Cranberry & White Chocolate Couronne

Cranberry & White Chocolate Couronne
I don't do much bread, but when I do, I try to make it as much like cake as possible. This sweet golden crown of glazed dough is stuffed with the wonderfully tasty and perfectly complimentary flavours of cranberries, macadamia nuts, apricots and white chocolate. It is fruity, sweet, moist, crunchy - and unlike a lot of fruit loaves, it actually tastes as good as is looks. As far as bread goes, this is a sweet tooth's delight and is great for any occasion, at any time of day.


Ingredients

For the dough:
250g strong white bread flour
1tsp salt
1x7g packet instant yeast
50g unsalted butter, softened
100ml milk
1 large egg

For the filling:
Juice and zest of 1 large orange
80g dried cranberries
80g dried apricots, chopped
120g light brown soft sugar
50g unsalted butter
80g macadamia nuts, chopped
60g white chocolate, chopped
40g plain flour

For the glaze:
3tbsp apricot jam
40g white chocolate
80g icing sugar
30g flaked almonds, toasted

Measure the flour into a large bowl. Pour the salt into one side of the bowl, and the yeast on the other. Add the butter, milk and egg, then mix with your hand like a claw until it all comes together into a ball of dough. Tip the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until it feels silky and elastic. Transfer the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to prove for 1hour.

Whilst the dough is proving, make the filling. In a small bowl, soak the cranberries and apricots in the orange juice until it has absorbed. In another bowl, beat the butter and sugar until smooth. Stir in the flour, macadamia nuts, white chocolate, orange-soaked cranberries & apricots, and orange zest. Stir until well mixed.

Preheat the oven to 190°C and line a large baking tray. When the dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto a floured surface and roll out into a large rectangle (about 40cm x 30cm). Spread the filling over the top. With the long edge facing you, roll the dough up tightly towards you, rolling it back and forth to seal the edge. At this point you may want to transfer the dough onto the baking tray. Slice the whole roll lengthways in half so that you have two long strands. Twist the strands together with the filling exposed upwards, then join the ends to form a circular crown.

Bake in the oven for approximately 25-35 minutes, or until golden brown and well risen. After you have removed the loaf from the oven, heat the apricot jam up and brush it all over the warm loaf. Melt the white chocolate in a small bowl, then stir in the icing sugar along with a few spoonfuls of water at a time until it reaches a thick drizzling consistency. Drizzle over the top of the loaf then sprinkle with toasted almonds.


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