My meal in Number Ten got off to a great start with an amuse bouche, a little taster dish that got the gastric juices flowing and the appetite stimulated. This is the recipe for that amuse bouche, but you can use this buttery brioche dough as a base for savarins and savoury dishes as well.
Stephen McAllister's Number Ten, 9-10 Lower Fitzwilliam Street, Dublin 2 Tel. 01 6761367
15g/1/2 oz fresh yeast
70ml/3fl oz milk, boiled and cooled to lukewarm
15g/1/2 oz fine salt
500g/1lb 2oz flour
350g/12oz butter, at room temperature
30g/1oz sugar VANILLA BUTTER
1/2lb butter at room temperature
seed of 1 vanilla pod
Mix the butter and vanilla together, roll the butter in parchment paper and keep refrigerated.
Put the yeast and the milk into the bowl of your mixer and beat lightly with a whisk. Add the salt, then the flour and eggs. Switch the mixer on to medium speed and work the mixture with the dough hook for about 10 minutes.
Mix together the butter and sugar, reduce the speed of the mixer to low and add the butter mixture to the dough, a little at a time; when all the butter is incorporated, increase the speed and mix for 8-10 minutes in the mixer.
It should be supple and fairly elastic and will be coming away from the sides of the bowl.
Cover the dough with a baking sheet or tea towel and leave it in a warm place (about 24*C/75*F) for 2 hours, until it has doubled in bulk.
Knock back the dough by punching it with your fist, cover it with a baking tray or tea towel and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Preheat the oven to 220*C/425*F gas 7 and cook a large brioche for 40-45 minutes or small ones for 8 minutes.
FINISHING THE DISH
Cut the brioche into cubes of about half-inch square, slice the butter into rounds and place one on each cube of brioche.
Grill until golden and serve.