I do love fresh bread out of the baker but on the other side I am also a huge fan of its potential when it goes stale. Continue reading
Most of the time I made bread crumbs but when it hasn’t gone too dry, I make eggy bread or “pain perdu” as I usually call it. Since my mother comes from the French region of Switzerland I guess my cooking has been under much of her influence. It didn’t happen often that my mother made “pain perdu”, but because it was a once in a while thing, I really enjoyed it. She used to serve it with some jam, maybe one she made using the fruits of our garden. She didn’t add any cocoa but when I tasted this recipe I was back in the eighties. This super simple recipe is a great reason not to waste bread. Eggy bread is something you can make sweet or savoury and you can serve it with just about anything; it’s like a pancake or a crepe. The “pain perdu” is a French recipe but as Switzerland is in the middle of countries known for their culinary heritage we have always been happy to borrow their ideas. The second thing is that many of our cantons have belonged to those same countries during one historic period or another. We have a shared culinary tradition with regions of France, Italy, Austria and Germany. My canton Ticino, for example, has only been made Swiss during the Napoleonic empire in 1803.
Cocoa Eggy Bread with Caramelized Pears
Recipe for 4
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 12-15 min
For the Cocoa Eggy Bread:
8 medium sized slices of Zopf (the kind of bread I used) bread or brioche, about 1-1.5 cm
2 dl milk
2 heaped tsp cocoa powder
4 tbsp icing sugar
2-3 tbsp butter
Optional: icing sugar to decorate before serving
For the pears:
3 tbsp icing sugar
1 tsp of water
1 tbsp butter
Peel and core the pears and cut the in half lengthways. Divide each half in two (top and bottom) and cut the fruit into wedges.
Melt the butter in a pan and add the pears, sugar and water. Cook on a medium heat to caramelize for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once ready set aside.
While the pears are caramelizing, in a bowl mix the eggs, the milk, the sugar and the cocoa.
Melt half of the butter in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Dip half of the bread slices in the egg/milk/sugar/cocoa mix and place them in the pan with the butter. Brown the slices on each side for about 2-3 minutes. Repeat with the other batch of bread slices.
Serve with the caramelized apples and optionally sprinkle a little icing sugar on the bread.