We now return to our more-or-less-regular programming here on St. Louis Eats. Between traveling quite a lot in late autumn and a burst of theater, there hasn't been much food around this part of the web. So things will be settling down - I hope.
This little item is a rarity: A recipe I haven't tried. But the idea is brilliant, and it's based on one of my favorite desserts, affogato, which is simply some hot espresso poured over vanilla (or other) ice cream. A little lily-gilding is sometimes a good thing, and this is a smart idea. I found it in a brochure from Companion, the St. Louis bakers. As such, it calls for their bread, of course.
4 - 1" slices of Companion Pain Beaucaire, a day old
3 Tbs. butter
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of salt
salted caramel, vanilla or chocolate ice cream
freshly brewed espresso
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove crusts from bread, discard or save for other purposes. Take remaining bread and tear into small pieces. Place pieces in large bowl.
In a small saucepan heat butter over medium heat and cook until butter solids at the bottom of the pan become brown. As the butter is heating, add sugar, cinnamon and salt to the bread bits. Pour the browned butter, including those solids, over the bread and toss to combine.
Line a baking sheet with parchment and lay out the croutons on it. Bake for 30-45 minutes , stirring occasionally. Let cool and store in sealed container. (Will keep for a week at room temp, 3 months in freezer.)
For each serving, put ice cream in a bowl, sprinkle croutons over it, and then pour hot espresso over the ice cream and croutons. Serve immediately.