Butter-lacquered brioche toast with poached rhubarb

Butter-lacquered brioche toast with poached rhubarb

In Su Scott's recipe, sugar-crusted butter caramelises the brioche so that it’s wickedly crispy on the outside yet soft within. Sassy pink rhubarb and a scattering of anise-tinged fennel seeds really push this dish into unabashed show-off territory.

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Vegetarian
  • Serves4
  • CourseBreakfast
  • Prepare15 mins
  • Cook35 mins
  • Total time50 mins
  • Plusovernight macerating

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Ingredients

  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 tbsp icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 8 slice/s brioche (from a 400g sliced loaf )

For the rhubarb

  • 400g rhubarb, sliced at an angle into 1.5cm-thick pieces
  • 80g golden caster sugar
  • 1 large orange (scrubbed), zest and juice
  • 3 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 1 star anise

For the candied fennel seeds

  • 2 tbsp golden granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds
  • ¼ tsp sea salt flakes

Method

  1. The night before, put all the ingredients for the rhubarb into a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine, then cover and chill to allow the rhubarb to macerate. The following morning, transfer the rhubarb, including the juices, to a wide saucepan. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook very gently over a low heat for about 5 minutes until the rhubarb is tender but still holding its shape. Carefully scoop out the rhubarb and transfer to a shallow bowl. Increase the heat and reduce the sauce to a syrupy consistency (about 4 minutes). Remove and discard the spices, pour the sauce over the rhubarb and set aside.

  2. You can also make the candied fennel seeds the night before. To do so, put the sugar in a small saucepan with 2 tbsp water. Bring to a simmer and reduce over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved and turns syrupy (about 4 minutes). Remove from the heat. In a separate saucepan, dry fry the fennel seeds and salt over a low heat for 1 minute. Drizzle about 1 tsp of the warm syrup over the fennel while stirring continuously. Continue to cook until the syrup has fully incorporated into the fennel seeds (you will see white crystallised sugar marks around the pan and the fennel seeds will appear dry).

  3. Continue the process, adding a teaspoonful of syrup each time while energetically stirring the seeds to separate them. Repeat until all the syrup is used up (around 6 minutes in total). The fennel seeds should be evenly coated in sugar. Remove from the heat and continue stirring for a bit to separate the seeds (putting the pan on a wet cloth while stirring helps to speed up the process). Transfer to a plate to cool completely.

  4. When ready to serve, mix together the butter, icing sugar and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Lightly spread onto both sides of the brioche slices. Heat a large nonstick frying pan over a medium heat, then reduce the heat to low and, working in batches, add the buttered brioche slices. Toast very gently for 2-3 minutes on each side until caramelised to a dark toffee-brown colour.

  5. To serve, stack a couple of slices of toasted brioche on each plate and top with the poached rhubarb and syrupy sauce. Scatter with the candied fennel seeds and dust with a little more icing sugar.

Nutritional

Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe

Energy

2,707kJ/ 646kcals

Fat

28g

Saturated Fat

18g

Carbohydrates

85g

Sugars

50g

Fibre

5.4g

Protein

8.2g

Salt

1.1g

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