We've already mastered croissants (sort of), explored the differences between Babas and Savarins, so the sensible yet simple next step is to look at the mighty Brioche. Fanny has another secret up her over-blown chiffon sleeve... the yeasted batter for Brioche is exactly the same as we have just made for Babas and Savarins. Exactly. With a feeling of déjà-vu I set to mixing it all together, but as Fanny says, it is at least simple.
Fanny likes to think of Brioches as 'edible containers' for either sweet or savoury fillings. She maintains that the incidence of sugar in the batter is not high enough to offend the palate which receives savoury mouthfuls. Not too sweet then. Fanny would give us wondrous recipes for Fois Gras fillings (which would command a hefty price of £1.25 per slice in fancy restaurants as a first course) but we aren't quite ready for that. Phew. Instead she entices us (seemingly) with a drab crab filling or a French Soufflé. If in doubt, add a soufflé to anything and everything, that's Fannys mantra. She hollows out a giant brioche, fills it with a superb show-off soufflé mix and bakes it again. Ta-dah!
Brioches are versatile however. As an alternative Fanny gets poor old Sally to cobble together another giant brioche, this time suitable for a range of Family Occasions, 'La Brioche Familiale'. Shamefully Sally has burnt the top of an otherwise beautiful bake, but Fanny is at hand with her trusty icing sugar to cover it liberally with an inch or two of heavy dusting before it is presented. Sally is no longer invited to the family occasion. For Sally's own good, a picture of it is presented in all it's glory for readers to see. She must learn and not become one of those 'know-alls'. Fanny also makes some 'Brioche Ordinaries' herself in little miniature brioche pans. It is these plain brioches I go for, mainly as I have the pans, and I don't want to end up cast out like Sally.
Fanny is not normally known for her plainness however, so she suggests a simple way to tiddle them up a little for very special occasions. Tinned fruit. It's always my first port of call when I want to go fancy. Actually it is a bit of a guilty pleasure, so I am of course delighted that Fanny approves. She gives her brioches a little scoop out to create a hollow, filling them with an apricot cup. My tinned fruit of choice is the marvellous peach, sliced and smothered with a generous painting of crab apple jelly. A joy to eat, yet so simple, and so there to all you misinformed 'know-alls'...