Easy Almond Brioche for a Special Valentine’s Day Breakfast

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Today is Valentine’s Day – a special day set aside each year honoring love and lovers. A heart pierced by Cupid’s arrow is a traditional symbol of Valentine’s Day. The heart symbolizes love, and giving someone a heart symbolizes bestowing your love to that person. A heart pierced by a Cupid’s arrow signifies the fragility of love and the risk that one takes of being rejected. Some also believe that the heart and arrow symbolizes the uniting of a man and woman.
Centuries ago, people didn’t know that the heart was what pumped blood through the body’s circulatory system. However, they did know that the heart beats faster when a person is excited or upset. For this reason, it was believed that the heart was the center of our feelings. Thus, the heart become the quintessential symbol of love.

In commemoration of Valentine’s Day, Zorra of Kochtopf is hosting a special blogging event, A Heart for Your Valentine. She has challenged all of us to romance the special person in our lives with a homemade “edible heart”. Deciding what to make was tough. Valentine’s Day is all about chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. I’m married to a man who doesn’t like chocolate. Not only that, he doesn’t really care much for sweets at all, so coming up with an “edible heart” that he would enjoy was a challenge all on its own. What would be the point of making a special edible Valentine for someone if they won’t eat it?

I still had a huge hunk of brioche dough leftover from my attempt at making doughnuts, taking up space in the fridge, so I thought I would do something with that. I consulted the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day cookbook again and found a recipe for Almond Brioche. Mr. SGCC loves bread, and brioche is a form of bread. That sounded great to me. I have a heart-shaped cake pan insert, so I thought I would try to bake the brioche inside the heart and see what happened.

Things got a little scary for a while, when the brioche was baking. The dough kept getting higher and higher, bursting out over the top of the pan. I also had to bake it about 10-15 minutes longer than the recipe specified to get it cooked all the way through. I unmolded it and, lo and behold, it looked like a heart. It worked! I had a beautiful, crusty, buttery, almondy heart-shaped brioche! And let me tell you, It. Was. Fabulous! Honestly, it was one of the most delicious things I ever baked. The brioche was soft and moist on the inside, while the sugar and almonds on the top crust had gotten all crunchy and carmelized. It reminded me of those heavenly almond croissants that I’ve had in Paris. Really! You must try this one. Even though it looks and tastes like it took all day, it is very easy to make and was ready in just a few hours.

Needless to say, Mr. SGCC loved it when I served it with his coffee this morning. And now, he has all day to pick me up a sparkly little something to thank me!
Happy Valentines Day!


32 responses to Easy Almond Brioche for a Special Valentine’s Day Breakfast

  1. On February 14, 2008 at 11:35am, Deborah said...

    I’ll have to remember this when I make the brioche from that book! It looks wonderful!

  2. On February 14, 2008 at 3:36pm, LyB said...

    I’ve never made brioche before, you’re certainly tempting me to try! Your Valentine is very lucky to have had such a wonderful breakfast!

  3. On February 14, 2008 at 5:20pm, Emiline said...

    I love, love, brioche. This sounds amazing!
    What a challenge it must be to bake for your husband. I would force him to eat whatever I made.

  4. On February 14, 2008 at 5:28pm, StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

    Deborah- Trust me. I was surprised by how good it was. You need to try it!

    Lyb- It really is a great and easy recipe. I’ve used other brioche recipes before and this one was the best.

    Emiline- Lol! You can’t force him to do anything! He is usually very appreciative when I make something he likes, though.

  5. On February 15, 2008 at 4:42am, Aran Goyoaga said...

    Wow… this brioche looks amazing! I just found your blog because I saw a comment you posted on the Travelere’s Lunchbox blog. I had to click on your name.. Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy… My mouth waters just by repeating it! You have a lovely blog here with very beautiful photos. I just started mine and I love how many good looking blogs there are out there. Your doughnuts also look amazing (I also took part in that). So I just wanted to say Great Job and I will be reading your blog everyday! Oh, and I’m making that brioche!

  6. On February 15, 2008 at 4:46am, Aran Goyoaga said...

    Oh, and I just noticed you live in Sarasota. I live in Jupiter, right across the peninsula from you! And I should be a Daring Baker for March too so I suppose I will be reading about you a lot soon! Exciting!

  7. On February 15, 2008 at 6:43am, zorra said...

    Oh my good, this brioche looks so stunning! I will give it a try soon. Perhaps with another dough, because I wasn’t quite happy with the 5-minutes-a-day-dough (normal one).

