An unfortunate altercation with a hot cross bun on Monday got me thinking about the concept of irony. Just at what age do kids start getting what it means? It’s all very well to point at a picture and say e-l-e-p-h-a-n-t. Chances are they’re going to connect the dots. But irony?
There I was, 8 o’clock on Monday morning – sitting down with a nice cuppa, contemplating my post for this week. I had eggs in the fridge. I always do. One can feed an army at a moment’s notice with a couple of eggs. I also had some cream. A shocker, I know, but I’m a bit French in this regard. I consider cream and butter essential food groups. As I nibbled my way through a Woolies hot cross bun, I thought hot cross bun bread and butter pudding would be a fine thing. Eggs, milk, cream, sugar, buns – what could go wrong?
Apparently quite a bit, as I discovered when an alarming crunch was followed by considerable pain in my second-to-last molar, bottom right hand jaw. A stone? Seriously? In a Woolies hot cross bun? I rushed to the bathroom, opened my mouth wide like a python trying to swallow a giraffe (a sexy look I really must try more often) and got the confirmation I didn’t need – I’d have to phone the dentist. Now when it comes to dentists, I’m basically a four-year old, so I’m going to skip over the next bit as it’s not particularly edifying. Beaucoup bucks later, with a numb tongue and brand spanking new filling, I headed back to the office. But first I needed to get some yoghurt, because eating anything else for the next few hours was out of the question. So I stopped at Woolies. The irony was not lost on me.
Naturally I’m now a bit gun shy when it comes to hot cross buns. So here you have it, a bread and butter pudding of sorts, but a savoury one with truckloads of cheese and roasted tomatoes. Let’s be fancy and call it Baked Parmesan French Toast. It’s great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. But then eggs always are.
All you need is…
1 loaf ciabatta bread
4 extra large eggs
1 cup milk
4 tbs cream (optional)
1 cup grated good quality parmesan cheese
freshly ground black pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
one punnet cherry tomatoes (on the vine is prettier)
1 tbs olive oil
Slice the bread and arrange in an ovenproof dish. Scatter two thirds of the cheese in between the slices. Whisk together eggs, milk, cream, a decent pinch of salt (about a quarter teaspoon) and a pinch or two of black pepper. Pour over the bread. Top with the rest of the cheese and sprinkle over a pinch or two of cayenne pepper. Bake in a 200 degree Celsius oven until golden and cooked through (i.e. no more runny liquid – it takes about 15 minutes). Turn the grill on for the last minute or two. Crispy golden deliciousness on the outside and light soufflé-like cheesiness on the inside. What could be better?
Toss the tomatoes in olive oil and roast them in a shallow roasting tray at the same time. Serve as soon as it comes out the oven. If you’re making this for breakfast, you can serve some bacon as well. For a light lunch or dinner, I like adding some rockets leaves tossed with a fresh lemon vinaigrette.