The brick is the tiny version of the Brique Saint-Quentinoise, a speciality I created. It's a cake with very balanced tastes and an exceptional melt-in-the-mouth texture. It is both airy and very soft, unlike the cobblestone that falls in the stomach! Also, the brick is always associated with a solid flavour: insert of cream, jelly or candied fruit, pieces of fruit or seeds, coated with a fine chocolate, streusel… The idea is to use local products in its composition (except for the classical but unavoidable vanilla flavour). Very easy to make, it will become one of your favourite cakes.
I developed this personal recipe with a lot of diligence and multiple tests until I was completely satisfied. The bricks are excellent and of high quality. Guaranteed success among gourmets. Everything is detailed so that you succeed at the first try.
- 135 g all-purpose wheat flour T65 type,
- 115 g quality butter with taste, cut into pieces, at room temperature and soft (having the consistency of an ointment),
- 100 g eggs (2 medium eggs)
- 75 g blond cane sugar to be ground into icing sugar (about 45 seconds in a blender/chopper),
- 70 g fermented milk (ribot, buttermilk, elben… or mix 1/3 of milk and 2/3 of yoghurt or cottage cheese)
- 40 g sweet liquid honey with a neutral taste,
- 30 g corn starch,
- 6 g vegetable oil neutral in taste,
- 5 g baking powder (11/4 level teaspoons),
- 3/4 g fine salt (1 medium pinch).
The choice of flavour:
- vanilla with 3 g (3/4 teaspoon) of Tahiti-type vanilla powder or 7.5 ml (11/2 teaspoon) of natural liquid vanilla extract;
- grate 1 small tonka bean (1.5 g maximum);
- rose water (dosage according to concentration, maximum 25 ml) or an inlay of rose jam;
- 150 g cherries, fresh or frozen black or red berry fruits (raspberry, blueberry, blackcurrant, redcurrant, blackberry…);
- 60 g hazelnut powder to be incorporated with flour and/or with small pieces of caramelized apples;
- chocolate powder instead of corn starch, and complete with other flavours such as cherries with kirsch, chocolate icing…;
- a praline cream inlay: make a praline paste (according to my recipe from chocolate hazelnut spread) with 25 g of hazelnut and 25 g of sugar and 1 g of salt, and mix it into a pastry cream (halve the proportions of my recipe from streusel with cream and cherry, without the vanilla; you need a very firm cream by putting either 9 g of flour and corn starch instead of 6 g, or 1/2 sheet of gelatine or 1/2 g of Agar Agar), make a 5 mm thick sheet of praline cream to be covered with a plastic film, Once the cream has thickened and cooled, cut strips of the length of the cake, 1 cm wide and 5 mm thick, cut a groove of the same dimensions on the tops of the bricks and insert the strip of cream.
The brick is perfect when combined with a solid flavour: cream, jelly or candied fruit, pieces of fruit or seeds, coated with a thin layer of chocolate, streusel…
Course of the recipe:
All ingredients (egg, butter, milk, flour and sugar) are at room temperature. In a bowl, carefully mix the sifted flour, corn starch, yeast, icing sugar and salt. Add the soft butter and whisk with the electric mixer at low speed for about 2 minutes (cover the bowl with a cloth as fine powder will escape) until the powder becomes sandy without coarse grains. Buttering the powders in this way gives an exceptional melt-in-the-mouth texture. In another large bowl, pour the fermented milk, oil, honey (warm it up to make it more liquid) and flavour (vanilla, tonka, rose…), then whisk by hand to incorporate everything. Pour this liquid mixture into the powders two or three times while whisking with an electric mixer at low speed for about 1 minute until there are no lumps. Crack one egg at a time and mix for about 30 seconds between each addition of an egg. Do not overwork the dough as this will make it more elastic. The texture should be smooth and creamy.
If necessary, butter and flour your mould. Use rectangles of about 9 cm long x 4 wide x 3 high, otherwise use a muffin or mini cake pan. Fill the pan to a maximum 2 to 3 cm thickness. The texture is ideal with 2 to 3 cm thick dough. If necessary, place a baking tray under the baking grid to spread the heat. Bake the mini-cakes for about 18 to 20 minutes at 170°. Place a pin in the centre of the cake, if it comes out dry and barely moist, it is just cooked. Take them out of the oven, wait 10 minutes and unmould them, they are very fragile, then allow to cool down on a wire rack. Very light and airy the first hour, the following days they become soft and develop more aromas.
The bricks can be kept for 3 weeks in the freezer in a closed bag to stay fresh or 3 days in the refrigerator in an airtight box with a paper at the bottom. They should not be allowed to dry out.
After thawing or taking them out of the refrigerator, leave them at room temperature for at least one hour. To enjoy their taste and texture, always eat them at room temperature around 20°.
after the Brique Saint-Quentinoise.
For the original recipe of Brique saint-quentinoise with vanilla, praline custard cream and hazelnut streusel (see flavours above and take half of the muffin’s streusel): take a 21 cm square frame or 2 cake tins. The quantities of the recipe will be adequate. Cover one half of the rectangle with crunchy streusel. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 170°. Once cooked and cooled, cut the square into 2 identical rectangles, the one with the streusel will be the top of the brick. Even out the edges of the brick with a knife to obtain a neat perfect rectangle. Place a rectangle of 5 mm thick praline custard between the two biscuits. Other flavours and finishes are possible. Back to text ↩
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