[Photograph: Maura McEvoy]

If you haven't seen this sweet at Gramercy Tavern before, you're not alone: this monkey bread isn't on the restaurant's menu, reserved instead for birthdays, family meals, and special occasions. Luckily, it's a staff secret the The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook has let slip. It's a neat and organized version of the pull-apart dessert, with twenty little balls of brioche nestled in a bed of caramel. The light and airy dough contrasts beautifully with its gooey base. The photo above is of the bread before it's baked; yours will be fluffy clumps stuck together.

Tips: If you find yourself without dark brown sugar when attempting to make this dessert, don't fret. Take 1 cup (7 ounces) of granulated sugar, and 2 1/2 tablespoons of molasses. Mix by hand with a spatula, or use a food processor, et voila. It's a neat trick that comes in handy during the holidays.

Tweaks: Being that the brioche is baked in a bed of toffee sauce, that leaves the tops a little naked. Reserve some of the sauce to pour over the finished bread. Or, make extra and go wild.

A note on toffee sauce: Though it's referred to by that name in the recipe, the inclusion of heavy cream and butter as well as the shortened cooking time makes it more of a caramel sauce. Not that we're complaining; it's delicious.

As always with our Bake the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook to give away.


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