An aromatic earl grey tea with a delicate vanilla flavor is the perfect complement to the warm, golden brown brioche knots.
Heat milk and water in a small pot set over medium-low heat. Add yeast and stir to combine. Melt butter in another small pot on medium-low heat. Add flour and salt to a large bowl and form a well in the middle.
Add melted butter, milk-water mixture, eggs, and maple syrup to the bowl and knead with hand mixer with dough hooks until a smooth, soft dough. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise for 2 hrs. in a warm place.
In the meantime, zest orange and blend speculaas cookies in a food processor until fine. Add chestnuts, milk, condensed milk, and vanilla bean to a pot, bring to a boil and let simmer for approx. 5 min. Remove vanilla bean, add crumbled speculaas cookies and orange zest and stir to combine. Blend until smooth and creamy.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Transfer dough to a floured work surface. Knead again briefly, then divide dough into equal parts. Roll out each piece of dough until 20x10 cm/8x4-in. size.
Evenly spread 1 tbsp. of the chestnut cream onto each dough piece.
Roll up the dough and make a cut down the center of it, leaving it attached at the top so that the dough is easier to knot. Then twist each strand one over the other. Form the twisted dough cord into a circle so that the ends meet on top of each other. Continue like that for all remaining pieces of dough.
Place the chestnut brioche knots onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for approx. 20 min., or until crisp on the outside and golden brown. Enjoy!