August 11, 2013

Sweet Indulgence: Bostock

Time once again for a little sweet indulgence and what I have for you this week is the Bostock, another fine example of French resourcefulness in not letting anything good go to waste. Much like croissants aux amandes it came about as an amiable means to make good use of day-old bread. Why it's called Bostock, I don't know. In France they're known as brioche aux sirop d'amandes et fleurs d'oranger, crème d'oranger, amandes effilées—or brioche aux amandes for short—but as a crispy, chewy, gooey brunch-time treat I'm happy to just call them delicious and leave it at that.

The Bostock begins with a thick slice of day-old brioche, although if you're like me and don't happen to have this just lying around then you may need to whip up a loaf or two first. My present favourite is this delectable browned butter and vanilla bean brioche, which has a perfume so divine I promise that it's worth the extra effort.

However you chose to come by your 'stale' brioche what happens next is that thick-cut slices are toasted, liberally drenched with an orange-infused syrup, slathered with a bitter marmalade or tart apricot jam, spread with a luxurious and fresh crème d'amandes, topped with flaked almonds and finally baked until crisp, crunchy and a gorgeous golden brown.

Not just a marvelous combination of flavours, the Bostock exemplifies idle elegance. A little forethought the previous evening will have you rising to the easiest of preparations, and in no time you'll be settling down with this resplendent pastry as the delicate aroma of orange blossom gently fills the air. Improved only by a good cup of coffee it is everything a little moment of luxury should be. Another perfect sweet indulgence.

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