Lemond Curd & Berry Brioches

These are the best things I could think of for a winter breakfast. They are perfect straight out of the oven and full of antioxidants and refreshing flavours. You might think the lemon and raspberry combination sounds too tart but trust me, it's not. The lemon curd cream is really sweet and the berries cut through the rich, buttery brioche. It's an absolute treat. These brioches would also be perfect served on a platter at events or taken on a cute picnic.

What you'll need:
2 1/2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoon dried yeast
1/4 cup caster sugar
Pinch of salt
80g butter, softened and cubed
1/2 cup warmed milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

125g cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons icing sugar
1 lemon, zested
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/3 cup quality lemon curd
300g mixed berries

1 egg, lightly beaten
Caster sugar
3 tablespoons pistachios, chopped well (optional)
Icing sugar to dust

What to do:
In the bowl of an electric mixer, add the yeast, caster sugar, salt, butter and half a cup of the plain flour. Mix to combine on low for a couple of minutes. In a bowl, whisk together the milk, egg and vanilla. Add half of this to the the yeast mix and then add the remaining 2 cups of flour. Keep mixing and add the remaining milk. Cover the dough with cling wrap and set aside somewhere warm for 1-2 hours or until it has doubled in size and feels very spongey, bouncy and oily when poked. 

In a new bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese until soft and smooth. Add the sour cream, icing sugar, lemon zest, juice and curd. Mix for a few minutes or until everything has combined to a smooth cream. Cover with cling wrap and place in the fridge.

Once dough has doubled, tip it onto a clean work surface. Preheat the oven to 180C and then knead the dough for about a minute or until it feels a bit elasticy. (I don't think that's a word but you know what I mean.) Use a measuring scale to divide into even halves. Then, divide the halves evenly into quarters. Now, divide each quarter in half. (You should have 8 even pieces.) Mine were about 97g each but as long as they're all even it doesn't matter how much yours weigh.

Grab a bowl or small glass and fill it with water. Use a rolling pin to roll the first ball out to a circle about 14cm wide. Dip your finger in the water and trace around the perimeter of the circle. Roll the sides in about 1cm and pinch to hold. Shape further if needed and place onto a lined baking tray. Repeat this for each ball. 

Spoon about a dessert spoon and a half of the lemon curd cream into each brioche case. They should be about half full. Then, share the berries out between each brioche. You can add as many or as few as you want... I may have used more than 300g.

Use a pastry brush to paint the spare egg over the brioche and kind of dab it onto the berries. Generously sprinkle caster sugar over each brioche. Make sure you get it on the actual brioche because that will make the crust golden and caramelised.

Bake for around 20-25minutes or until golden and crispy. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and sprinkle on the pistachios. Dust with icing sugar and enjoy!

NOTE: If serving for breakfast you may want to get the dough and lemon curd cream ready the night before. Then, in the morning, all you'll need to do is get them out of the fridge, spoon the curd into the brioche, top with berries and sugar and bake!

If serving at a special occasion, you could split each dough ball in half so you can make smaller brioches to serve more people.