Brioche Raisin Snails



This week’s Tuesdays With Dorie recipe, Brioche Raisin Snails, was chosen by Peabody over at Culinary Concoctions by Peabody. At first I was a little intimidated by this recipe since it combined three different elements: brioche dough, pastry cream, and then the assembly of the actual snails. Sneaky, that Peabody is… she squeezed in three recipes 😉 I am actually thrilled that she chose this recipe, as brioche has been something on my “must attempt” list and I had never made pastry cream before, so this gave me a perfect reason to try two new things!

I’ll start out with the basis for this recipe – the brioche dough. I am in love. Seriously. So in love that I am going to dedicate an entire blog post just to my brioche (stay tuned). I have been wanting to try brioche for some time and am glad that I finally got the opportunity. I have to say that I give total kudos to the TWD-ers that made this recipe by hand. My KA sounded as though it was on its last leg and got so hot that I couldn’t even touch the top without burning my hand. I didn’t have any trouble with the rising, however both rises took longer in my kitchen than Dorie estimated (about an hour and 10 minutes for the first rise, and about 2.5 hours after it came out of the fridge). I made a loaf of brioche with the other half of the dough recipe that wasn’t being used for the snails and oh the buttery goodness! This is some seriously good bread. I can’t say enough about it…. but I will try, in another blog post 😉

On to the pastry cream. As I said, I had never made pastry cream before, so this was another first for me. I watched a couple of videos online to make sure that I knew what it should look like at the different stages. While mine looked like the videos, it seemed thick to me. But, it tasted divine and it didn’t cause me any problems, so I assume I did everything just right 🙂

And now the raisin snails themselves. I have a confession. I did not flambe the raisins with the rum. I have an enormous, unfounded, and quite ridiculous fear of fire. I can’t explain it. So I merely soaked my raisins in water and let them plump up. Terribly boring, I know. I also took the advice of some others and cut my rolls using dental floss. Genius! I didn’t have to squish them!

The finished product… the Brioche Raisin Snails themselves… were absolutely delicious. They were flaky and tasted like a light, buttery pastry. This may seem like a complicated and time consuming recipe, but each element can be broken down and done easily and fairly quickly. Of course there is the waiting time for the dough to rise, but these rolls are definitely worth it. These would be a wonderful show stopping pastry to set out for breakfast or brunch guests. Trust me, everyone will think you are a domestic goddess!!

EDIT: I just ate another one after dinner tonight and I have to say – these are insanely better the second day! They were incredible when they were freshly made, but after sitting for a day tightly wrapped (as Dorie suggested) the flavors really came together and the dough was remarkably like a danish. YUM!



Our group is still growing, so head on over to the Tuesdays With Dorie blog and scroll through the blogroll to see the snail creations that the rest of the group came up with!

Last week: Russian Grandmothers’ Apple Pie-Cake
Next week: Caramel-Topped Flan

Yield: 12 rolls

Prep Time: 12 hours

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 14 hours


1 cup moist, plump raisins
3 tablespoons dark rum
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
Scant 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 recipe for Golden Brioche Loaves, chilled and ready to shape (make the full recipe and cut the dough in half after refrigerating overnight)
1/2 recipe Pastry Cream (below)

For the Pastry Cream
2 cups whole milk
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits at room temperature

For The Glaze
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
About 1 teaspoon water
Drop of pure vanilla extract


To Make the Pastry Cream: Bring the milk to a boil in a small saucepan.

Meanwhile, in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the egg yolks together with the sugar and cornstarch until thick and well blended. Still whisking, drizzle in about 1/4 cup of the hot milk-- this will temper, or warm, the yolks so they won't curdle. Whisking all the while, slowly pour in the remainder of the milk. Put the pan over medium heat and, whisking vigorously, constantly and thoroughly (making sure to get the edges of the pot), bring the mixture to a boil. Keep at a boil, still whisking, for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat.

Whisk in the vanilla extract. Let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk in the bits of butter, stirring until they are full incorporated and the pastry cream is smooth and silky. Scrape the cream into a bowl. You can press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the cream to create an airtight seal and refrigerate the pastry cream until cold or, if you want to cool it quickly--as I always do--put the bowl into a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water, and stir the pastry cream occasionally until it is thoroughly chilled, about 20 minutes.

