"Think of this as twice-baked brioche," says Curtis Stone. "The brioche slices are soaked in a fragrant vanilla syrup, then topped with a simple frangipane and sliced almonds. Once baked, they're the perfect combination of creamy, custardy and crunchy, all at the same time."
- 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
- Finely grated rind of 1 orange, juice of 2
- 190 gm caster sugar
- 90 gm softened unsalted butter
- 1 egg
- 1½ tsp pure almond extract (optional)
- 75 gm almond meal
- 2 tsp plain flour
- 1 tsp cornflour
- 8 day-old brioche slices (2.5cm thick)
- 120 gm sliced almonds
- Icing sugar, for dusting
- 1Stir vanilla bean and seeds, orange rind and juice, 110gm caster sugar and 80ml water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, bring to the boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until a light syrup forms (2-3 minutes). Cool to room temperature. Syrup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- 2Beat butter and remaining sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Beat in egg and almond extract, then stir in almond meal, flour and cornflour. This almond cream can be made up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated; bring to room temperature before using.
- 3Preheat oven to 190C. Arrange brioche slices in a single layer on a baking tray and brush generously with syrup. Spread 2 tbsp almond cream over each, scatter with almonds and bake until almonds are toasted and bases of brioche are golden brown (20-25 minutes). Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then dust with icing sugar and serve drizzled with extra syrup.