Bread and Cheese Pudding

Bread and Cheese Pudding

The one thing I would really have trouble giving up is cheese. Maybe because I’m Swiss or maybe it’s because it just tastes amazing and it’s an ingredient you can just have so much fun with in the kitchen. Continue reading

This Bread and Cheese Pudding is something I have already tried last year but this time when I tried it, I found it’s better not having the bread stick out of the mix as I find it becomes too hard and dry. I tested this recipe on my mother and remarkably she took a second helping, which is not very common for her. Do I need to mention I had a second helping too? I took a recipe from the Swiss Cooking book from Betty Bossi and made a few changes to make this dish a little lighter. For instance I replaces the double cream by using plain cream and instead of using three eggs I just used two large ones. This Swiss recipe is just an easy, moist and very tasty dish.

 

 

Bread and Cheese Pudding

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 25 min

 

Ingredients:

350 g white bread

2 tbsp. soft butter (optional)

1 dl dry white wine (alternatively use white grape juice with a few drops of lemon in it)

3 dl milk

2 large eggs

150g semi hard cheese (Gruyere, Emmetaler…)

¾ tsp. salt

Pepper

2 dl cream

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 240°C.

Slice the bread into 1-1.5cm thick pieces. Optionally, butter each slice on one side with the butter and toast in the oven for about 5 min. Once done reduce the oven heat to 200°C. Place the bread slices in a baking dish by overlapping them.

In a bowl mix the milk with the eggs, salt and pepper.

Stiffly whisk the cream and gently fold it in with the milk/egg mix.

Pour over the bread slices and bake in the oven for 20 min.

Serve with a crunchy salad.

Vanilla Bread Pudding Cake or Torta di Pane alla Vaniglia

Vanilla Bread Pudding Cake I had a truly fun weekend where I volunteered to help out at an enogastronomic walk in Cardada (a mountain just above Locarno). The walk was dedicated to our local produces so I thought I’d post a recipe that is typical from my region: the torta di pane (or bread pudding cake). Continue reading

This is the second torta di pane recipe I post. The difference is that in this version there’s no cocoa powder; instead I used white chocolate for a twist. This kind of recipe is a great way to use leftover bread and it’s so easy that you just can’t get it wrong. For information, this cake is not made to be overly sweet and it should stay nice and moist once it’s cooked. This traditional recipe is something everyone makes here in Ticino and you can also easily find it in restaurants and grottoes.

 

 

Vanilla Bread Pudding Cake or Torta di Pane alla Vaniglia

 

For a 24-26 cm round cake mold

Prep time: 25 min (plus soaking time)

Cook time: about 1 hour

 

Ingredients:

200 g stale bread (white or semi-white)

100 g amaretti

7 dl milk

1 vanilla pod

100 g dried apricots (the sour kind) – I would have loved to use dried physalis but didn’t find them. Sultanas are also an option

Zest of 1 lemon

100 g slivered nuts

60 g white chocolate

2 eggs

40 g sugar

50 g melted butter

Icing Sugar (optional)

 

Recipe:

In a bowl or container break the bread into pieces and add the amaretti.

Pour the milk in a pan. Incise the vanilla pod by its length and scrape out the seeds. Add the pod and the seeds to the milk and bring to a boil. Once ready pour over the stale bread and amaretti and leave to soak for 2-3 hours. You can leave the vanilla pod in, just remember to remove it once the bread and biscuits have soaked.

Chop the dried apricots and place them in a cup. Add hot water and leave them to soak for a couple of hours.

Grate the white chocolate.

Heat oven at 190°C.

Once the bread and amaretti have soaked, mash them with a fork as finely as possible.  Drain the apricots and add them to the bread preparation along with the white chocolate, the lemon zest, and ¾ of the almonds.

In a separate bowl  mix well the eggs and the sugar and add the butter and eventually the grappa. Pour over the rest and mix the ingredients with your hands or with a spatula until the mass looks even.

Grease the sides of a cake tin and dust with flour. Line the bottom of the cake tin with oven paper. Transfer the preparation to the cake tin and even out the surface. Add the remaining pine nuts and place in the oven for about 1 hour.

