chocolate orange wreaths

How I’ve missed you, silly little blog. I know, it’s only been what, five days since my last post, but I feel holiday syndrome is kicking in and with it, lethargy. One-sixth of the way through uni break, and I’m the opposite of mindfulness. When the exams finished some weeks ago, I told myself, as I always do, that I’d be up to all sorts of fulfilling and interesting things, that I’d lay off my laptop, find a job, attend church in secret, anything other than staying home all day. Well, look where we are today, still no job apart from the usual big sister duties and no sizable achievement other than having binge-watched some 6+ shows.

It’s not that I haven’t been trying, I really have, in fact I’ve had 3 interviews in the last week, and keeping myself busy in the meantime by running errands. By that I mean going to the market every morning and praying that my embarrassingly limited Taiwanese won’t inspire touristy vibes. I haven’t been languid on the baking front though, and have been studying up on bread-making (you’ll remember my last failed attempt at making baguettes), cos I suck at anything requiring patience, and my latest undertaking really tested it to the limit.

While I was making these, I kept marveling at how much butter the brioche dough can contain – so much that it hardly needed any flouring of surfaces as it’s almost self-greasing. Also, I was nervous that my stand mixer was going to go up in flames/short-circuit/explode/quit as a result of the extraordinarily long kneading time. But my patience was rewarded, as I did every step as instructed. You would not believe the amount of disbelief and doubt expressed by my family every time I challenge myself to the not-so-fail-safe realms of baking, this time was no exception.

“It looks so complicated, why do you have to make something so hard?”

“So that if I fail I can at least say I really gave it a shot.”

I’d like to think that I’ve outdone myself, which is no giant feat, and I could definitely use a lot more practice in shaping, but people who aren’t myself exclaimed that they smelled downright amazing. As for myself, I sneaked a piece as soon as they were done, and almost cried at how utterly soft and buttery and chocolatey it was. I guess all that butter paid off. (As an aside, I got my sister to sous-chef and she literally got tired standing there adding the heap of diced butter.)

Note: the recipe is borrowed from the amazing hint of vanilla, and as clear and concise and her instructions are, boy does she make it sound easy 😉 The only differences I made were scaling the quantities down by 7/8 for exactly one sachet of yeast, brushing the dough with cream in place of an eggwash, and adding orange zest to both dough and filling.


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