Getting Ready: Line one large or two smaller baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

Put the raisins in a small saucepan, cover them with hot water and let them steep for about 4 minutes, until they are plumped. Drain the raisins, return them to the saucepan and, stirring constantly, warm them over low heat. When the raisins are very hot, pull the pan from the heat and pour over the rum. Standing back, ignite the rum. Stir until the flames go out, then cover and set aside. (The raisins and rum an be kept in a covered jar for up to 1 day.)

Mix the sugar and cinnamon together.

On a flour dusted surface, roll the dough into a rectangle about 12 inches wide and 16 inches long, with a short end toward you. Spread the pastry cream across the dough, leaving 1-inch strip bare on the side farthest from you. Scatter the raisins over the pastry cream and sprinkle the raisins and cream with the cinnamon sugar. Starting with the side nearest you, roll the dough into a cylinder, keeping the roll as tight as you can. (At this point, you can wrap the dough airtight and freeze it up to 2 months; see Storing for further instructions. Or, if you do not want to make the full recipe, use as much of the dough as you'd like and freeze the remainder.)

With a chef's knife, using a gentle sawing motion, trim just a tiny bit from the ends if they're ragged or not well filled, then cut the log into rounds a scant 1 inch thick. Put the snails on the lined baking sheet(s), leaving some puff space between them.

Lightly cover the snails with wax paper and set the baking sheet(s) in a warm place until the snails have doubles in volume--they'll be puffy and soft--about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Getting Ready To Bake: When the snails have almost fully risen, preheat the oven: depending on the number of baking sheets you have, either center a rack in the oven or position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Remove the wax paper, and bake the snails for about 25 minutes (rotate the sheets if you're using two, from top to bottom and front to back after 15 minutes), or until they are puffed and richly browned. Using a metal spatula, transfer the snails onto a cooling rack.

If You Want To Glaze The Snails: Put a piece of wax paper under the rack of warm rolls to act as a drip catcher. Put the confectioners' sugar into a small bowl, and stir in a teaspoon of water. Keep adding water drop by drop until you have an icing that falls from the tip of a spoon. Add the vanilla extract, then drizzle the icing over the hot snails.


62 Responses to “Brioche Raisin Snails”

  1. Helen on March 18, 2008 at 7:19 am

    Hi, thanks for the post and the fabulous pictures – I am so behind with my snails – not even made my pastry cream yet but the dough is sitting quite happily in the fridge. Not a good start for my first week as a TWD member! Happy Baking! Hx


  2. Caitlin on March 18, 2008 at 7:20 am

    Yours are so beautiful! I love the drizzling of glaze, and I’m glad I’m not the only one who chickened out on the flambe portion of the recipe 🙂


  3. Michelle on March 18, 2008 at 7:23 am

    Helen – You’re welcome of course 🙂 No worries, everyone has weeks like that! I hope that you enjoy your finished snails!

    Caitlin – Thank you! And yeah, I have a big case of fire phobia, you are not alone 🙂


  4. Amber on March 18, 2008 at 8:06 am

    They look awesome Chelle!!! Brioche is on my must try list also.


  5. Michelle on March 18, 2008 at 8:07 am

    Amber – Thanks! The brioche loaf itself was to die for. I am going to post about it separately tomorrow.


  6. Gretchen Noelle on March 18, 2008 at 8:13 am

    Lovely snails! I need to get some unflavored dental floss to cut these types of things! I didn’t want mint flavored snails! Great job on these rolls, they look fabulous!


  7. Michelle on March 18, 2008 at 8:15 am

    Gretchen – Thank you! I would definitely recommend the dental floss; it’s the first time I used (based on everyone else’s recommendations) it and it was perfect!


    • Laura on July 2nd, 2015 at 9:28 pm

      You can also use a strong thread like quilting thread in place of the dental floss. I use that for my cinnamon rolls.