Once ready leave to cool before removing from mold. Eventually sprinkle surface with icing sugar.

 

Cheese Stuffed Bread Rolls

Cheese Stuffed Bread Rolls 2Here is my first recipe since my return from my trip in Spain. Continue reading

It was the first time I really travelled through that country and I enjoyed it so much. We first go to Barcelona and I loved the general vibe of the place with its museums and shops. As always, when I travel with my boyfriend, we walk a lot but this time I sprained my ankle the day before leaving so walking was a little harder than usual but I was determined not to show my pain. The biggest frustration in this merit was that for two weeks I couldn’t even consider the idea of wearing high heels and I had three pairs in my suitcase (plus one I bought over there). While we were in Barcelona we went to Sitges for a day to visit a former roommate of mine from when I was in boarding school as a teenager. I wanted to mention this because it was four years since we saw each other last time and we always have a great time together. Besides the great laughs I also met her adorable son and daughter, which were not there yet last time we met and yes, I felt a little like I was their aunt. From Barcelona we flew to Seville for a couple of days, we walked around and saw the inquisition museum (where the entrance was free but I would rather have paid and gotten something more out of the experience). There we also celebrated my birthday on another rooftop bar right in front of the cathedral where the view was just breath taking. The following day we moved to Cordoba just for one night and in the short time we were there we realized one day was a little short so, we’ll get back there one day or another. Our last two stops were in Granada, where we visited the Alhambra and went shopping a little more for my joy but not so much my boyfriend’s. Finally we reached a place near Marbella where we relaxed for a few days in my mother’s holiday home: sun, drinks and pool. Once we got to our final stage we realized we were really a little tired and we enjoyed the sun and water. I also enjoyed the kitchen because halfway though the holiday I began to miss my cooking sessions. Here are a few pictures from our vacation.

This was our holiday and now, back to today’s recipe I thought of making something easy, friendly and a little different. I had the idea for this recipe trotting in my head for a while so I went for it and it turned out well. For the dough I used this quick pizza dough recipe; the only change I made to it is that I reduced the amount of sugar. Easy and quickly ready this recipe works well as an appetizer or why not served with a salad?

 

 

Cheese Stuffed Bread Rolls

Recipe for 8 pieces

Prep time: 20 min (+15 min rest)

Cook time: 15 min

 

Ingredients

250 g flour (if you can use the “00” type)

1 bag (7gr) dry instant yeast

1 tsp sugar

¼ tsp salt + more to sprinkle on top of the bread rolls

1.5 dl lukewarm water (32-36°C)

2 tbsp finely chopped basil

8 pieces hard goat’s cheese cut into 2 cm cubes – about 100 g

Olive oil to brush the bread rolls

 

Recipe

In a bowl combine half of the flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Add the water and start kneading while gradually adding the rest of the flour. Add the chopped basil and knead further to uniformly blend the green into the dough. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rest for 15 min.

Heat oven at 190°C.

Divide the dough into 8 parts. Take one part, lightly flatten it and place a cube of cheese in the middle. Close the dough around the cheese cube and form a ball. Make sure the dough is nicely sealed or the cheese might run out during the cooking process. Repeat with the other seven parts of cheese and dough. Brush the bread rolls with olive oil and sprinkle over some salt on top (use coarse salt if you have it).

Place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes or until nicely browned. Remove from oven and leave to cool for 5 min before serving.

 

Cuchaule

Cuchaule This weekend I’ll be visiting a friend in Fribourg and for the occasion I thought that making a recipe from that region would be a nice idea so I made the traditional “Cuchaule”.

Continue reading

I only found out recently about this recipe but I can assure you I am glad I did. This bread is a little like a brioche (although a bit lighter) and its rich colour comes from the saffron. Baking isn’t really my strong point in the kitchen but I really wanted to try this recipe. In the making of the “cuchaule” I admit I made one mistake. After the dough doubled in volume, I began kneading it a little for a second time; I was on the phone and didn’t think about what I was doing. The result is that my loaf could have risen a little more. For this recipe I found two recipes and in the meantime I also stumbled across a neat site which is from the association of Swiss peasant women: agriculture.ch . This site I will surely consult again. For my version of the cuchaule I made a combination between the first recipe and a second one which I found on marmiton.org.

