Monday, April 05, 2021

Rhubarb Bostock

As long-time readers of this blog know, sometimes I get a recipe in my head and can't let go of it until I try making it! And that's how it's been with rhubarb bostock. I saw it on the Instagram feed of Edd Kimber (aka @theboywhobakes) and once I started poking around, found a bunch of other bakers posting about it. It was like the baked good I'd never noticed!

And it is rather humble - it starts with stale brioche, adds some almond cream and fresh fruit, and gets baked in the oven with flaked almonds, and finally served with a little snow of powdered sugar. It's great to use up brioche (and thus was invented by bakeries) and also a great vehicle for seasonal fruit. I would probably just refer to it as... .FANCY TOAST.

One slice of rhubarb bostock

I had rhubarb in my freezer, so it's in celery slices instead of prettier stems (aka Edd Kimber's version.) I also think because mine was frozen, I had to bake an extra five minutes for mine to look browned and done in the middle. My husband thinks that once baked, it looks like hot dog pieces. But it doesn't taste like hot dogs, so there's that. And honestly brioche treated this way turns it into a handheld custard, and is very delicious. 

I used a different frangipane (almond cream) recipe - first I looked for one that could be made from almond paste since I had some, but I found an even simpler version with almond flour. Edd's starts with ground nuts and I wasn't sure how that compared to almond flour (I don't think it's that different.)

I can see a brunch scenario where you bake a pan of these without fruit and let people top them with jam or fruit to their tastes.

Rhubarb Bostock
Serves 8

8 stale slices of brioche
50g caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste

125g unsalted butter
125g caster sugar
1 large egg
125g ground almonds
300g rhubarb
4 tbsp flaked almonds

For the sugar syrup add the sugar, vanilla bean paste and 50ml of water to a small saucepan and place over medium heat and cook until simmering and the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and set aside. This can be made and refrigerated up to a week in advance. 

For the frangipane place the butter and sugar into a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the egg and beat to combine then finish by mixing through the ground almonds to make a thick paste. Again this mixture can be made and then refrigerate in advance, it will keep for a couple days before it needs using but bear in mind as it chills it will become firmer so you’ll need to let it warm up a little before using. 

When ready to make preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan) and line a baking tray with parchment. Brush the slices of brioche with sugar syrup, making sure to use all of it. Spread the frangipane over the brioche (you can either do this with a spoon, or pipe it on with a piping bag). Cut the rhubarb into small batons that fit on the brioche and place on top of the frangipane. Finish with a sprinkling of flaked almonds.

Bake the bostocks for about 25-30 minutes or until the frangipane is golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving, still a touch warm. 

The bostocks are best on the day made but can be served a day later if you have some left over. 

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