1½ cups bakers flour (plus extra for dusting)
1 teaspoon dried instant yeast
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ cup milk (warmed)
1 extra large egg
1 extra large egg yolk
50g butter (softened, plus extra for greasing)
50g butter (chopped)
¼ cup caster sugar
¾ cup flaked almonds
1 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon Capilano honey
Pastry cream filling
300ml thickened cream
1 cup milk
1½ teaspoons vanilla paste
2/3 cup caster sugar
4 extra large egg yolks
¼ cup cornflour
Combine bakers flour, yeast, caster sugar and salt in the large bowl of an electric mixer. Make a well in the centre. (Bakers flour has increased protein and is preferred for yeast cakes and breads.)
Add milk and eggs. Mix to combine using a wooden spoon. Beat dough, using an electric mixer fitted with dough hook, on a medium speed, for 8 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
Add butter, a tablespoon at a time, beating well between each addition.
Place dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about 12 hours.
Grease and line base and sides of a 21cm springform pan with baking paper, Put pan on an oven tray. Put dough on a lightly floured bench and knead until smooth and seamless. Put dough, smooth side up, into prepared pan and press to cover base of pan. Cover with plastic wrap and put in a warm place for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 170 degrees.
Meanwhile, make topping. Place all topping ingredients in a medium saucepan and stir until butter melts and mixture starts to simmer. Remove from heat and set aside.
Make pastry cream. Place cream, milk and vanilla paste in a medium saucepan. Bring almost to boiling, then remove from heat. Place caster sugar, egg yolks and cornflour in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until thick and pale. Gradually beat cream mixture into egg mixture. Pour into a clean saucepan and place over a medium heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon, beating more vigorously as the mixture thickens. Boil for 1 minute, beating constantly. Transfer to a bowl and cover surface of pastry cream with plastic wrap. Set aside to cool.
Gently spread almond topping over dough. Bake 25 minutes or until topping is golden brown and brioche is cooked. Do not be concerned if the top rises slightly unevenly. Test with a skewer inserted into the centre of the brioche – it should remove clean. Cool in pan.
Remove brioche from pan and use a serrated knife to split in half, horizontally. Place base of cake back in springform pan. Beat the pastry cream until smooth (or use a food processor). Spread evenly over base of brioche. Cut top of brioche into 8 wedges and place on top of pastry cream. This will allow the cake to cut more easily. Refrigerate until set (about 2 hours).