Bostock – David Lebovitz


One of many lesser-known French pastries is Bostock. Maybe it’s the humorous title that doesn’t sound very French, as ache au chocolat or chausson aux pommes do, that’s been preserving it out of the highlight. True, the title does sound like a Swiss bouillon combine and though I’ve learn it’s from Normandy, I haven’t discovered any conclusive proof of that. However wherever it’s from, the advantage of Bostock is that it’s one of many best desserts to make and doesn’t require rolling out any pastry, spending a day making brioche, or depend on any fancy strategies. It’s one in all my very favourite issues to eat.

Bostock was probably invented to make use of up leftover brioche that bakeries had readily available after they closed their doorways. Bakers in every single place are naturally thrifty and it is a intelligent method to make use of up leftover bread, whether or not it’s brioche, challah, or any firm-textured white bread, equivalent to ache de mie.

A journey author I do know just lately posted a mini-rant in opposition to recipes that decision for utilizing a stand mixer, saying the authors ought to provide alternate options for individuals who won’t have one. That’s truthful sufficient, I suppose, and I attempt to let folks know once they can combine or beat issues collectively in a bowl with a spoon or spatula, though generally it’s fairly simple for folks to determine it out for themselves. However tossing it again to him, maybe journey writers, as an alternative of solely itemizing airways that fly to locations, additionally checklist trains, buses, ships, and mountaineering routes that take folks to the identical place? If we put all the pieces attainable in a recipe, most recipes can be pages and pages lengthy.

Like taking the airplane (carbon-footprint points apart) a stand mixer is the quicker, extra environment friendly method of getting there for this almond paste-based topping, though these with endurance and moxie might beat it by hand. I add just a few drops of almond extract because the pâte d’amande that’s most typical in Paris doesn’t have a excessive almond content material (normally round 33%) and I like mine with extra almond taste.

Grocery store almond pastes within the U.S., like Odense and Solo, have good almond taste and don’t want it. If you wish to go the semi-pro route, premium manufacturers like Amoretti and American Almond Products (67% almonds), can be found, though the latter is now solely offered in 7-pound tins. But it surely’s fairly good and that was what I used after I baked professionally, so when you’ve got buddies who bake, it is perhaps value splitting a tin.

Most almond extract is created from bitter almonds and a bit goes a great distance, so use it sparingly. You can even add some orange flower water so as to add some taste, which compliments the almonds properly, and is a stunning contact.

Whereas Bostock is mighty wonderful all by itself, it’s a fantastic accompaniment to a fruit sorbet or a fruit salad for dessert with the brioche offering texture and crunch from the crust, and the almond paste giving it some richness. It pairs nicely with all the pieces from plums, peaches, and nectarines to berries, pears, and melon.


You’ll want to use almond paste, not marzipan, which has extra sugar and is mostly used for adorning. It isn’t the identical factor. (In accordance with Nigella Lawson, nonetheless, almond paste known as ‘marzipan’ within the UK.)Brioche, challah, or a close-textured white bread, like ache de mie, all work nicely. It is best if it is barely stale because it’ll soak up extra of the flavorful syrup. And talking of syrup, be sure you saturate the bread as you need to syrup to go throughout the slices, not simply moisten the highest. Should you do not drink alcohol, you may taste the syrup with almond or vanilla flavoring (one which doesn’t have alcohol) or ust with orange flower water, including to style. Make it a bit stronger than you assume because you need it to be current within the completed pastry. Lastly, within the “Do as I say, not as I do” class, sharp-eyed readers will discover I used a silicone baking mat within the pics. Like most of us today, my head is within the clouds and I want to bake Bostock on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, though you can too bake them instantly on a baking sheet if you want. Silicon tends to “humify” issues and whereas Bostock is not naturally crispy (they fall between there, and within the “moist” class) the bottoms are likely to brown a bit when not baked on silicone.

Servings 6 servings

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons, plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon rum, kirsch, or amaretto liqueur
  • just a few drops orange flower water, (elective)
  • 6 slices brioche, challah or firm-textured white bread, equivalent to ache de mie, reduce in 1/2-inch (2cm) slices
  • 6 ounces (170g) almond paste
  • 2 massive eggs, at room temperature
  • just a few drops pure almond extract, (elective)
  • 1/2-3/4 cup (40-60g) sliced almonds
  • powdered sugar
  • In a small saucepan, warmth the 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar with the water, stirring till the sugar is dissolved. Take away from warmth and add the liquor and some drops of orange flower water, if utilizing.

  • Preheat the oven to 425ºF (220ºC). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or go away it unlined) and place the slices of bread on it.

  • Within the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or by hand in a medium bowl with a spatula, beat the almond paste with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, the eggs, and some drops of almond extract, if utilizing, at medium-high pace till clean. However keep away from whipping it up; combine it simply till a lot of the lumps are eliminated. (Just a few little ones will not matter.)

  • Brush every slice of bread generously with the syrup, sufficient so it saturates the bread throughout. Unfold each bit of bread with the almond topping then sprinkle sliced almonds excessive.

  • Bake till the tops of the Bostock are well-browned. I start checking them on the 6-minute mark however they will take as much as 10 to 12 minutes so greatest to depend on visible clues reasonably than exact minutes. Take away from the oven and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve heat or at room temperature.

Notice: The almond topping might be made prematurely and refrigerated as much as one week. Let come to room temperature earlier than utilizing. 



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