Just returned last night from a culinary marathon and although we’re just talking about a few days, they were jam packed with wonderful and exciting culinary treats. Which really made the bad weather we’ve had pretty much all last week much less important. And realizing it had little to no effect on our mood, it surprised us with a sudden temperature drop down to 3 degrees Celsius (37°F) and sleet on our way back home. Oh what fun…yeah right, anyway can we please skip spring and go straight to summer?
Which gave us a good excuse – like we needed one (did we ever?) – to have this sweet dish, definitely a childhood food memory and certainly one that has what it takes to become a another favorite wintry dish. Derrick over at An Obsession With Food is the host of this months edition of IMBB and came up with the fantastic theme “Give Us This Day Yesterday’s Bread“. So in the spirit of IMBB and I know we’ve missed out on a few real good ones, here is our contribution.
Although this dish is typically made out of stale bread rolls, we had bought brioche and deliberately left there on the counter getting totally dry over the last 72 hours…well, to some extend a perverted approach – but hey for a good cause, right?!
Not quite as much as a soufflé, but it does rise a bit in the oven, be sure to leave a bit of a rim so the melted butter on top won’t run down the sides of the ramekin. Optionally, well for N. mandatory, whipped cream (or even a bit of vanilla ice cream) would also make a great topping – very yummy indeed!
Cut rolls/brioche in several thin slices (about 1cm/half an inch) and soak in the lukewarm milk for about 20-30 minutes. The milk usually is fully absorbed after 20 minutes.
Meanwhile add egg yolks, sugar and (soft) butter to a bowl and beat well until the mix becomes foamy and pale. Preheat oven to 200°C (390°F).
Fold in soaked brioche slices with the egg mixture, add chopped hazelnuts and lemon zest. Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff and fold in as well. Finally add cherries and fill buttered moulds/ramekins.
Add a little extra flake of butter or two on top each ramekin and bake for about 40 minutes until golden/brown’ish.
Note: In case it darkens too quickly, you may want to cover it up with some parchment paper/aluminum foil for the remaining time in the oven.
To serve: We usually have it with cinnamon cherry sauce. Simply add cherry juice and cinnamon sticks (2) to a pot and reduce to about a half volume or even one third.
Recipe source: inspired by "Semmelauflauf" from "Ich helf dir kochen", Hedwig Maria Studer, p.310
Prep time: 30min., baking: about 40min.
Ingredients (serves 2-3):
3-4 (depending on size) brioche
200ml lukewarm milk
3 eggs, divided
25g butter (at room temperature)
a pinch of salt
20g chopped hazelnuts
lemon zest of 1/2 lemon
200g cherries (preserved, pitted)
150ml cherry juice
optionally cinnamon sticks for the cherry sauce
extra butter for ramekins
best served with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream