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!


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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 >>

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