Ultimate Brunch 2 – Sweet Treat
I’m not going to claim that I will ever be able to recreate the likes of coco pops or frosted shreddies so I’m not going to even attempt cereals (a big shout out to the amazing american cereal Reese’s Pieces, how you can even call that cereal when they are basically peanut butter cups is brilliant). However my idea of brunch includes the sweet course. The Healthy – fruit salad, yoghurt with compote and berries and porridge with raisins. The Ugly – Waffles, pancakes, croissants, muffins, I’ve heard some places even do doughnuts (or cronuts for those that like a trend). The Hair of the Dog – mimosa, bellini. bloody mary and just plain champagne (I admit college doesn’t offer this but maybe they’ll take the hint…. Here is my pick of the best.
Pimped up Fruit Salad If you will insist upon having a fruit salad for brunch, try mixing fruits such as blueberries, bananas, strawberries, oranges, pineapple, melon, raspberries, pomegranate segments and then make a basil syrup by melting equal parts sugar and water in a pan with basil leaves and boiling for 2-3mins till thickened and then cooling and pouring over.
Yoghurt and compote I’m not really going to tell you how to make this but just get good natural yoghurt and top with thick compote, honey and assorted dried fruit, grated chocolate and nuts.
Waffles So these are almost impossible to make without a waffle iron (or at a stretch a toast maker) but of you have either of these it is worth it. Serve with any of the following combinations – chocolate, banana and cream, strawberries and basil syrup, blueberries and maple syrup or crispy bacon for an interesting taste.
1. Mix 250g plain flour, 1tbsp baking powder, 2tbsp caster sugar, 450ml milk, 1tsp salt, 2 eggs and 2tbsp oil in a bowl. At this point you could also add cinnamon, vanilla extract or cocoa for flavour.
2. Wipe oil all over the waffle iron, cook until golden brown (shouldn’t take too long)
Pancakes I am either of the opinion that pancakes should be incredibly thin and smothered in lemon and sugar (heat on the sugar)or studded with chocolate chips or blueberries and drizzled with maple syrup. For brunch’s sake, this is a recipe for thick american pancakes.
1. Take 135g plain flour. 1tbsp baking powder and 1tsp salt, 1tsp cinnamon, 2tbsp caster sugar, make a hole in the centre and crack 1 egg into the middle. Whisk together, gradually adding 2tbsp melted butter and 1tsp vanilla extract. Fold in either fresh blueberries or chocolate chips
2. Melt a knob of butter in a pan. When melted add a dollop of mixture into the pan and cook on each side for 1-2mins until golden on each side.
Muffins Muffins are something I only ever have at christmas or on birthdays so therefore these are raspberry and white chocolate (muffins definitely aren’t healthy)
1. Combine 375g plain flour, 4tsp baking powder, 1tsp salt, 1tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg.
2. Whisk 2 eggs with 200g light brown sugar till fluffy. Add 240ml milk, 120ml oil and 2tsp vanilla extract. Fold dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, then add 120g white chocolate chopped and 200g fresh raspberries. (Fold gently to try and keep raspberries whole)
3. Line muffin moulds with circles of baking parchment. Fill each of the moulds 3/4 full. Bake for 25mins at 180oC until the tops are golden. Serve right away.
There are two ways to make croissants, the easy and the hard way, wither way I’m afraid they won’t be as good as ones from any French boulangerie/patisserie. In both cases I’ve filled mine, but they can both be made plain.
1 tbsp water
1 sheet puff pastry
150g dark chocolate chips
1. Cut the puff pastry sheet in half vertically. Then in half horizontally and in half again. Cut each of these 8 pieces diagonally in half and sprinkle each piece with chocolate chips.
2. Roll up from the bottom of the triangle upwards to create a crescent shape. Paint each with 1 egg beaten with water.
3. Bake at 180oC till golden brown (about 20-25mins)
The Tricky but Traditional
These are in homage for my dad, who will eat custard in anything for breakfast (but only on holiday)
I can’t take credit for the recipe for croissant because I’ve only made this once and haven’t tweaked anything so here is the one I used.
For the filling (creme patisserie, also useful for eclairs and profiteroles)
1. Whisk together 4 egg yolks, 4 tbsp caster sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl, until fluffy. Add 2tbsp flour and 1tbsp cornflour.
2. Heat about 250ml milk in a pan till just warm.
3. Pour milk over the eggs and whisk.
4. Return the whole lot to the pan, stirring until thickened. Leave to cool. The mixture should be quite thick at this point.
5. Fill a piping bag and squirt into the base of the just cooked croissant.
The Hair of the Dog
A brunch favourite. but also very easy (not to be confused with bucks fizz, it is more alcoholic)
1 part orange juice, 3 parts champagne (or in the students case prosecco/cava). If you are feeling fancy you could garnish the glass with a spiral of orange
This can be made in a lot of varieties (raspberries, passion fruit) but the traditional is peach.
Peel two peaches and blitz in a food processor. Add 4 tbsp peach liqueur. Spoon 2tsp of the mixture into a champagne glass and top with champagne. Garnish the glass with a raspberry
I had a really good bloody mary which had PORT in it, now I don’t think that port is necessarily a good idea in the morning (it gives you the worst hangover after you have it in the evening, god knows what happens in the morning) but I think a bloody mary should be a little bit more than vodka, tomato juice and Worcester sauce.
Mix 1 part vodka with 3 parts tomato juice with a squeeze of lemon juice, 1tsp Worcester sauce, 2tsp (celery) salt, 1tsp fresh grated horseradish, 1 tsp black pepper. Garnish with a strip of celery. If you want to go all out, I rather like the idea of making ice cubes using celery juice, but that might require a bit more effort.
I would never turn down champagne