Use this brioche dough recipe to make these buns. It is hugely popular when turned into buns, though arguably most things are when stuffed with custard.
The Aran cookbook also has a recipe for a version of these brioche buns topped with blueberries and an oat crumble.
MAKES: 12 buns
Prep time: 30 minutes + 3 hours proving
Cook time: 20 minutes
PHOTOGRAPHY: LAURA EDWARDS ASSISTED BY SAM HARRIS
STYLING: ROSIE RAMSDEN, JESS DENNISON ASSISTED BY KITTY COLES
1 quantity of Brioche dough (see here)
extra flour, for dusting
1 egg, beaten
150g dark chocolate, chopped
3–4 large white peaches
100g flaked almonds
icing (confectioner’s) sugar, for dusting
for the crème pât
500g whole milk
80g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Follow the instructions to make the brioche dough here and allow to prove for 2 hours.
Knock the dough back on a lightly floured surface. Divide into 12 equal balls, roughly 100g each. Gently shape each ball into a smooth round and dip the bottom in a little flour.
Place each one into a small shallow tin, 10cm (4 in) in diameter – ideally, one with a flat edge, but a fluted-edged tin will also work. You can do this free form, but the tins do help with a little bit of structure. Allow to prove for 30 minutes–1 hour until doubled in size.
To make the crème pât, in a pan, warm the milk and remove from the heat just before it begins to boil. Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs, sugar and cornflour with the vanilla. Pour the hot milk over the egg mixture, whisking all the time.
Pour the combined mixture back into the pan and return to a low heat. Whisk the mixture continuously until it thickens up. Do not allow it to boil. Once thickened, pour into a heatproof airtight container. Press a piece of cling film (plastic wrap) on top to prevent a skin from forming. Allow to cool completely.
Preheat the oven to 170ºC (340ºF/Gas 5).
Once the dough has doubled in size, use 2 fingers to gently press down the middle, forming a little bowl shape, making sure you leave a generous enough border, roughly 2–3 cm (1–1½ in) wide. Brush generously with egg wash.
Spoon or pipe in a decent amount of crème pât into each bowl. Sprinkle the tops with chocolate, focusing on the border but also a little covering the crème pât. Quarter your peaches and cut each quarter into about 6 thin slices (see recipe picture above). Keeping them close together, fan the slices out like feathers. Carefully place each fanned quarter on top of the crème pât and sprinkle the bottom of the fruit with some flaked almonds.
Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. The dough might look a little soft still, but you don’t want to overcook it as it will become dry. Allow to cool in the tins for 15–20 minutes before removing. Dust with icing sugar to serve.
Flora’s bakery Aran in the little town of Dunkeld is reason enough to make the trip up to Scotland. But for the times that you can’t quite get there, her cookbook will give you your fix. Published by Hardie Grant (£22) with beautiful photography © Laura Edwards.