    Thank you for your participation. I I hope you passed a wonderful Valentine’s Day, and your husband brought you a sparkly little something.

  8. On February 15, 2008 at 7:37am, Patricia Scarpin said...

    I’m a sucker for almonds and to put them on brioche is just perfect! It looks so good!

  9. On February 15, 2008 at 3:40pm, Veron said...


  10. On February 15, 2008 at 4:36pm, Brilynn said...

    Oh why do I not have this book yet?? That looks amazing!

  11. On February 15, 2008 at 5:59pm, StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

    Aran- Thank you so much! You are very sweet. I’m so glad that you enjoy my blog. Please come back often. I came up with the name because I loooove caramels, and they are sticky, gooey, etc. It just seemed like all the best foods had those qualities.

    I have been to Jupiter several times. My husband and I considered moving there years ago, but I grew up here in Sarasota so we stayed here. He is from Daytona Beach.

    You’ll enjoy the DB group. They are a great bunch!

    Zorra- Thank you! I’m glad you liked the brioche. You definitely must try it. With the almond filling, it is awesome!

    Patricia- I love almonds on everything too. I highly recommend this brioche. We enjoyed it very much.

    Veron- Thank you, thank you! That is high praise. I’ve seen your beautiful work.

    Brilynn- Stop torturing yourself! Get the book!

  12. On February 16, 2008 at 8:33am, Susan from Food Blogga said...

    I never knew brioche was so easy to make. I could give you a big hug right now, because I LOVE it! Oh, thanks, Susan!

  13. On February 16, 2008 at 11:03am, StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

    Susan- You’re so welcome! You should have no trouble cranking this out. You might have to hide a piece for yourself, though. I did! 😉

  14. On February 16, 2008 at 2:46pm, bleeding espresso said...

    YUM. This reminds me a lot of the “Columbo” cakes they have around here at Easter time, only instead of a heart shape, it’s a dove :)

  15. On February 16, 2008 at 7:13pm, michelle said...

    Brioche is one of those things that I’m endeavoring to try my hand at in ’08. This looks AMAZING!

  16. On February 16, 2008 at 10:26pm, Gabi said...

    You’re now tagged for the meme!
    Please go to my post below for the rules and I hope you have fun!
    Thanks for playing :)



  17. On February 16, 2008 at 10:43pm, Zen Chef said...

    That looks so incredibly yummy!
    I’m jealous, i want some for breakfast! :-)

  18. On February 17, 2008 at 1:00pm, Obsessive Foodie or Food Addict....You Decide said...

    Oh my gosh….this looks incredible. I just recently bought a brioche mix for choc. chip brioche from http://www.kingarthurflour.com I have not made it yet but I think I may try your recipe first. My husband LOVES almonds. Got your link off of slashfood. I will be back to read more. Thanks for sharing!!

  19. On February 17, 2008 at 5:05pm, Anonymous said...

    Hi Susan,
    The brioche looks mouth watering. A couple of things are vague though. The ingredients list calls for 1.5 lbs dough. The instructions say that this should be cut into a cantaloupe sized ball. So is the weight of the dough actually used less than 1.5lbs?
    Also in the intro you say you had to bake it for around 15mins more. Is the time in the instructions(40mins) inclusive of this extra 15 mins?

  20. On February 17, 2008 at 5:25pm, Cakelaw said...

    Hi Susan, this looks yummy! I am not a huge bread eater, but I could definitely go a slice of this. And the heart shape is gorgeous.

  21. On February 17, 2008 at 6:50pm, StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

    BleedingEspresso- A dove! That sounds pretty cool. Actually, the brioche reminded me a bit of the Easter bread my mother bakes, just with almonds.

    Michelle- Go for it. This recipe is much easier than a traditional brioche. Having the pre-made dough cuts the time way down.

    Gabi- Thanks! Now I just have to think of something interesting to say! 😉

    Zen Chef- Thank you! My daughter polished off the last of it this morning. Next time I make it, I’ll save you a piece. 😉

    Obsessive- Thanks. I’m glad you found me. Chocolate chips would be nice too. The Artisan bread cookbook also has a recipe for chocolate filled brioche.

    Anonymous- The master recipe for the brioche dough is supposed to make 4 one pound loaves. I think that when they say to use a cantaloupe-sized ball, they are estimating what a 1 1/2 pound ball would look like, since it might be hard for some to measure exactly. It isn’t really a very scientific way to do it, but I don’t think a little more or less will affect the outcome. I can’t say for certain if my ball of dough was exacty 1 1/2 pounds.

