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Monkey Bread with Strawberry Caramel Sauce


This delectable pull-apart monkey bread starts with an orange brioche dough and is topped with a rich strawberry caramel sauce. It’s the perfect transition into spring, baked into individual ramekins with sprinkled with chopped toasted almonds for a special presentation.


Monkey Bread with Strawberry Caramel Sauce

Orange brioche dough (recipe follows)

1 pint (8 oz./250 g.) strawberries, hulled and cut in half lengthwise

1 cup (8 oz./250 g.) plus 2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml.) heavy cream

1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml.) fresh orange juice

2 Tbs. light corn syrup

1 tsp. orange blossom water

1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

Finely grated zest of 1 orange

Kosher salt

Melted butter for brushing

Flour for rolling out the dough

1/3 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g.) sliced almonds, toasted

Prepare the brioche dough as directed below.

In a bowl, combine the strawberries and the 2 tablespoons sugar. Cover and let stand at room temperature, stirring occasionally, until the berries give off at least 2 tablespoons of juice, at least 2 hours or up to overnight. In a small saucepan, cook the strawberries and their juices over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the strawberries are soft and the juices are syrupy, about 3 minutes. Drain in a coarse-mesh sieve, reserving the strawberries and their juices separately.

In a small saucepan, combine the cream and orange juice and heat over medium heat until warmed; set aside. In a heavy, medium saucepan, combine the 1 cup sugar and the corn syrup. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar melts.

Continue cooking, without stirring, as the mixture caramelizes. Wash down any sugar crystals that form inside the pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water and occasionally swirl the pot by its handle, until the mixture turns dark amber, about 5 minutes.

A few tablespoons at a time, carefully stir in the warm cream mixture (it will bubble up), returning to a boil after each addition, then boil for 1 minute more. Remove from the heat and stir in the orange blossom water, lemon juice, orange zest and reserved strawberry juices. Season with a pinch of salt. Let the sauce cool completely.

Generously brush eight 1-cup (8-fl. oz./250-ml.) ramekins or cocottes with the melted butter. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface. Divide into 8 equal portions. Cut each portion into 6 equal pieces and roll into balls to make 48 balls total.

In a bowl, combine the drained reserved strawberries with 1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml.) of the cooled caramel sauce. Divide the mixture evenly among the prepared ramekins.

Pour 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml.) of the remaining caramel sauce into the same bowl. For each serving, add 6 balls to the sauce, turn with a rubber spatula to coat well, and transfer to a ramekin, fitting the balls as evenly as possible. Repeat with the remaining balls and ramekins, adding more caramel sauce, if needed. Reserve the remaining caramel sauce.

Place the ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet. Lightly oil a sheet of plastic wrap and place it over the ramekins, oiled side down. Let the dough rise in a warm spot until it doubles in bulk, about 1 1/4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Remove the plastic wrap from the ramekins and bake the monkey bread until golden brown, about 30 minutes.   In a small saucepan, warm the reserved caramel sauce over medium heat. Brush the tops of each monkey bread with some of the reserved caramel sauce, sprinkle with the toasted almonds, and serve. Serves 8.


Orange Brioche Dough

1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml.) plus 1 tablespoon whole milk

1 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast

3 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk

3 1/2 cups (17 1/2 oz./545 g.) unbleached flour, or as needed

1/3 cup (3 oz./90 g.) sugar

2 tsp. orange blossom honey

1 tsp. kosher salt

Finely grated zest of 1 orange

1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g.) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, at room temperature

1 large egg beaten with a pinch of fine sea salt, for brushing

Make the brioche dough the day before baking. In a small saucepan, warm the milk over medium heat to 110°F (43°C). Pour into a bowl. Sprinkle in the yeast and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir to dissolve the yeast. Add 1 egg and 1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g.) of the flour and stir well. Sprinkle an additional 1/2 cup flour over the mixture; do not stir. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let stand in a warm place until the starter rises and cracks through the flour topping, about 1 hour.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the yeast mixture, the remaining 2 eggs and 1 egg yolk, 2 cups (10 oz./315 g.) of the flour, the sugar, honey, salt and orange zest. With the mixer on low speed, add just enough of the remaining flour to make a dough that does not stick to the bowl. Remove the paddle attachment and attache the dough hook.

Knead the dough on medium-low speed, adding about 1/4 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g.) flour, as needed, until the dough is smooth, 5-7 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, being sure the first addition is absorbed before adding more, to make a soft, sticky dough, about 3 minutes. If the dough sticks to the bowl, add more flour, a little at a time. Shape into a ball.

Lightly butter a large bowl and a piece of plastic wrap. Add the dough to the bowl and turn to coat with the butter. Cover the bowl tightly with the plastic wrap, buttered side down. Let the dough rise in a warm spot until it doubles in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours. Punch down the dough, cover again, and refrigerate for at least 8 or up to 24 hours.

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10 Recipes That Prove Cooking With Beer is Better


Beer isn’t just for sipping—it can add dimension to a dish as an ingredient, too. Just as wine is incorporated into stews, sauces and marinades, beer can play a similar role, imparting savory, malty flavors to the finished dishes. Try using one of your favorite brews in the recipes below (just in time for St. Patrick’s Day!), and save the rest of the bottle for the chef.


Warm Beer and Cheddar Dip
Made with beer and lots of cheddar cheese, this warm, hearty dip is just the thing for casual parties. Be sure to add the cheese slowly, allowing each batch to melt before adding more, to ensure smooth results.
Beer-Steamed Mussels with Salted Black Beans
In this recipe, mussels steam in a fragrant broth of ginger, chilies and light beer, flavored with Chinese salted black beans. If you like, serve the mussels with rice noodles or cellophane noodles.
Beer-Battered Onion Rings
You can serve these classic onion rings in their time-honored role: alongside a juicy cheeseburger or riding atop a grilled steak. But they are also a winning appetizer, especially when accompanied with a pint of cold, frothy beer. Sweet Vidalia onions, which are mellower than yellow onions, are a particularly tasty choice.
Grilled Emmer Flatbread
Emmer, also known as farro, is an ancient variety of wehat with a full-bodied flavor. Here, charring brings out the toasty flavor of the grains. Enjoy this flatbread hot off the grill, and try serving it with yogurt and fresh herbs.
Beer-Can Chicken with Shrimp Skewers
This recipe offers something for everyone—crispy roasted chicken, succulent shrimp and a medley of summer vegetables—all cooked on a backyard grill.
Beer-Braised Barbecued Chicken
In our version of barbecued chicken, the chicken is first braised on the stovetop until tender in a flavorful combination of beer and barbecue sauce, then quickly grilled just before serving. Use only thighs, drumsticks and wings for this recipe; chicken breasts will turn out dry when braised and grilled.
Braised Brisket with Beer & Onion Sauce
In this version of braised beef brisket from Chef Jamie Kennedy, the meat is slowly cooked in a sauce of lager beer, chopped tomatoes and onions until fork-tender.
Beer-Marinated Tri-Tip
This quick recipe stars ground spices and lager, which has a mild taste and golden color. Serve with grilled Yukon Gold potato wedges: just parboil the potatoes in salted water for about 10 minutes, then grill alongside the beef, turning occasionally so they brown on all sides and become fork-tender.
Beer Mustard
Mustard has always been a favorite among the condiments. Add beer and it’s even better! The darker the beer that you use, the more intense the flavor will be.
Beer-Braised Pork Roast
In this recipe the flavor of beer subtly permeates pork shoulder during slow cooking. Serve the pork with buttered egg noodles or a crusty loaf of bread to soak up the flavorful braising liquid.