scrolls
(adapted from Blueberry Scroll Buns, p. 62)

Julie’s brioche method is quite simplified compared to the others I have seen round the traps in that the dough is not cool risen but warm risen like you would traditionally do for a normal loaf of bread. This means the time between the beginning and completion is severely reduced.. A basic brioche dough is given and then a number of variations are given, the Blueberry scrolls are one of them.

Plain Brioches
1/4C warm water
2tsp active dried yeast
2tbsp sugar
4C plain flour/strong flour
1tsp salt
1C warm milk
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
150g softened butter
1 lightly beaten egg to glaze

1. Place the warm water in a small bowl and sprinkle in the yeast and sugar, leave the yeast to activate for a little while.
2. In a small cup lightly beat the 2 eggs and 2 egg yolks together. In a large bowl combine the flour and salt. Then add the yeast mixture, eggs, softened butter and milk, mix to combine.
3. Turn out on to a floured bench top and knead till smooth and glossy (I needed to work into a moderate amount of extra flour as I found the dough to be rather wet. Place kneaded dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling wrap and leave in a warm place to rise until doubled in volume, about 1hr or so. Lightly press back the dough, turn out on to the bench top and give it a light knead.
4. Preheat oven to 190. Form dough into to desired shapes either a loaf or 12 mini loaves, place in oiled bakeware and leave to rise for 20 minutes or so.
5. Glaze with beaten egg and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and with a firm crust.

Blueberry Brioche Scrolls.

1 basic brioche dough prepared to step 3
1/2C soft brown sugar
1C Blueberries (fresh or frozen)

1. Roll brioche dough into a 25cmx40cm rectangle, sprinkle with brown sugar and blueberries.
2. Roll up into a log and cut log into 2-4cm portions (This all depends on what size your largest muffin pans are and what size you want your cooked buns. I cut mine at about 3cm and cooked them in a standard 12 hole large muffin pan and think they are just the right size).
3. Place spirals into greased muffin pans. Preheat oven to 190 and leave to rise for 20 minutes or so.
4. Glaze with the beaten egg from the basic brioche dough and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and with a firm crust.

Julies’s notes say that the blueberries will melt into the brown sugar becoming jam like and will cling to the spirals of the dough. I don’t know if I used too many blueberries (you think I actually measured them?) or not enough sugar but I ended up with most of my scrolls oozing blueberry syrup out of the bottom. The recipe says it will make 12 but I only used half of the original dough to make these and ended up with 9 scrolls.

These are so yummy, however next time I am either going to make them with raspberries or chocolate as Matthew doesn’t like blueberries which means that I will be eating these by myself for the days to come.

One Reply to “Julie Le Clerc, cafe@home”

  1. I don’t think it’s really necessary for you to eat these blueberry brioche all by yourself just because Matthew doesn’t like blueberries, do you? I could think of a few people that wouldn’t let them go to waste.

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