The treasure chest bread makes a great appetizer for kids: soft brioche bread with a surprise filling just waiting to be discovered! Find this and many more recipes with pictures on the English version of the Giallozafferano App http://itunes.apple.com/app/giallozafferano-recipes/id384387249?mt=8 (or Android https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=it.banzai.media.gzricette&hl=it)
Start by making the brioche bread, this dough works with both sweet and savoury ingredients, but we’ll use it with a savoury filling: put the sifted flours in the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, add the instant yeast – it does not need to be dissolved in water – and the sugar; then combine 2 whole eggs and one yolk with the milk and the water, and whisk with a fork to break them up. Beat until the dough comes together around the paddle, then replace the paddle with the dough hook and add the rest of the ingredients. Add the salt, beat for a few minutes, then one small piece of butter at a time – it should be softened but not too soft – allowing each to be absorbed before adding the next. A pinch of flour, not too much; form the dough into a ball and let it rest for about half an hour covered with cling film, perhaps in the turned off oven with the light on.
Here’s the dough: pat it flat gently to prevent the air from escaping and form into a rectangle that is the same length as your loaf pan, then roll it up. Place in the loaf pan, seam down, and let it rise for at least an hour and a half, in the turned off oven with the light on, until it reaches the top of the pan.
Here’s the risen dough, now brush with the beaten egg for a shiny, glossy finish and bake in a preheated static oven at 350°F (180°C) for 40 minutes. In the meantime, prepare 3 different flavours of cream cheese mousse for the filling: one with herbs, one with tuna and one with basil. Take the basil leaves, washed and patted dry, drizzle with oil and blend with a stick blender; add the robiola cheese and a pinch of salt and do the same with the tuna, that has been well drained. Divide the cheese among 3 bowls, basil, tuna and finally, the aromatic herbs - I’m using thyme and parsley - mix well and transfer to the pastry bags.
Isn’t it beautiful? Once baked, let it cool completely on a wire rack, after that create the chests: turn it over and cut into 3 equal cubes, my loaf pan is 11 inches (28 cm) long by 4 ⅓ inches (11 cm) wide. Hollow out the inside of the bread, leaving the bottom intact; with a paring knife, cut around the edge, leaving a one inch-border - usually I cut a cross in the middle for easier removal - dig with your fingers, then use a teaspoon being careful not to puncture the walls. The bottom should be at least one inch thick. Here’s our container; do the same with the other 2 cubes, then toast both the chests and the lids in the oven at 300°F (150°C) for about 10 minutes, be careful not to burn them!
Coins and jewels will add the finishing touch to our treasure chests: cut out small rounds of ham for the doubloons and flowers of cheddar cheese for the gems for its yellow colour, but you can use your favourite cheese.
Finally, fill the treasure chests with the 3 types of filling, that have been kept in the fridge: start with the green mousse and top with the jewels. And while I’m filling all the treasure chests, let’s see together the ingredients needed for this recipe!
for 3 chests
For the brioche dough
- ⅕ cup (50 ml) of water
- 1 ⅓ sticks (150 g) of softened butter
- 1 ⅓ cups (150 g) of cake flour
- 2 ⅔ cups (350 g) of bread flour
- ½ cup (125 ml) of milk
- 1 ⅔ tsp (5 g) of instant yeast
- ½ tbsp (8 g) of salt
- 2 whole eggs + 1 yolk
- 1 ½ tbsp (20 g) of sugar
- 2 ½ cups (600 g) of robiola cheese
- ½ cup (70 g) of tuna in oil, drained
- a little extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pinch of salt
- a few basil leaves
- 1 tsp of chopped parsley
- 3,5 oz (100 g) of ham
- 3,5 oz (100 g) of cheddar cheese