March - Occupation: Financial analyst, 50 hours/week
September - Occupation: Full time pastry student, 35 hours/week
Yes, I've made the switch. Well, at least for the next 7 - 11 months. My offer letter from École supérieure de cuisine française Ferrandi came at the end of last April. And on the first week of last May, after many negotiations with my parents, I made the crucial decision. Fast forward 5 months and I have just completed the first 5 weeks of my pastry course :)
Pursuing this course came with a good many benefits. For one, I get to move to Paris! The most romantic city on earth. And second, I was introduced to the world of cheese. In the past, the only cheeses I would buy were parmesan, cheddar, mozzarella and maybe an occasional brie. But my oh my...In the supermarket here, there is an entire aisle (similar to the open ones they sell cuts of meats on) dedicated to cheese!
I discovered that the Camembert is heavenly when baked with honey and the Comte is amazing eaten with red wine, baguette de tradition and slices of salami or prosciutto. Even better if you eat them in the park below the Eiffel Tower. The cheeses have been my antidotes to the sweet things I taste everyday. Not that I am changing my mind, but eating pastry cream and variations of it for 4 days in a row can take its toll.
So today with my big batch of brioche, I decided to bake something savoury. I've been eyeing this recipe for a while but since leeks aren't my most favorite ingredient, I use mushrooms instead.
The bread pudding came out tasting a lot like a light quiche and it's nice as a snack, light lunch with salad or a side. There's also some liquid in the pan after baking. I'm not sure whether it's supposed to be there, but i'm good with it as it helps keep the bread pudding moist. My guess is that it probably came from the mushrooms as they always excrete water whenever they cook and shrink. If you have any ideas, let me know. Well here goes.
6 cups 1-inch cubes brioche
1 tbsp butter
oregano, thyme, parsley
4.5 cups milk
salt & pepper
1 cup Comte cheese - grated
- Preheat the oven to 180C and toast the brioche cubes.
- Melt butter and saute shallots with oregano and thyme until tender (2-3 minutes).
- Toss the brioche, shallots and parsley in a bowl.
- In another bowl, whisk the eggs and milk until light and frothy. Season generously.
- Layer a 9x13 inch loaf pan with 1/3 of the cheese, 1/2 of the mushrooms and 1/2 of the bread mixture.
- Repeat the layer and top with the remaining cheese.
- Pour in enough milk mixture that will leave some bread cubes protruding. Season with salt.
- Let rest for 15 minutes.
- Bake in the oven for 55 to 65 minutes