  8. lemontartlet on March 18, 2008 at 8:21 am

    How do yours always look so magazine perfect? Better question, can I come eat at your house?


  9. Michelle on March 18, 2008 at 8:24 am

    lemontartlet – You are too sweet! And you are welcome at my house anytime!


  10. Elizabeth on March 18, 2008 at 8:30 am

    I think my pastry cream was on the thick side, too… but, oh my, was it tasty!

    Your snails look great!


  11. Michelle on March 18, 2008 at 8:35 am

    Elizabeth – You’re right – while thick, the pastry cream was delicious! I licked every last bit off of the spoon, spatula, whisk, etc!


  12. slush on March 18, 2008 at 8:37 am

    Domestic Goddess is right, they are beautiful Chelle! They look like they came from a pastry shop. Way to bake!!!


  13. Cheri on March 18, 2008 at 8:41 am

    Wow, these look amazing. I was surprised at the ease of the recipe once I dove in. Now we have all made brioche!


  14. Michelle on March 18, 2008 at 8:44 am

    Aw thanks Laurie! You’re so sweet!


  15. Michelle on March 18, 2008 at 8:44 am

    Cheri – Thank you! I am so happy to have made brioche as well!


  16. nikki57 on March 18, 2008 at 9:25 am

    Chelle they look great, not that I’m surprised or anything, but they look so yummy


  17. noskos on March 18, 2008 at 9:43 am

    Great looking snails!! Love your pictures!!


  18. Michelle on March 18, 2008 at 10:07 am

    nikki – Thank you so much!

    noskos – Thank you! 🙂


  19. Marie on March 18, 2008 at 10:12 am

    Your snails turned out lovely! I am impressed. This was my first time making brioche dough as well!


  20. Michelle on March 18, 2008 at 10:13 am

    Marie – Thank you! I am now in love with brioche!!


  21. Ulrike aka ostwestwind on March 18, 2008 at 11:20 am

    Your snails look so lovely. And dental floss for cutting is great, I read about it when I made the “Make ahead oey goey sticky buns”. This kind of cutting helps a lot.


  22. mari on March 18, 2008 at 11:23 am

    Chelle, your snails look DIVINE! Great pix! You had fun with the recipe, and I definitely think that makes a difference. Good job!


  23. CB on March 18, 2008 at 11:28 am

    Chelle my belle, your snails look absolutely divine. I am glad that you wussed out too. I am in good company. 😉 Great job!


  24. Michelle on March 18, 2008 at 11:37 am

    Ulrike – Thank you! After trying it for the first time, I am definitely sold on the merits of cutting with dental floss!

    mari – Thank you!! I did have fun, especially with the brioche dough. That stuff is amazing!

    CB – I love that you said “my belle”. My parents and grandparents would always sing-song “Michelle my belle” to me when I was younger 🙂 And yeah, no flames in this house!


  25. Di on March 18, 2008 at 11:53 am

    Chelle–Your snails look great! I’m definitely going to have to try the icing next time. And I will definitelly be making brioche again–you’re right, it’s fabulous. I made rolls with the rest of mine. Mmm…


  26. Michelle on March 18, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    Di – Thank you! Oh I bet the brioche made into rolls was fabulous!


  27. April on March 18, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    They look fantastic!


  28. KN on March 18, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    Oh, they turned out beautifully!! I love how plump and separated the layers are! Gorgeous!


  29. Michelle on March 18, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    Thank you April!


  30. Michelle on March 18, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    KN – Thank you very much!


  31. lorib00 on March 18, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    Beautiful snails! You did a great job!


  32. Michelle on March 18, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    lorib00 – Thank you! 🙂


  33. Erin on March 18, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    Your snails look beautiful! They baked up very nicely!


  34. Michelle on March 18, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    Erin – Thank you very much!


  35. Natalie on March 18, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    I didn’t have any plain dental floss (I didn’t think mint would go with the recipe LOL), but I’m going to pick some up for the next time I make these! My pastry cream was thiiiick too. It tasted good, so I figured I was good to go.

    Oh and my KA was dancing across the countertop on the last bit of mixing the brioche!


