Brioche from Vendee - Chef Recipe by Gabriel Gate
"As with many cakes, this special treat of Brioche Vendéenne is usually bought at the local pâtisser...
2 medium eggs
Pinch of salt
Pinch of sugar
125g chestnut flour
250mL–275mL whole (full-fat) milk
Extra virgin olive oil or lard, for frying
500g ricotta, drained
100g cooked and peeled vacuum-packed chestnuts
2 Tbs honey
2 tsp finely chopped
Finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
Runny honey, to drizzle small handful of rosemary leaves, finely chopped 50g crumbled toasted chestnuts, or toasted pine nuts.
To make the pancake batter, whisk the eggs in a bowl with the salt, sugar and flour. Gradually add 250mL of the milk until you have a very smooth batter the consistency of runny, single (light) cream. Add a little more milk if necessary. Let the batter stand at room temperature for around 15 minutes. It can be made the day before and kept in the fridge, covered.
Meanwhile, combine the filling ingredients in a bowl and adjust the flavour with more lemon, honey and rosemary, to taste.
While you fry the pancakes leave a whisk in the bowl, as you need to stir the mixture thoroughly each time you use it. Wipe a 25cm non-stick frying pan with a thin layer of oil (using a potato or a piece of paper towel) and, when hot, pour in 50mL of batter with a ladle, or small measuring jug, swirling it around the pan to coat the base evenly. Fry the pancake, flipping it over after 2–3 minutes or when one side is lightly browned, cook the other side, then transfer it to a plate.
Fry the rest of the batter in the same way, stacking the pancakes on the plate as you make them. Keep them warm. Spread 2 heaped tablespoons of the ricotta filling over half of each pancake and fold them in half and then half again. Serve straight away, drizzled with a little extra honey and sprinkled with the rosemary and crumbled chestnuts or pine nuts.
Credits: This is an edited extract from Tuscany by Katie & Giancarlo Caldesi published by Hardie Grant Books $49.99 and is available in stores nationally.
Photo Credits: This is an edited extract from Tuscany by Katie & Giancarlo Caldesi published by Hardie Grant Books $49.99 and is available in stores nationally.