The Great Australian Bake Off

Stroll through the orchard with these chocolate and mandarin croissants, apple and lemon verbena croissants and almond frangipane brioche with pistachio marzipan.


  • Orange scented brioche dough

  • 10g dry fast acting yeast

  • 70ml lukewarm full cream milk

  • ½ tsp salt

  • 500g biodynamic bakers flour

  • 6 free range eggs, room temperature

  • 300g continental unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 30g raw caster sugar

  • zest of one orange

  • 1 egg yolk

  • 1 tbsp milk

  • Pistachio cream filling

  • 100g cultured unsalted butter, softened

  • 100g pure icing sugar

  • 50g ground almonds

  • 50g ground pistachios

  • 3 teaspoons wheaten cornflour

  • 2 eggs

  • pinch salt

  • 1 tsp orange flower water

  • Sugar syrup

  • ½ cup caster sugar

  • ½ cup boiling water

  • Pistachio marzipan

  • 300g raw pistachios

  • 200g icing sugar pure

  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten

  • pinch salt

  • Laminated yeasted puff pastry for croissants and apple Danish pastries

  • Starter

  • 20g dry yeast

  • 260ml warm water (lukewarm)

  • 200g plain flour

  • Dough

  • 1kg 00 flour

  • 800g unsalted cultured butter, frozen

  • 400ml milk

  • 4 egg yolks

  • 60g caster sugar

  • 2 tsp salt

  • Egg wash

  • 1 egg yolk

  • 1 tbsp milk

  • Dark chocolate and mandarin ganache

  • 100g dark chocolate

  • 100ml thickened cream

  • candied mandarin zest

  • 1 tbsp orange liqueur

  • Grated orange and mandarin zest

  • Candied mandarin zest

  • 1 mandarin – peel

  • 100g sugar

  • 100ml water

  • Glaze for chocolate and mandarin croissant

  • 1 cup pure icing sugar

  • 1-2 tbsp mandarin juice (imperial)

  • 1 tsp lemon juice

  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter - softened

  • 100g flaked almonds

  • Lemon verbena custard

  • 100g raw caster sugar

  • 4 egg yolks

  • 50g cornflour

  • ½ cup fresh lemon verbena leaves

  • zest of one lemon

  • 500ml milk

  • 50g unsalted, cultured butter

  • Apple topping

  • 3 granny smith apples

  • ½ cup raw caster sugar

  • 1 tbsp butter

  • 1 tsp lemon zest

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • Glaze

  • 1 cup pure icing sugar

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

  • 1 tbsp apple juice

  • 1 tbsp butter, unsalted


  • Brioche dough:

  • 1.

    Mix together yeast and milk until the yeast has dissolved.

  • 2.

    Add flour to a mixing bowl along with the salt and whisk together to combine it. Make a well and add the yeast mixture and the beaten eggs. Knead the mixture at low speed with a dough hook until it is smooth and elastic and has formed a springy ball.

  • 3.

    In the meantime, beat together butter and sugar together with the orange zest using a hand beater until combined. Add to the dough gradually while the mixer is running until all the butter has combined with the dough and there are no streaks of butter left. Prove in a bowl covered with glad wrap in a warm place until the dough has doubled in volume (one to two hours in a proving drawer).

  • For the pistachio marzipan:

  • 1.

    Pulse pistachios until fine.

  • 2.

    Add icing sugar and pulse until a fine powder, gradually add egg white until you have a firm dough. Wrap in glad wrap.

  • For the pistachio cream:

  • 1.

    Beat butter and sugar together until fluffy. Beat in the remaining ingredients until combined finishing with the liquid ingredients and flavourings to taste. Put aside.

  • Croissant and Danish pastry:

  • 1.

    To make the starter, combine yeast, water and flour (starter ingredients) in a bowl and leave in a warm place until bubbling (30-40 minutes).

  • For the dough:

  • 1.

    Put flour in a bowl. Make a well. Add starter along with egg yolks, milk, sugar, salt to the well. Mix together until just combined. Try not to knead. Halve dough and work two lots – one for the croissants and one for the Danish pastries.

