A little bit of history
In the middle of the nineteenth century, Lyon's silk-workers (known as 'canuts') loved lamb's brains so much they would wake up in the middle of the night to indulge. Unfortunately for them, due to hard times, they gradually replaced this cerebral offal with beaten fromage blanc (the original name for Cervelle de Canut – 'claqueret' – is derived from the French verb "claquer", meaning "to beat" in this context), to which butter, garlic and onions was added.
Still today, Cervelle de Canut is one of the highlights of the traditional 'mâchon' (a morning repast enjoyed by locals), as a refreshing end to the meal (albeit with a strong garlic flavour!)
Today, C'est Lyon qui régale and the Food Factory propose a new version that's ideal as an aperitif snack.
For this recipe, for 4 people, you will need to first prepare the Cervelle de Canuts.
Peel a large shallot and finely slice it. Peel, remove the sprout and finely chop a clove of garlic. Wash a few sprigs of parsley and chive, then chop them.
In a salad bowl, pour a centilitre of walnut oil, two centilitres of olive oil, 250 g of curd cheese, 15 g of crème fraiche, a good soup spoon of vinegar, and add the garlic, parsley, shallot and chive. Mix with a whisk. Season to taste. Easy, no?
Put this delicious mixture in the fridge. Now it's time to make the 'couronne' (crown).
Divide 160 g of bread dough into eight equally sized balls. Take a round tin (about 21 cm in diameter) and a pastry cutter (about 8 cm in diameter), which you will place in the centre of the tin.
Place the dough balls in the tin without squeezing them too closely together. Leave this to rest (and rise) at room temperature for half an hour.
In the meantime, preheat your oven to 230°C. Glaze the dough with egg yolk, using a brush, and place in the oven for 30 minutes. Is it golden brown? Perfect.
Remove the crown from the tin, take out the pastry cutter and replace it with a bowl, into which you pour the Cervelle de Canut.
You can then tear off pieces of bread and dip them in the bowl.
Well done, you are now the king of aperitifs! Give your guests the royal treatment.
Stéphanie Iguna : www.stephatable.com
More about la Food factory : www.facebook.com/foodfactorylyon