Croque & Beer

Michele Cella creates a dessert with bread and burrata cheese. Plus a very Italian caper

Croque & Beer: burrata cheese, capers and sour che

Croque & Beer: burrata cheese, capers and sour cherries, a dish presented at the finals of the second edition of Premio Birra Moretti Grand Cru by Michele Cella, born in 1982, since 2009 the sous chef of Leandro Luppi at La Vecchia Malcesine in Malcesine (Verona)

Croque is a term that comes from the French croquer, "to bite". Based on this wordplay, my dessert wants to valorise ingredients such as bread, beer, burrata cheese and sour cherries, considered in all their essentiality. The sapid and crunchy presence of the caper, instead, marks the Italian touch. I have paired this with Birra Moretti Grand Cru to obtain a certain continuity in the succession of ingredients, and to give a characteristic bitter-sweet flavour in harmony with the whole dessert and with all its elements.

Croque & Beer: burrata, capers and sour cherries

Recipe for 4 people

700 cl of Birra Moretti Grand Cru

160 g of stracciatella di burrata
from Andria
12 Marostica sour cherries in syrup 

20 Pantelleria salted capers
170 g of brown sugar
50 g of clarified butter

200 g of fresh cream 

1 egg
1 egg yolk

20 g of brewer’s yeast 

fresh marjoram to taste 

100 g of white sugar

1 Kaiser sandwich (weighing circa 70 g)

The perfect match: Birra Moretti Grand Cru

The perfect match: Birra Moretti Grand Cru

for the “croque”
Reduce 500 cl of Birra Moretti Grand Cru by a half and leave to cool. Add one whole egg, an egg yolk and 10 g of brewer’s yeast and emulsify. Cut the bread into 8 segments and drench it in the mixture of beer, egg and yeast. In a non-stick pan, fry the drenched bread in the clarified butter making sure it is golden on each side. Remove the bread from the pan and dry it from the butter.
Caramelise 120 g of brown sugar in another pan; add the browned bread, the remaining brewer’s yeast and sauté on a medium flame until it is completely covered in a thin layer of caramel. Place it on a sheet of baking paper, let the caramel set so it becomes crunchy.

for the “sanded” capers 

Desalinate the capers under running water for 30 minutes, place them in a drier until they are completely dehydrated.
Put 200 g of 100/100 sugar syrup in a casserole and cook slowly so the water evaporates but without letting the sugar caramelise. Once the syrup becomes grainy, add the dehydrated capers while continuing to mix. Let the mixture dry completely and spread it on a Silpat mat so the sugar grains.

Michele Cella and Claudio Sadler

Michele Cella and Claudio Sadler

for the beer toffee 

Cook a dark caramel made with 200 g of Birra Moretti Grand Cru and 50 g of brown sugar in a casserole. Add the cream, heated separately, and cook for a few minutes until you obtain the desired thickness. Leave to cool.

for serving
Put two spoons of toffee on the plate and spread it a little with the back of the spoon. Place the stracciatella di burrata on top, a few sanded capers, slightly crumbled up, the sour cherries cut in half and the “croque&beer”.
 Finish with a few leaves of marjoram.


A tutta birra

The recipes and the best moments of the second edition of Premio Birra Moretti Grand Cru