  • 2.

    Roll each half out onto a floured board to a rectangle — 1cm thick.

  • 3.

    Grate in butter onto 2/3 of dough (half on each lot of dough).

  • 4.

    Fold in 3 so that there is a layer of butter in each fold, roll, fold again.

  • 5.

    Chill 30 minutes. Roll and fold. Chill 30 minutes. Roll and fold. Chill 30 minutes

  • For the candied mandarin zest:

  • 1.

    Scrape off pith and blanch peel in boiling water three times to remove bitterness. Add to syrup of 50:50 water and sugar. Simmer until transparent – top with a cartouche. Drain and cool. Chop cooled zest finely.

  • For the mandarin ganache:

  • 1.

    Heat cream in the microwave until just about to boil. Add chocolate all at once and stir until smooth and combined. Add candied zest and liquor. Place in fridge to chill.

  • For the lemon verbena custard:

  • 1.

    Heat milk in a saucepan. When hot add the lemon verbena leaves and let infuse for 5 minutes. Remove leaves. Return to heat. Beat yolks with sugar until creamy. Beat in cornflour. Add hot milk gradually whilst whisking. Return to pan and bring to boil until thick. Remove from heat. Beat in butter. Set aside to cool, stirring regularly.

  • To prepare the apples:

  • 1.

    Peel, core and slice the apple neatly so they will fit in the centre of the pastry (I used a small round cookie cutter). In a pan combine sugar, butter, zest and cinnamon until just melted together. Add the apple slices and heat until just starting to soften. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl to cool.

  • To prepare pastries:

  • 1.

    Brioche Pears, remove dough from bowl and knead gently. Remove ¼ and divide the rest into 18 balls. Place a tsp of pistachio cream into each ball. Seal and roll into a ball again.

  • 2.

    Place into sphere/brioche molds. Make a small ball out of leftover dough and press into top of larger ball to form a ‘pear’. Glaze with egg wash. Bake for 10 minutes at 200°C.

  • To make the sugar syrup:

  • 1.

    Combine sugar and boiling water and mix until dissolved. Glaze the warm brioche with a 50:50 sugar syrup if desired. Form pistachio marzipan into leaves and place a leaf on top of each brioche.

  • Mandarin Chocolate crescents:

  • 1.

    Take ganache out of the fridge. Take out one piece of chilled puff pastry. Roll out to a large rectangle. Use a sharp knife and a bench scraper to cut out triangle shapes as per croissant template (18cm long x 14 cm at base). Cut 12-13 triangles. Place a tsp of ganache near the bottom of the triangle. Cut a small slit in the middle of the base of the triangle. Roll up to a crescent whilst slightly stretching the dough out, and using the palms of your hands. Stretch the apex of the triangle then tuck under the crescent and place on a tray. Curl ends around. Glaze with egg wash, cover and rest for about 20 minutes.

  • 2.

    Bake at 200°C, 10-15 minutes or until puffed and golden. Mix together ingredients for the mandarin glaze. Heat slightly in the microwave until runny. Toast almonds on a tray in the oven at 180°C.

  • 3.

    Cover warm crescents lightly in mandarin glaze using a pastry brush. Sprinkle over toasted almonds

  • For the Lemon verbena custard apples:

  • 1.

    Roll out second piece of puff pastry to form a large rectangle. Cut out 12 squares (10x10cm). Halve squares and cut part way through along each edge, open and twist to opposite edges to form a rimmed diamond. Pipe a mound of cooled custard in the centre. Arrange four half slices of apple over the custard, overlapping. Cover with some of the juices. Make leaves out of left over inner circle. Attach to top of pastry and glaze with egg wash. Bake at 200°C for 10-15 minutes. To finish glaze generously with apple and lemon glaze.

Nutritional information

Nutritional analysis per serving (66 servings)

  • Energy 397kj
  • Fat Total 22g
  • Saturated Fat 11g
  • Protein 6g
  • Carbohydrate 44g
  • Sugar 21g
  • Sodium 134mg

Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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