Take this ‘simplest’ brioche recipe from La Tartine Gourmande, add a handful of dried cranberries and a dash of orange extract and you will be rewarded with a tender, buttery brioche that is far from simple. I wanted to give them a bakery style finish so I baked these buns in my new flower shaped mini pans I got as a gift some time back. The icing sugar dusting was almost right after taking them out of the oven though they would have looked more authentic with some pearl sugar topping. This homemade bread will keep for a couple of days in a foil lined, moisture-free container but I cannot figure out who in their right mind would be able to resist that long. In the event you are making a large batch and are unable to finish the lot, I would recommend saving the stable bits for bread pudding, a well loved winter dessert.



1 cup all purpose flour

2/3 cup whole wheat flour

1 sachet instant dry yeast

1/3 cup warm full cream milk

3 tablespoons caster sugar

1/8 teaspoons kitchen salt

1 teaspoon orange extract

100g butter, room temperature

2 eggs, at room temperature

1/2 cup dried cranberries

2 tablespoons milk, for glazing


  • In a bowl, mix flours and yeast. Make a hole in the middle and add the milk mixing with the mixer’s paddle attachment.

  • Add the sugar, salt and orange extract, then add the soft butter, piece after piece, waiting so that each piece is absorbed.

  • Then one by one, add the eggs, mixing well between each. Work the dough until it is elastic and detaches relatively easily.

  • Cover and rest in a warm place, away from drafts, for two hours, until it doubles in size. Work cranberries into the dough.

  • Divide it in six balls. Place them on a greased baking sheet and cover. Let rise for an hour again. Preheat the oven at 400 F.

  • Brush the brioche buns with milk glaze after second rise. Place in the oven to bake for 10 min then reduce the heat to 350 F.

  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack before serving. Makes 6 cranberry brioche buns.

Cranberry Brioche Buns

If you like your cookies thick and chewy, this recipe adapted from A Spicy Perspective, is the one to remember. If you have never baked your own cookies before, I would urge you to have a peek at The Science of the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies which explicitly covers every aspect of a home baked cookie that a novice cookie baker should strive to master. Of course, there is no better way to find out how far the expert advice stands true than to head towards your kitchen and get your hands messy. Making cookies from scratch is, apparently, much less forgiving than cake baking or stovetop cooking. The ratio, quality and temperature of ingredients that go in your final cookie dough will affect everything from its appearance [love at first sight] to its texture [love at first bite] but the whole fun lies in experimenting, right?



1 cup all purpose flour

6 tablespoons quick oats

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon kitchen salt

3/8 cup unsalted butter, melted

6 tablespoons light muscovado sugar

6 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg, room temperature

200g dark chocolate, chopped

100g pecan nuts, chopped


  • Place the oats in the food processor. Process until finely ground. Dump sugars and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer.

  • Turn on low and add the melted butter, mix to combine. With the mixer running, pour in egg. Add baking soda and salt.

  • Slowly add the flour and powdered oatmeal. Scrap the bowl and mix to combine, then fold in chopped chocolate and nuts.

  • Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line the baking sheets with parchment paper.

  • Place equal 2 – 2 1/2 tablespoon portions of the cookie dough on the baking sheets 3 inches apart using a cookie scoop.

  • Bake until the edges are golden, but the centers look slightly under baked for about 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven.

  • Cool on the cookie sheets until firm enough to pick up. Store in an airtight cookie container. Makes 3 dozen large cookies.

For all white chocolate lovers out there…



For the White Chocolate Mud Cake

100g unsalted butter, chopped

100g white chocolate, chopped

3/4 cup caster sugar

6 tablespoons milk

1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg, room temperature

For the White Chocolate Ganache

4 tablespoons whipping cream

100g white chocolate, chopped finely


  • Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease a deep 15cm round cake pan and line the base and sides with baking parchment.

  • Combine chocolate, butter, sugar and milk in a medium saucepan; stir over low heat until smooth and melted.

  • Cool for 15 minutes. Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla extract and egg. Pour mixture into pan.

  • Bake, uncovered, for about 1 hour. Cool the cake in pan. Meanwhile make ganache by bring the cream to a boil.

  • Pour over chocolate in a heatproof bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until chocolate is melted. Cover bowl.

  • Refrigerate, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes until thick and spreadable. Turn the cake, top-side up

  • Place on a cake stand. Spread ganache over top and sides of the cake. Decorate with chocolate curls, if desired.

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