Pairing a rich bready beer with a rich bready dish seems a bit obvious; clever is not always necessary. Yet, with an abundance of bread in play, it is everything else in the beer and the pudding that ends standing out; maybe this is clever after all.
|Aroma: low bread, med-low mushroom, low wakame seaweed, very low whoe pepper and mustard and just a hint of fennel|
|Flavor: low bread, medium rich perfumy vegetal is a harmonious blend of wakame fennel celery and onion, low mushroom, low mustard, low caraway and very low white pepper, low cream and egg. low bread crust and caraway linger with very low salt, mushroom and wakame supporting with a hint of egg|
|Texture: chewy with tender veggies and mushroom and soft bread, a few crunchy bits from the top|
|Pairing: The beer achieves a new malty depth with prominent bread crust and rich melnodians and the phenols shine with a medium clove aroma and medoium low clove and cardamom flavor, the esters fade to a low pear and caramelized banana, and a medium bitterness that’s 1/3 hop and 2/3 phenol balances the malt. The bread pudding seems almost sweet as the fat of the cream and egg is highlighted after the palate srubing carbonation, the aftertaste of the pudding becomes all about the celery and fenel with a low mushroom background. There is enough overlap between these two that there is some harmony, but it really ends at the bread flavors. The carbonation and phenols contrast the perfumy vegetables and fatty cream and egg. The beer and pundding shine brighter in eachother’s presence.|
Savory Bread Pudding
This recipe is adapted from Mushroom and Fennel Bread Pudding by Aida Mollenkamp on CHOW. Here the spicing is modified to complement Aventinus and to make individual puddings. Wakame is the seaweed often served in miso soup; find it near the soy sauce in a mainstream grocery store, or at your local Asian grocery.
160 g (3 cups) whole wheat ciabatta, cut into ½ inch cubes
50 g (1/3 cup) celery, ¼ inch dice
100 g (1 scant cup) fennel, ¼ inch dice
120 g (~2 cups) crimini mushrooms, quartered vertically
50 g (1/4 cup) onion, ¼ inch dice
1 T butter
½ t salt, divided
¼ t caraway seed, ground
¼ white pepper, ground
¼ yellow mustard seed, ground
50 g (1/4 cup) water
1 T wakame
110 g (1/2 cup) cream
60 g (1 large) egg
40 g (heaping ½ cup) Italian Pecorino Toscano, grated including rind
1. Butter the inside of 4 ramekins. Heat oven to 375 and bring a kettle of water to boil
2. Combine wake and 1/4 cup water, set aside for at least 5 minutes.
3. Melt butter over medium heat, add onion and ¼ t salt, cook till tender (3 minutes).
4. Add fennel, celery, mushrooms and ¼ t salt and cook till tender and mushrooms have lost about 1/3 of their volume (4 minutes), spices added during the last 30 seconds of cooking. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Allow to cool 10 minutes.
5. Combine wakame and water with the cream and eggs. Then stir in bread and cheese, and allow the bread to soak up the liquid for 10 minutes.
6. Stir veggie mixture into bread. Fill buttered ramekins. Place in 9×9 pan, then fill with boiling water at least ½ way up sides of ramekins.
7. Bake 40 minutes.
8. Remove from water bath, cool 5 minutes, and serve in ramekins or turn out onto plates.