Marzipan filled brioche bread pudding

I begin with a baked item that was mentioned in one of my great grandmother’s journals during a visit to France in the 1870s. She described it as “tiny buns of sweet dough, filled with marchpane and drowned in sweet egg custard flavored with sweet spices. After baking, the browned tops of the buns, just showing through the custard are lathered with butter. M. deFieull will not disclose the receipt which he claims is of his own devising.”

Here is what I developed through trial and error – lots of error before I got it!

Marzipan filled brioche bread pudding

Read all directions first. This recipe takes 2 days to do it correctly

Easy Brioche Rolls Must start day before serving this dessert.

1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 pkg. dry yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 egg, separated
3 whole eggs, beaten
3 1/4 cup flour

Scald milk and while hot add butter (margarine), sugar, and salt.
Soften yeast in the water. Add to LUKEWARM milk mixture.
Add egg yolk and beaten eggs and stir.
Add flour and beat with wooden spoon for 2 minutes. (I use a Danish dough whisk now, much easier to mix the batter without overworking it.)
Cover and let rise in a warm place (80-85 degrees) until more
than double in bulk, about 2 hours or less.
Stir down and beat (stir) thoroughly.
Cover tightly with foil and refrigerate overnight.
Remove from fridge and allow to come to room temp.

Take plain brioche dough and form into small buns (golf ball size works nicely), cover and let them rest for 10 minutes.

You can use store bought marzipan or make your own.
Make a rope of marzipan about the size of a tootsie roll and cut into pieces about the same width. (You don’t have to shape them.)
Put one of the marzipan pieces on each bun, draw the dough up around it and pinch and twist to seal.
Place in a buttered pan with seam side down.
Cover and allow to rise about 30 minutes or until nearly doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Brush tops of rolls with melted butter.
Place pan in center of oven.
Bake till nicely browned. Remove from oven and place on a wire grid.
When cool cover loosely with a cloth and let them set out several hours.
We want them to be just a little stale.

The next step which takes this into an entire new category

Egg custard

4 eggs + 2 egg yolks, beaten till creamy
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 cup sweet sherry (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Place the marzipan filled buns in a buttered baking dish sides touching.
Pour the custard in and around the buns but do not cover the tops of the buns.
Let this stand for a few minutes then add more of the custard mix as the rolls will have soaked up some.
Place the pan in a bain marie and bake until the custard is set.
(Time varies with the size of the baking dish and the amount of custard)
For a 9 x 11 pan it should be done in about 25 minutes. Test with a thin knife blade BETWEEN THE ROLLS at about 20 minutes, then at 25 minutes. Test every 2 minutes after that until blade comes out clean.

As soon as it comes out of the oven, brush the exposed tops of the rolls with melted butter.

May be served as soon as it cools to room temperature or may be chilled and served later.
This will keep refrigerated for 3 to 4 days. Cover with plastic wrap.

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