Mushroom Truffle and Cheese Brioche [recipe]

Ever since we switched cable company, we’ve been getting the Cooking Channel and I’ve been pretty obsessed with all the shows on there. They’re all so different from the Food Network and the hosts and the personalities are so much more interesting. My newest celebrity chef crush is Chuck Hughes, host of Chuck’s Day Off and Chuck’s Week Off. He can also be seen on the newest “The Next Iron Chef-Super Chefs”. Chef Hughes just seems very down to earth and extremely passionate about what he does, even my husband was rooting for him on TNIC. I watch an insane amount of cooking shows but very rarely do a recipe makes me salivate so much to the point where I must make it and taste it immediately. An episode of Chuck’s Day Off, titled “the Truffle Guy” did just that. I loooove all thing truffle! I know some people think that truffle is for the rich, snobby, and the pretentious…but some truffle products are surprisingly affordable since a little goes a long way. I have truffle salt, honey, and butter in my pantry and fridge and they were all under $20 each.

Mushroom and Cheese Brioche


I made these into individual muffin-shaped brioche and they were a hit at our thanksgiving feast. There were enough mixture leftover for me to make a small loaf. I did not serve with poached eggs because that seemed more like a brunch item. The loaf was great as leftover – I sliced them thin and place them as a layer of my leftover-turkey panini sandwich, I’ll post a picture of that epicness soon.

So, I found a $10 jar of canned truffle in its juice at whole foods, which turned out, was a WASTE OF MONEY. Words of advice – if you can afford real fresh truffle, don’t ever buy canned ones. Canned truffle has odd texture and has absolutely no taste. After realizing this, I still used the sliced canned truffle, but I melted some truffle butter and drizzle it over the brioche prior to baking. I didn’t find any morel mushroom at the market so I just used more of the button and the oyster kind, but any kind of mushroom will work well here.

These were so good days and days after, of course they need to be served warm. The consistency is like that of a bread pudding, but the mushroom and gruyere really makes this dish a winner, the subtle hint of truffle was just a big bonus. Next time I will experiment with a little less milk and maybe one less egg so the brioche won’t be as eggy and dense. Gruyere is a staple in classic cheese fondue, it’s buttery, nutty, and salty. It may smell “stinky” but after baking the aroma is amazing. On to the mushrooms- If you’ve never tried these oyster mushrooms before, I urge you to do so. They taste meaty and rich, and have more of a bite to them than the button mushroom. Another type of mushroom that has a meaty taste is the king eryngii (aka king trumpet or king oyster). Try them in your next stir-fry, or just slice and brown them with some garlic and oil. Yum! (Thes mushrooms can be slightly pricey in your regular supermarkets, but these are very common and much less expensive in Asian markets if you have one near you.)

Ingredients

  • 1 pound loaf brioche
  • 4 cups milk
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tbsp of thyme (this was forgotten in the recipe, I thought I’d add it here)
  • 1 truffle, sliced, optional
  • 2 cups sliced morel mushrooms
  • 2 cups chopped button mushrooms
  • 2 cups sliced oyster mushrooms
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 4 cups grated Gruyere cheese
  • Salt and freshly grated black pepper

Directions:

  • Cut the brioche into 1-inch cubes.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the milk and eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Add the cubed brioche, truffle peelings, and chopped thyme to the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight.
  • In a skillet over medium-high heat, saute the morels, button, and oyster mushrooms with the shallots for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add 1/2 the Gruyere cheese to the brioche mixture, then add the mushroom- shallot mixture to brioche and cheese mixture.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Pour the bread pudding mixture in an oven-proof baking dish. Add the remaining cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 45 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. I cut out square-shaped parchment paper and place them in a muffin pan. Individual brioche wrapped in paper looked so rustic and also saved me the trouble from slicing them.

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