I'm having a week off work...so what does one do...one embraces new experiences. Bel and I did a bit of shopping at Indro on Tuesday. She was looking for new work shoes to replace my old boots held together with gaffer tape. I decided to buy a brioche for the first time in my life. Yes, sad I know....at the age of 47...she realised she'd never drive through Paris ....so she bought a brioche instead! I bought said Brioche from French Twist on the lower ground floor. The man there was very patient. He told me the ingredients and how one could dish it up. He gave me a taste test. I must investigate any new acquaintances/things I encounter so I first turned to my New Larousse Gastronomique when I got home. I was amazed to discover that the Brioche I had purchased was but one of many different styles. My brioche is a Brioche a tete. Caspar declared it looked like an atomic bomb when I unveiled it.
Brioche is strictly speaking a cake. Larousse also tells me that baker's yeast was used in the making of brioche in Paris until the court of King Stanislas was transferred to Luneville in the mid 18th century. Then they started using brewer's yeast. Who is King Stanislas? Well may you ask. I invite you to browse Wikipedia et al. Suffice it to say that he was the King of Poland twice and deposed twice and his daughter married Louis XV. Luneville was the place to be in the 18th century apparently.
At any rate, as with all good French things, there seems to be a lot of eggs and butter used in brioche. Sigh. Winter's edition of Family Circle has a recipe for a chocolate and raspberry brioche pudding which I've been meaning to test for a while. It's like bread and butter pudding only richer. It was very easy to make - although I got distracted and forgot to cut the brioche up into bite size pieces. I don't think it matters frankly. I had a temper tantrum later that night so we didn't get to eat it then but the next night. No harm done - just re-heat. For my money I would skip the chocolate. And of course if you can afford/find fresh raspberries I would use those. It reminded me of another recipe a very dear friend Cia gave me which is a sure fire success for dinner parties on a cold winter's night and also easypeasy to make. I give you both recipes to try...I don't even begin to pretend either of them are healthy. They are comfort food. Food that says "There, there. All's right with the world. Someone loves you. Now, go to bed. Sweet dreams."
Thanks to November edition of Family Circle here is the recipe for
Chocolate and Raspberry Brioche Pudding
350g brioche thickly sliced
100g butter softened
1 cup frozen raspberries
100g milk chocolate chopped
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup caster sugar
2 Tbsp demerara sugar (and yes I just used ordinary)
Thick cream to serve (just in case you don't have enough cholesterol already)
Preheat oven to 170 fan forced. Grease a 5-cup baking dish. Butter 1 side of each slice of brioche. (Oh dear I think I buttered both sides!!!) Cut into chunks.
Cover the base of the dish with brioche. Top with half berries and chocolate. Repeat.
Place eggs and yolk, cream and sugar in bowl and whisk to combine. Pour over bread and set aside for 30 minutes to allow the bread to soak up the custard.
Sprinkle over the demerara sugar and bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden. Serve with cream.
Cia's wonderful recipe
Hot Apricots in Sour Cream
470g can of apricot halves
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp SR flour
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tbps sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp butter
For topping - combine sugar and cinnamon and then rub in butter.
Drain apricots and place in ovenproof dish. Combine sugar and flour. Add sour cream, egg and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Pour over apricots. Bake in moderate oven for 35 minutes. Sprinkle with topping. Return for 10 minutes. Serve with cream.
And in the spirit of the world wide web and spinning/stirring oceans of knowledge my title references the 1959 Japanese/French co-pro Hiroshima Mon Amour directed by Alain Renais with screenplay by Marguerite Duras (she was nominated for an Oscar for it). The film inspired Ultravox to create their same-titled track in 1977 on the album Ha!-Ha!-Ha!. The track was later covered by Canberra band The Church in 1999. And did you know that Gary Numan will be performing at The Tivoli on 2nd March? Finally in the words of another friend Karen - Cia goes to Paris - You go to Indooroopilly - it's the same isn't it?