Cuchaule Cuchaule

Cuchaule

 

Makes 2 loaves

Prep time: 20-25 min + 2-3h 40min rest time

Cook time: 30-35 min

 

Ingredients

 

500 g flour

10 g salt

50 g soft butter

40 g sugar

40 g fresh yeast

3 dl tempered milk (32-38°C)

½ saffron bag

1 beaten egg to brush

 

Recipe

In a bowl sift in the flour and add salt and sugar. In another bowl mix the milk with the yeast and set aside for 5-10 min (so that the yeast activates). Now add the saffron to the milk and then add them to the dry ingredients. Start kneading either by hand or with the help of a kitchen mixer. Add the butter and knead again for about 8-10 min or until the dough is smooth and springy. Cover the dough with a tea towel and leave to rest at room temperature until it has doubled in volume, about 2-3 hours.

Cut the dough into two parts, make two balls and tug in the dough at the bottom to tighten the loaf. Leave to rise for another 40 min under a tea towel. Meanwhile turn on the oven at 180°C.

Place the loaves on an oven tray lined with parchment paper, indent them at the top like you would for traditional bread, brush with the egg and cook for about 30-35 min. Once the bread is nice and golden and it sounds hollow when you tap on it: it’s ready. Place on a rack to cool.

Note: next time I’ll make more and hopefully there will be some left to make a bread pudding, maybe with some apricots…

 

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Version Française

Cuchaule

 

Ce fin de semaine je m’en vais visiter un ami à Fribourg et pour l’occasion j’ai pensé faire une recette de cette région et j’ai choisi de préparer une cuchaule. Ce n’est que récemment que j’ai découvert cette recette mais je vous assure que j’en suis ravie. Ce pain rappelle la brioche (même si un peu plus léger) et sa riche couleur vient du safran. La pâtisserie n’est pas vraiment mon point fort dans la cuisine mais j’avais vraiment envie d’essayer cette recette. Dans la préparation de cette cuchaule j’admets que j’ai fait une erreur. Après que la pâte ait doublé de volume, je l’ai un pétrie un tout petit peu une deuxième fois ; j’étais au téléphone et n’ai pas pensé à ce que je faisais. Le résultat est que mon pain aurait put lever un peu plus. Pour cette recette j’ai trouvé deux recettes et en même temps je suis tombée sur un site sympa crée par l’association de paysannes suisses : agriculture.ch.

C’est un site je vais encore surement consulter à l’avenir. Pour ma version de la cuchaule j’ai combiné la première recette avec une deuxième que j’ai trouvé ici marmiton.org.

Cuchaule

 

Cuchaule

 

Pour 2 pains

Temps de préparation : 20-25 min + 2-3h 40min de repos

Temps de cuisson : 30-35 min

 

Ingrédients

500 g farine

10 g sel

40 g levure fraiche

50 g beurre à température ambiante

40 g sucre

½ sachet safran

3 dl lait tiède (32-38°C)

1 œuf battu pour badigeonner

 

Dans un bol tamiser la farine et y ajouter le sel et le sucre. Dans un autre bol mélanger la levure au lait et laisser reposer pendant 5-10 min (pour que la levure aie le temps de s’activer). Ajouter le safran au lait et les mélanger aux ingrédients secs. Commencer à pétrir à la main ou à l’aide d’un robot de cuisine. Ajouter le beurre et continuer le pétrissage encore pendant 8-10 min ou jusqu’à quand la pâte est souple et lisse. Couvrir la pâte avec un linge et laisser reposer à température ambiante jusqu’à qu’elle ait doublé de volume, environ 2-3 heures.

Couper la pâte en deux parties, bouler et rabattre les bords en dessous de la pâte. Laisser lever encore pendant 40 min sous un linge. Pendant ce temps allumez le four à 180°C.

Mettre les pains sur une plaque allant au four couverte de papier sulfurisé les entailler comme pour un pain traditionnel et les peindre avec l’œuf battu. Cuire pendant environ 30-35 min. Une fois que les pains sont bien doré et qu’il sonnent creux lorsque on tape dessus : ils sont prêts. Refroidir les pains sur une grille.

