We arrived in Zürich when the morning skies grew red, when the Alps glowed bright with splendour. The Swiss cuisine is quite a nostalgic one for those born in the 70’s. Don’t we all remember those cozy Saturday childhood evenings when mom prepared fondue, decades before the Friday mouse was invented? That’s why we decided to make fondue, which actually is the Swiss version of tapas (if you think about it). And as a grand finale: fantastic Swiss meringues with whipped cream. Scroll down for pics and recipes, and find out how many mice the Zürich Friday mouse got!
While cooking you can listen to our Switzerland themed music on Spotify
- 2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 garlic gloves
- Olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- A couple of sprigs of fresh thyme or marjoram, leaves picked
- 50ml cider
- 400g Cheddar cheese
- 400g Gruyere cheese
- 2 tablespoons creme fraiche
- Heat a lug of oil in a frying pan on a medium heat. Put a large saucepan with an inch or two of hot water on a low heat. Put a large heatproof bowl over the saucepan so you have a bain-marie.
- Add the chopped shallots and garlic to the frying pan and cook them gently for around 5 to 10 minutes with a pinch of salt and pepper and the herbs. Once they’ve softened, but not coloured, add them to the bowl with the cider and all of the cheese.
- Leave the cheese to slowly melt down, only stirring now and then to help it along. Once it has mostly melted, stir in the crème fraîche then a swig or two of hot water to loosen the mixture a little.
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1 1/3 cups warm milk
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 3 1/2 cups bread flour
- egg white
- 1 tablespoon water
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
- Add the egg yolk, butter and 2 cups of bread flour; stir well to combine.
- Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces and roll each piece into a 14 inch long cylinder.
- Braid the pieces together and place on a lightly greased baking sheet.
- Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to220 degrees C.
- In a small bowl, beat together egg white and water. Brush risen loaf with egg wash and bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25, until golden.
- 4 large organic egg whites, at room temperature
- 115g caster sugar
- 115g icing sugar
- Whipped Cream
- Preheat the oven to fan 100C/ conventional 110C/gas 1⁄4. Line 2 baking sheets with Bake-O-Glide non-stick liner or parchment paper (meringue can stick on greaseproof paper and foil).
- Tip the 4 large egg whites into a large clean mixing bowl (not plastic). Beat them on medium speed with an electric hand whisk until the mixture resembles a fluffy cloud and stands up in stiff peaks when the blades are lifted.
- Now turn the speed up and start to add 115g caster sugar, a dessertspoonful at a time. Continue beating for 3-4 seconds between each addition. It’s important to add the sugar slowly at this stage as it helps prevent the meringue from weeping later. However, don’t over-beat. When ready, the mixture should be thick and glossy.
- Sift one third of the 115g icing sugar over the mixture, then gently fold it in with a big metal spoon or rubber spatula. Continue to sift and fold in the remaining icing sugar a third at a time. Again, don’t over-mix. The mixture should now look smooth and billowy, almost like a snow drift.
- Scoop up a heaped dessertspoonful of the mixture. Using another dessertspoon, ease it on to the baking sheet to make an oval shape (pic 3). Or just drop them in rough rounds, if you prefer.
- Bake for 1 1⁄2-1 3⁄4 hours in a fan oven, 1 1⁄4 hours in a conventional or gas oven, until the meringues sound crisp when tapped underneath and are a pale coffee colour. Leave to cool on the trays or a cooling rack.
- Serve two meringues sandwiched together with a generous dollop of softly whipped double cream.
We enjoyed our Friday mouse with sparkling prosecco, Desiderio Jerio, from neighbor country Italy. It got 7 points out of 10 from us. Not quite bubbly enough but tasted fine in the alpine air. The mouse score for Zürich is:
Next stop Zagreb!