French Fridays with Dorie: Not Quite Nutella Tartine

You know what’s the coolest thing about participating in a cooking club?  Getting out of your comfort zone and getting over any cooking hangups you have.  For example, when I was in culinary school (for baking, mind you) I had the worst luck with my brioche.  It was overproofed…or underproofed…or just not the right texture.  I must have tried to make that damn bread like 10 times and I never quite got it right.  At that point, I pretty much gave up on brioche.  I mean, maybe it was just the fates telling me I needed to visit french bakeries more often.  And who am I to question fate?

So then, almost seven years later, imagine how delighted I wasn’t when one of the recipes listed in Around My French Table was for brioche.  I figured I’d take a pass on that weekly cook-along.  I mean, nothing like showing your ineptitude to the world by posting your bread baking failures on the interwebs.  But then I thought, isn’t that the whole POINT of the challenge?  So I gritted my teeth, pushed up my sleeves (well that’s a lie, actually, I HATE long sleeves, but I did push up my proverbial sleeves, I think I was wearing a tank top…) and decided to give the brioche one more try.  And damned if it didn’t turn out amazingly well.  Like, disturbingly well.  So well that when I made the extra dough into cinnamon caramel rolls people were literally FIGHTING over the last couple in the pan.  And now I’m all like, “Brioche?  Sure, I can throw together a couple of loaves for you, no problem, I’m all over it…”

So when the second brioche-based recipe came up for French Fridays, I was filled with more dread over having to share my bread with my family than having to actually make it.  And this recipe was definitely a keeper, a quick snack or amazing breakfast based on the french open faced sandwich called a tartine.  Starting with the aforementioned and no longer dreaded brioche, slices are buttered, toasted, and covered with orange marmalade, drizzled with nutella, and sprinkled with sea salt and toasted chopped hazelnuts.

The only small issues?  Not a big fan of orange marmalade.  And while Nutella’s okay, I’m not fond enough of it to keep a jar in the pantry.  So I made some adjustments.  I mean, it’s basically a sandwich, right?  It’s practically a given that the ingredients are gonna get messed with based on who’s building it…so here’s what I did:

-Subbed homemade sour cherry preserves for the orange marmelade.

-Subbed Trader Joes chocolate almond butter for the nutella…and btw, that stuff is the BOMB!

-Subbed chopped, toasted almonds for the hazelnuts.

Call it what you want, it was a damn tasty sandwich.  And a sweet reminder that sometimes challenging yourself can lead to some surprising results!

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13 Responses to French Fridays with Dorie: Not Quite Nutella Tartine

  1. Congrats on conquering brioche – it can be brutual! I like nutella a lot, but truth be told my favorite nut spread is Justin’s maple almond butter. I can eat that stuff out of the jar with a spoon.

  2. The TJ’s spread sure sounds like the bomb! I ended up going to Walgreens and picking up two of these: http://t.co/M1VfBfzO. I can’t have a whole jar of Nutella in the house – I’d eat it all by myself.

  3. Ei says:

    Sour cherry jam? Holy moly I want some NOW. I miss Trader Joe’s. There aren’t any where I live now. Booo! Never had chocolate almond spread. Sounds good. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for it.

  4. Karen says:

    Ooooh, I’ll have to try that chocolate almond butter! I like marmalade, but didn’t care for it with the nutella. I am glad you found the right combination for you!

  5. Cher says:

    We ended up using cherry preserves and a macadamia/ almond/ chocolate spread that I had made. This recipe definitely was meant to be played with!
    Glad you found brioche redemption

  6. Lola says:

    Dorie’s was my first brioche. I was nervous about it but it was easy, easy! You did a good job of figuring out how to make this work for you!

  7. What a great substitution, and good thinking on your feet. Also, love the brioche story — and the elbow grease, fearless approach to getting it done!

  8. Ha! I was just commenting on another blog that I was surprise not to see any almond butter this week and there it is! Great choice of ingredients and much respect for conquering your fear of brioche. Nicely done and glad you enjoyed the recipe.

  9. hotlyspiced says:

    I think you’ve done quite well there – made a lot of substitutes but you’ve come up with something delicious. I do like the sound of your homemade sour cherry preserves.

  10. Great looking sandwich! Cinnamon, caramel brioche rolls – recipe please!

  11. Betsy says:

    Congrats on the new blog. Dorie’s brioche recipe works amazing well. Sounds like you’ve found lots of uses for it. The almond butter twist is a nice touch.

  12. Alice says:

    LOL! Well it’s great that the brioche totally worked out for you this time! I have recipes that I struggle with time and time again and all of a sudden, bam, it just comes together! … who knows how it works?! :) So happy for you!

  13. Teresa says:

    Dorie’s recipes are just magic, aren’t they? It’s good to know that you were able to break your brioche curse, with great results. I love your take on the tartine – it sounds delicious.

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