Note : La prochaine fois j’en ferai d’avantage comme ça, si j’ai des restes j’en ferai un pouding au pain, peut-être avec des abricots…

Cocoa Eggy Bread with Caramelized Pears

Cocoa Eggy Bread with Caramelized PearsI 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

 

Cocoa Eggy Bread with Caramelized Pears

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 12-15 min

 

Ingredients:

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 eggs

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:

2 pears

3 tbsp icing sugar

1 tsp of water

1 tbsp butter

 

Recipe:

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.

Torta di Pane – Bread Cake / Pudding from Ticino

Torta di Pane 1This cake reminds me of the mountain. I don’t know why but as a kid my parents always had some when we were up in the very rustic mountain hut in the middle of the Alps (a granite building from the 18th century at 1900 meters). Continue reading

For us, more or less it was the only time of the year where it was a tradition to have it. This typical recipe from my canton is the poor man’s recipe and it’s a way to recycle stale bread. I know it’s an easy recipe but I felt that with this cake, expectations were high. Over here, this is the kind of recipe where people always tend to answer something like this:

‘I only eat my grandma’s torta di pane.’

‘My aunt is the best at making the torta di pane.’

‘My Mum makes an amazing torta di pane.’

I really wanted to try so I sat down in front of four different versions of the cake. The first version is one I dearly kept aside until I actually tried this ‘torta’ the other day. This recipe comes from a family friend: Lori. Traditionally people use sultanas with candied fruits, instead in her version she uses dried apricots (which I prefer) and candied fruits. Then, I had a look at two book versions with totally different amounts of milk (one 0.5 l the other 1 l) and one added pine nuts while the other went for almonds. I think I wanted to get a bit more confused because I went for a last reference on the internet and found a last recipe which I actually really liked: http://pandipane.blogspot.ch/2013/10/la-torta-di-pane-della-mia-nonna.html (site in Italian language). My rules for the cake were that it should be moist and the taste of cocoa should be noticeable but not overwhelming and I loved the addition of apricots instead of sultanas. Once the cake was ready I got three people to taste it: my boyfriend and two other friends. The three liked it and the only comment I got was from by boyfriend who said it needed a bit more sugar… He’s got a pretty sweet tooth though. So if this is your case, you can go ahead and add a bit more sugar. The flavour of the ‘Torta di Pane’ reminds me my childhood and maybe this is also why I really enjoyed it. I hope you will like it too.

Torta di Pane 4

 

Torta di Pane – Bread Cake / Pudding from Ticino

For a 26-28 cm round cake mold

Prep time: 20 min (plus soaking time)

Cook time: about 1 hour

 

Ingredients:

200 g stale bread

100 g amaretti

7 dl milk

1 vanilla pod

100 g dried apricots (the sour kind) – alternatively use sultanas and/or candied fruits

Zest of 1 small lemon

100 g pine nuts

6 tbsp cocoa

2 eggs

100 g sugar

50 g melted butter

A dash of grappa (optional)

Icing Sugar (optional)

 

Recipe:

In a bowl or container break the bread into small pieces and add the amaretti.

Put the milk in a pan. Incise the vanilla pod by its length, add to the milk and bring to a boil. Once ready pour over the stale bread and amaretti and leave to soak ideally over night but a few hours can do too. You can leave the vanilla pod in, just remember to remove it once the bread and biscuits have soaked.

Chop the dried apricots and place them in a cup. Add hot water and leave them to soak for a couple of hours.

Heat oven at 190°C.

Once the bread and amaretti have soaked, mash them with a fork until the mass looks like poultice.  Drain the apricots and add them to the bread preparation along with the cocoa, the lemon zest, and ¾ of the pine nuts.

In a separate bowl  mix well the eggs and the sugar and add the butter and eventually the grappa. Pour over the rest and mix the ingredients until the mass looks even; you can either use your hands or a spatula.

Grease the sides of a cake tin and dust with flour. Line the bottom of the cake tin with oven paper. Transfer the preparation to the cake tin and even out the surface. Add the remaining pine nuts and place in the oven for about 1 hour.

Once ready leave to cool before removing from mold. Eventually sprinkle surface with icing sugar.