Polonaise Bars

Polonaise Bars - Bruno Albouze - THE REAL DEAL

Polonaise Bars Recipe
Makes 8 Bars / Use a 9.5x6.5 inch (24x16cm) baking tray lined with greased parchment.

≈2 lb. (900g) leftover brioche loaf, panettone, rosca de reyes..
Almond Syrup
1.3 cups (300g) water
0.6 cup (120g) sugar
2 Tbsp (30g) powdered sugar
3 Tbsp (30g) almond meal
Half orange zest
1/2 Tbsp (7.5g) orange blossom water.
1 Tbsp (15ml) Cointreau or Grand Marnier (Optional)
Bring to a boil and add orange blossom water and alcohol; cool to room temperature.

Pastry Cream
1.3 cup (330g) milk
1/3 cup (60g) sugar
1 tsp (5g) vanilla paste or extract
1 egg + 2 egg yolks
2 Tbsp (20g) flour + 2 Tbsp (20g) corn starch
1 ea. (3g) gelatine sheet, soaked in cold water and drained. (Use gelatine if the finished dessert stays more than 6 hours in the freezer).
2 Tbsp (30g) butter.
4 ounces (120g) tutti frutti mix diced candied fruit or peel mix or orange candied peel, diced.

Bring milk, one-third sugar and vanilla to a boil. Meanwhile, combine eggs with sugar and starches. Temper egg mixture with hot milk – Pour mixture back into the saucepan and bring to a boil whisking constantly and swiftly – cook for 2 minutes and blend in gelatine and butter. Spread custard over a frozen baking tray lined with plastic wrap, top with plastic wrap in contact. Cool to room temperature and chill. Beat to smooth; reserve.

Sablée Crust
0.7 cup (80g) powdered sugar
0.7 cup (80g) almond meal
10 Tbsp (150g) butter, room temp
A pinch of salt
1 ea. (50g) egg
1.6 cups (210g) all-purpose flour
1 tsp (3g) baking powder
One lemon zest.

Process sugar and almond. Add zest, butter with salt and blend to cream. Add the egg, blend to smooth and add flour and baking powder – mix to combine. Wrap up and chill until firm. Pastry can last a week in the refrigerator or kept frozen for weeks. Since that less than a third of the pastry will be used, Save leftover for more pies or cookies.
Take a third of the pastry, work out to soften over a floured work surface and roll out into a thin 0.12’’/3 mm thick sheet. Lay on baking tray lined with greased parchment. Prick dough with a fork and freeze for 20 min. Trim off excess dough and refrigerate or freeze.

Prebake pastry for 20 min with pie weights; remove pie weights and bake for an additional 10 min. Set aside.

Polonaise Bars Montage
Cut brioche into large 1/2 inch/1.25cm thick slices and trim them off matching the size of the pan. (Avoid small pieces; save scraps for bread pudding).
Spread a thin pastry cream layer (with no candied fruits) over the crust. Moisturize generoulsy one side of each brioche slice one at the time, flip and arrange over the crust and pastry cream. Fold candied fruits into the remaining custard and cover the brioche completely. Smooth out and enclose with remaining and moisturized brioche. Wrap up the cake entirely and flip over another baking tray (crust side up) and freeze for 3 hours. Unmold, trim edges and cut into 8 bars – strore bars in the freezer a couple of hours to harden before coating with Italian meringue.

Italian Meringue
1.2 cups (240g) sugar
1/3 cup (60g) water
4 ea. (120g) egg whites, room temp
1/2 tsp lemon juice or cream of tartare (meringue stabilizer).

Sliced almonds
Powdered sugar.

Beat egg whites and lemon juice on medium speed. Meanwhile, cook sugar and water to 250ºF/121ºC (cuisson au boulé). No need to get fully beaten egg whites before adding hot syrup. When egg whites have reached the foamy stage, pour syrup in thin stream – increase speed to high and beat meringue to firm peaks. Lower speed and continue beating until cool… leave mixer running until ready to use.

Wrap bars with a thin coating of Italian meringue. Top with more meringue using a St Honoré pastry tip. Sprinkle some almond slices.
At this juncture, polonaise bars can be kept refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for weeks. Must be partially thawed prior poping up in the oven. This dessert is best being flashed baked than torched. Dust powdered sugar and pop it in a 450ºF/230ºC oven for about 6 minutes prior serving. Enjoy!

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