Sunday, 27 January 2008

A lucky experiment

Yesterday we popped into our favourite cheese shop, Neal's Yard Dairy, to buy some cheese for brunch today. The guy behind the counter asked what it was for, so I told him I wanted to make an experimental cheese bread pudding. A look of disgust flashed across his face so I quickly explained - my idea was for a cross between a cheese souffle and a savoury bread pudding. A springy macaroni and cheese, but with bread instead of macaroni. His face brightened a little, and he helped us find a fantastic cheese (Montgomery's Cheddar), but I don't think he was convinced.

Well I wish he had been there this morning to try some. The dish was light and fluffy but had substance enough to take the place of the scrambled eggs in our brunch spread. The rich, creamy flavour and slight bite of the cheddar didn't overwhelm the eggs in the custard. The chives gave it a little bit of freshness - but not too much. No need to get complicated here.

We had this with some grilled bacon, roasted tomatoes and new potatoes baked with spring onions, garlic, olive oil and salt. Oh, and some blood orange mimosas...

Montgomery's Bread Pudding
serves 4

2 eggs and 2 egg yolks, beaten
400 mL whole milk
2 tbsp chives, finely chopped
4 cups bread cubes, crust removed (preferable white sourdough, but anything quite plain will do)
2 eggs whites
1 1/2 cups grated Montgomery's Cheddar (or other creamy, melting cheese, although nothing blue)

Preheat the oven to 200 C (400 F). Boil a kettle full of water. Butter a small baking dish with a 1 litre capacity and find another dish in which it will sit to make a water bath. The water should be able to come at least half way up the side of the baking dish.

In a large bowl, beat the milk into the eggs and yolks. Season with pepper and add the chives and bread crumbs, stirring to ensure all are coated and soaked through. Stir in 1 cup of the grated cheese.

In another large bowl beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Fold gently into the egg and bread mixture until just combined. Season lightly with salt and then empty the mixture into the buttered baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup grated cheese on the top.

Place the smaller dish inside the larger one and fill the larger dish with the boiled water to make the water bath. Place in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes or until it is spring and firmy to the touch and a peek into the middle shows a moist but not liquid centre.

Serve immediately.


frances said...

want some now!

Anonymous said...

Liest sich so perfekt, dass ich es beim Lesen fast schon schmecken kann!!! Habe mir das Rezept abge- schrieben und werde es am naechst moeglichen Sonntag ausprobieren. Auch die Fotos dazu sind einfach Spitze. Uschi

Mikey and Gen said...

so yummo!

aj kinik said...

god, i miss Neal's Yard Dairy

thanks for this