    I had to bake mine longer because I used the heart insert and it was smaller in circumferance than a regular round cake pan. My brioche baked narrower and thus, up higher. I had to bake it longer for the center to cook through.

    The recipe I provided was as written in the cookbook, except for my added note. The recommended baking time is 40 minutes. I baked mine 15 minutes on top of that. If you use a regular pan, 40 minutes should be right. Sorry about the confusion!

    Cakelaw- Thanks! I’m glad you liked it. This was a moist and slightly sweet bread. The almond really gave it a nice flavor. It would be really good with your morning coffee or tea.

  22. On February 17, 2008 at 7:16pm, Judy @ No Fear Entertaining said...

    I can’t believe that you can make brioche look and sound so easy! Might have to try this one!

    I just went to a market up North of you today…Sweetwater’s Sunday Market. I will post about it tomorrow so check it out. I got some fresh duck eggs that were amazing in egg drop soup!!!

  23. On February 18, 2008 at 12:45am, Tartelette said...

    I got the book…I guess I should start using it! The brioche looks gorgeous. I made some saturday…must be something in the air!

  24. On February 18, 2008 at 12:39pm, StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

    Judy- Thanks for the tip. I’ll have to check that market out. I will stay tuned for your post. Fresh duck eggs! Wow!

    Tartelette- It is probably the easiest brioche you will ever make. You must try a few things from this book. I’m really loving it.

  25. On February 18, 2008 at 2:38pm, Anonymous said...

    Thanks so much for the clarification, Susan! You have no idea how I am dying to make this brioche. ::drool:: I am having company over next month and this brioche will definitely be on the menu.

  26. On February 18, 2008 at 8:49pm, StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

    Anonymous- My pleasure. I’m glad I could help. Let me know how the brioche turns out. :)

  27. On February 22, 2008 at 9:11am, Karen said...

    Now I need to go get this book – I’ve heard so many people talking about it.

    Your brioche looks oh-so delicious and I just love the *heart* shape!

  28. On March 01, 2008 at 8:37pm, rhid said...

    Need I say anything? Yum! I adore brioche! and this looks stunning!

  29. On April 27, 2009 at 4:02pm, cheffrank199 said...

    WOW! WOW! WOW!

    The dough is so easy to make and so easy to work with and delicious!!! It is now a part of my regular continental breakfast menu. I cut it into slices and leave it whole to act as a centerpiece surrounded by croissants and pan au chocolate. I made it in a tube pan rather than a heart shaped or round.

    It baked up very nicely. I’d like to try it in a chocolate version.

    I would love to send pictures, but can’t figure out how!

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  30. On September 03, 2009 at 7:45pm, Ram said...

    I’m so happy when I found your blog, a lot of wonderful recipes that I would like to try. Brioche is one of my favorite type of breads. I would like to make it but I have a question with the instruction for the recipe, what does it mean by, “bake without steam until golden brown and set in the center, about 40 minutes.” I don’t have the book, I’m planning to but it in the future. Thank you.

  31. On February 13, 2012 at 4:17am, Donna said...

    This looks like tomorrow’s Valentine breakfast!…I live in France, with access to those fabulous “croissants aux amandes” in a five-minute walk…but I really like the idea of being able to create my own almond…lighter brioche dough breakfast patisserie…One question…when you cut the dough into 8 pieces and put “the swirled side up”…what do you mean by swirled? Do I need to roll each of the pieces into a certain form and a certain way?..I’ve never worked with this kind of yeast dough before…and I so want it to look as pretty as your own! Absolute fan of your blog ….and your mix of humorous and informative writing….Thanks for all you do….and providing invaluable inspiration to your subscribers/fan base!

  32. On March 01, 2012 at 2:47pm, Anne said...

    I made this a few times and it is so good. Thank you for a wonderful recipe

please post a comment...

kiss the cook!

Hello and welcome to SGCC! I’m Susan, a professional writer, food columnist, recipe developer, wife, mother, daughter and sister, who used to be a lawyer in a previous life. My love of food comes from a long line of wonderful and creative Italian home cooks who didn’t always have a lot, but knew how to make a lot out of what they had. I hope that you enjoy yourself while you’re here, and visit often! read more >>

Just Browsing?
55 Knives
follow me!

    Follow Me on Pinterest

    Friday Food Lust

    Fine Cooking