  36. Dianne on March 18, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    Well they look beautiful flamed raisins or not! 🙂


  37. Karina on March 18, 2008 at 9:35 pm

    I couldn’t agree more, these were delicious! My brioche loaf is in the oven right now, I can’t wait to try it! Brioche is one of my favorite breads (although with all that butter, how could it not be?) Silly question: how do you cut them with dental floss? Do you slice from top to bottom or do you wrap it around the log? I have to do that next time I make these, cutting with a knife seriously squished them.


  38. Jaime on March 18, 2008 at 11:51 pm

    your snails are picture perfect! i did not have any to sample the next day (boo!) but have more in the freezer for later 🙂 you MUST try this recipe again and flambe the raisins! it is so good!


  39. Kate on March 18, 2008 at 11:57 pm

    Your glaze looks painted on perfect!


  40. Michelle on March 19, 2008 at 7:22 am

    Natalie – I think most of these KA’s did a groovy little dance to the brioche dough!

    Dianne – Thank you! 🙂

    Karina – I sliced from top to bottom, but I saw on another blog today someone said they slide the floss underneath, then make a knot on top and pull through and it perfectly slices. I’ll have to try that method next time!

    Jaime – Thank you so much! I will definitely do the raisins next time. Well, I’ll make Nick do the raisins next time 😉

    Kate – Thank you!!


  41. Donna on March 19, 2008 at 9:44 am

    Your photos are amazing! They’re so lifelike, I wanted to lick my laptop screen!
    I agree, they were awesome the next day, the texture was more like danish!


  42. Michelle on March 19, 2008 at 9:49 am

    Donna – Thank you so much! And yes, I agree, they were definitely better the next day!


  43. Tartelette on March 19, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    My mom used to stop at the bakery around 4pm and buy one for each of us. It was one of my favorites when I was a kid and still is. Dorie nailed it with that one and so did you!


  44. Michelle on March 19, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    Tartelette – It’s so gratifying to hear that I was able to replicate the real thing! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂


  45. Dolores on March 19, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    Wow… your snails are absolutely *gorgeous*. Great job!

    I’m so glad to know they’re still good the next day… 12 rolls for four people is frighteningly calorically dense. 🙂


  46. Michelle on March 19, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    Dolores – Aw, thank you! And they are definitely good the next day, although we only held on to three of them – the rest went to work with my husband!


  47. Rebecca on March 19, 2008 at 9:43 pm

    Oh, why didn’t I hang on to the snails until the second day? Good excuse to bake another batch and taste what everyone’s talking about. Mmmmmmmm, snails.


  48. Michelle on March 19, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    Rebecca – Definitely a good reason to make a second batch! They were fabulous!


  49. Julius on March 19, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    Oh yummy! Thanks for the tip (re: better the next day).

    from Occasional Baker


  50. Michelle on March 20, 2008 at 6:52 am

    Julius – You’re welcome! They were absolutely fantastic the next day!


  51. peabody on March 22, 2008 at 3:38 am

    I thought they were great the next day too. Maybe she says to eat them the first day so that others wont steal them. 🙂
    So glad you liked them.


  52. Michelle on March 22, 2008 at 8:56 am

    peabody – Haha, that’s a good theory! Make sure no one steals them 😉 Thanks for picking such a great recipe and introducing me to brioche!


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  55. Alex on October 31, 2011 at 10:49 am

    Thank you very much for that recipe, as I am the only one to like raisins at home I made a chocolate chip version and it was amazing, reminded me of the ones I use to get from the “boulangerie” growing up!


  56. Deirdre on January 26, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    I tried this recipe from the original site and I found it didn’t quite work out the first time. I have made pastry cream before, in an actual industry kitchen for work, and I did not find this pastry cream recipe correct. I doubled the milk in it the second time and it came out beautifully and exactly the way it was when I made it at work. The first time it was a big lump of goo and turned into a big, hard lump when kept in the fridge overnight.


  57. Lynsey on November 5, 2012 at 2:50 am

    I really want to try these but I can’t find the recipe for the Golden Brioche Loaves… please help me find the link xx


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