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



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



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.

Caramelized Endive with Blue Cheese and Walnuts

Caramelized Endive with Blue Cheese and WalnutsI can’t remember the last time I had endive. This veggie, with its slightly bitter taste, is something I love to pair with blue cheese; this is what motivated this week’s recipe. I cooked this for my mother and I for our almost traditional Thursday lunch get-together. Continue reading

Historically, hazards and accidents have often been at the origin of discoveries; in cooking this happened so often. The endive is the result of such hazard. The discovery of the endive is attributed to a Belgian farmer who, around 1830, forgot to look after the chicory he had been growing. The roots had grown into endives and when the farmer tasted them, he liked their distinctive flavour (info: ).

Caramelized Endive with Blue Cheese and Walnuts

For 2 people:

Time: 25-30 min


2 endive

10g butter

1 generous tsp sugar

2 tsp breadcrumbs

3 dry roasted chopped walnut kernels

40g blue cheese (I used Roquefort)

2-3 chopped sage leaves

2 small tsp sour cream

Salt and pepper


Heat the oven at 200C and lightly oil a baking dish.

Cut the cleaned and dried endives in half. On a reasonably hot pan add the butter and sugar. Once the butter starts to bubble add the endives face down and leave them until browned and caramelized, about 3 min. Remove and place in the oiled baking dish.

In a bowl mix the bread crumbs, the chopped sage and walnuts, pepper and a little salt.
Crumble the blue cheese in the mix and rub the preparation together until evenly mixed. Add the sour cream and mix again.

Spoon a quarter of the blue cheese preparation on each endive half and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Serve hot.