I might have mentioned this before but my family doesn’t eat Christmas dinner (we have it on Christmas Eve instead) but we do enjoy a Christmas day brunch before the present opening begins. And this is the perfect recipe to kick off the big day. […]
In our house we always try to make weekend breakfasts a little bit special. I think that it stems from years and years of working in retail and never really being able to spend the weekend together.
I often try to make something a little bit more exciting than just a rushed bowl of shredded wheat. Something which can be shared and savoured – even if it does take a little more effort to prepare.
This Dutch baby (yes, it is a weird name) is the perfect dish to indulge in together. It’s essentially a sweet Yorkshire pudding made from a rich, fluffy batter and sweet ripe stone fruit. Ideal for this time of year.
6 ripe, sweet apricots
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 tbsp oil
honey, greek yoghurt and chopped pistachios to serve
Pre-heat your oven to 220°c. Halve the apricots and remove the stones. Pour the oil into an oven-proof frying pan or tart tartin tin and arrange the fruit to cover the bottom it. Put it in the oven so the fruit starts to cook and the oil gets really, really hot.
Put the flour into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. In a separate bowl or jug whisk together the eggs, milk and almond extract. Pour this into the flour and gradually whisk it all together to leave you with a thick smooth batter.
Once the fruit and oil are smoking-hot carefully remove the tin from the oven and pour in the batter. Bake the Dutch baby for 20 minutes, until it is golden and puffed up like a Yorkshire pudding.
Drizzle with honey and scatter over the chopped pistachios before serving with a dollop of thick creamy Greek yoghurt.
I’m almost certain that homemade bread is good for the soul. The process of making the dough, the smell as it bakes and that first taste when it’s fresh from oven – it really does make me feel good. I love making a batch of something like this to indulge in over long weekend breakfasts.
I know that cardamom buns are a speciality in Sweden, particularly for fika (that’s a coffee break to you and I) but the only place I’ve ever actually tried one was in London so I’m not even going to pretend that these are in any way authentic. In fact they’re so in-authentic that I’ve adapted my recipe for coconut buns, which uses a tang zhong (roux) in the dough, but they are incredibly delicious! It’s the roux that makes these buns so deliciously soft and moist. Make it by simply combining 25g of bread flour with 100ml of water in a pan and cooking it until it becomes nice and thick. Leave it to cool before incorporating it into the dough mixture.
400g strong white bread flour
big pinch of salt
2 tsp instant yeast (1 sachet)
70ml warm milk
70ml warm water
40g butter (melted)
100g softened butter
25-30 green cardamom pods
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
pearl sugar to finish (optional)
Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and whisk in the salt, sugar and yeast. In a separate jug whisk together the melted butter, milk, water, egg and the cooled roux. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the liquid mixture. Combine to form a soft dough and knead until it is smooth and springy. You can do this either by hand or with an electric mixer but to be honest the dough is so nice to work with that it’s very therapeutic to do it by hand.
Wash and dry the bowl to make it lovely and warm and then lightly oil it (use something flavourless.) Wipe a large piece of cling-film around the bowl to oil that too. Pop the dough into the bowl and loosely cover it with the cling-film and then leave it somewhere draught-free to rise until it has doubled in size, this should take about an hour.
Whilst the dough is doing its thing you can make the filling. Use a pestle and mortar to crack open the cardamom pods, remove the black seeds and discard the husks. Crush the seeds and coarsely grind them. Cream together the butter, sugar and spice to make a nice soft paste. Take the dough out of the bowl and pop it on a lightly floured surface. Give it a quick knead to knock some of the air out of it. Divide it into two even pieces. Roll each one out into a rectangle, about 14″x 10″. With the long edge facing you spread the filling over the lower half of each piece of dough before folding the top down to cover it. Press the edges to seal it and give it another quick roll. Cut each rectangle into six even pieces, slicing from top to bottom, then take each piece and cut it in half vertically stopping just short of the top so that the two strips remain joined. Twist the strips around each other and then into a knot, tucking the ends underneath. Place them on a lightly greased baking tray, spacing them well apart. I used two trays and put six on each. Lightly cover the buns and leave them to rise again for another hour.
Pre-heat your oven to 180°c. Once the buns have puffed up and risen, uncover them and brush them with a little milk before sprinkling on some pearled sugar (or Demerara) and bake them for 20-25 minutes, until they have a soft crust and are golden brown.
You just can’t go wrong with a Chelsea bun. Soft enriched dough crammed full of rich, sweet fillings and covered in finger-licking sticky glaze. Always a winner! I love these warm for wintry breakfasts or with a cup of piping hot tea on a chilly […]
When I was younger I would generally end up dodging breakfast, much to my mothers frustration I should imagine. I always felt that the extra 15 minutes in bed was far more preferable! I’m quite different now and get positively excited about the first meal […]
I’ve taken the delicious salad that Rach from our little community shared on here last summer as the flavour inspiration for these. I bloomin’ love beetroot and dill, alone or together, they put me in veggie heaven.
These little vegetable patties are so delicious, crisp and crunchy on the outside but lovely and soft in the middle. The earthy beetroot goes wonderfully with the salty tang of the halloumi cheese and the delicate aniseed flavour of the dill.
The rosti are very versatile too, Mr Colonial Cravings likes them crowned with a soft poached egg, which would be a breakfast to really set you up for the day. I like mine with a dollop of creamy yoghurt and mint dressing and some avocado accompanied by a big handful of fresh green leaves.
makes about 10
350g raw beetroot
3 heaped tbsp chopped dill
salt and pepper to taste
butter and oil for frying
Start by grating the spuds, don’t bother to peel them, just give them a good scrub. Pile the shredded potato into a clean tea towel and try to wring out as much moisture as possible. Pop the potato in a bowl and microwave it for three minutes. This is the best way that I’ve found of starting to get the starches to break down and become sticky without adding any extra moisture.
Grate the halloumi and the beets and mix them with the potato. I find it easiest to let it cool a bit and get stuck in with my hands. Add the dill and the salt and pepper to taste (remember the cheese is quite salty) and mix them through too.
Squeeze together handfuls of the mixture to make patties about the size of a burger and fry them in batches in a heavy frying pan in a mixture of butter and vegetable oil (one stops the other from burning).
Use a spatula to press, coax and cajole the rosti into holding its shape and sticking together. Cook the rosti for 3-5 minutes over a medium heat until they are a deep golden colour before carefully turning them over to cook the other side. Serve hot with your favourite topping.