My favourite Brunch Menu. Once I am all grown, I will start doing brunches again. Having a baby, I don’t even remember how does it feel to get up later and have a “proper” start of a day. However, it is fruitful to enjoy it as much as I can, because I know it will finish some day. Then, we will do brunches again. All together.
Sexy Brunch can mean anything you have mood for: beautiful unhealthy pastries, smell of glazed meat, champagne with a juice or seasonal fruit treats. There is plenty to serve and to think about. Let me present you my lovely ones. Get inspired and have a perfect start of a day.
Fresh Egg Benedict
An easy classic, Medditerean Style – Fresh Egg Benedict. The richness of the Sauce Hollandaise, in combination of honey glazed ham and seasonal salad, it just speaks for itself. The only discrepancy is to make a poached egg. Practise and practise, no other advice. A perfect poached egg or not, it doesn’t change any about the delicious taste of this dish.
Total Time: 30 minutes
1 medium ciabatta, halved into two servings
4 slices of good matured cheese, e.g. Gouda, Parmesan, Pecorino, Cheddar or Old Amsterdam
4 slices of good quality bacon or ham
2 teaspoons of honey
2 handfuls of Rucola Salad, washed and torn in pieces
The Sauce Hollandaise as per in the recipe White Asparagus 2 ways:
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon of Dijon Mustard
Splash of lemon juice
50g of butter, melted
Sea salt and ground black pepper
First, prepare The Sauce Hollandaise.
In a steam bath place an egg yolk and whisk for 1 minute. Stir in 1 teaspoon of Dijon Mustard and splash of juice from lemon.
Start pouring the melted butter. Slowly, few at a time. Constantly whisk until the butter is processed. Take off the heat and season with a pinch of sea salt and pepper. Done.
Put ½ teaspoon of honey on each slice of ham. Heat up a medium frying pan on high and place the ham in, honey side down. Roast until golden for about 1-2 minutes and turn. Take it out and set aside. Done.
Lower the heat and place ciabatta in. Layer with a cheese and roast it until it gets golden and cheese is melted. Done.
Prepare a deep pan with hot boiling water. Add a splash of vinegar. Place the eggs in a small bowl and add them, one at the time. Make a twirl with a metal spoon and gently pour one in. Let it work for 2-3 minutes and take it out. Continue with all eggs.
Start layering your sandwich. Ciabatta with cheese, slice of ham, 1 handful of Rucola Salad, 2 poached eggs (per serving) and good amount of The Sauce Hollandaise. So yummy.
Serve with fresh tomatoes.
Makes 2 servings.
Creamy Zucchini Quiche
A beautiful savory pie, ideal for any party or easy week dinner – Creamy Zucchini Quiche. Inspired by Jamie Oliver Team.
It is very fresh, easy to make and so full of flavours. Enjoy!
Total Time: 1,5 hour
220g of plain flour, sifted
Pinch of salt
120g of cold butter, in cubes
4 tablespoons of cold water
2 medium zucchini, sliced
Olive oil, sea salt and ground black pepper
2 cloves of garlic, crushed, peeled and finely chopped
3 whole eggs
125g of double cream
2 tablespoons of sour cream or crème fraîche
100g of Cheddar Cheese
2 handfuls of fresh chives
In a medium mixing bowl place flour, mixed with a pinch of salt.
Crumble with hands until you get smooth and dry texture. Add few spoons of water and knead until homogenous piece of dough. Place in a cold place for about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
When the dough is chilled enough, roll it out for a bit and place it into lightly greased fluted flan tin (I used 28cm as per in the shop). Smoothen the sides with fingers and put some weight inside while baking (I covered the pastry with baking paper and placed some extra tin on it). Bake for about 15 minutes. Take it out and let it cool down a bit.
Put 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a frying pan on high heat. Add zucchini slices and season with salt and pepper. Braise them nicely from both sides for about 2 minutes from each until they are nicely golden. Take them out on a kitchen towel to absorb the extra fat and continue until they are all processed. Add olive oil if needed and do not forget to season.
When they are all done, add garlic into the pan just to smell it out.
Next, place all ingredients for The Filling into a small mixing bowl: eggs, cream, crème fraîche and Cheddar Cheese.
Slices of zucchini nicely above the quiche pastry and sprinkle with garlic and handful of fresh chives. Pour The Filling over the top and smoothen with a spatula if needed.
Bake for about 30 minutes until it gets nicely firm and golden on the top (cover with aluminium foil if it is getting too burned). Let it cool down a bit and serve with fresh tomatoes and splash of good quality mayonnaise.
It is delicious warm, as well as cold. Sprinkle with extra fresh chives. Yummy!
Makes 5 serves.
Raspberry-vanilla Choux Puffs
Choux Pastry the third and the fourth time! So far, I learned how to make a proper choux pastry. However, it is not all that matters, of course. Several different techniques, lots of different cream fillings, plus really lot of shapes to master. Today, I present you Raspberry-vanilla Choux Puffs.
To be honest, I made 2 bunches as I was little rushed. Therefore, I took the first bunch out of the oven too early and didn’t cut the puffs in halves. Unfortunately, they went to flats. I know that sometimes timing isn’t on your side, especially when parenting. However, the choux pastries are crucial for good timing, focus on detail and concentration.
Today, I was in mood for vanilla cream pudding and raspberry whipped cream. My tip is to serve them immediately or freeze them until serving. Otherwise, they might get little soggy in the fridge. Raspberries are also a fresh fruit, after all. Therefore, eat it fresh and fluffy. Bon appetite!
Total Time: 1,5 hour
The Choux Pastry as per in my recipe Famous Coffee Éclairs:
50g of butter
Pinch of sea salt
80g of plain flour, sifted
2 large eggs, lightly whisked
150ml of milk
½ package of vanilla powder pudding mix
3-4 tablespoons of caster superfine sugar
50g of butter, soft in cubes
Raspberry Whipped Cream:
150ml of double cream, whipped into peaks
2 handfuls of fresh raspberries, washed
2 tablespoons of icing sugar, sifted
Icing sugar to sprinkle with, sifted
The Vanilla Cream
In a small deep cooking pan, cook pudding. Pour in milk and stir in vanilla powder pudding mix. Flavour with sugar and whisk constantly on medium heat until it starts boiling and thickens. Take off the heat and place in a bowl, full of cold water to cool down.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
The Choux Pastry
Place 125ml of water in a medium non sticking deep pan. Increase the heat, add butter and pinch of salt.
Once the mix starts bubbling, all flour in and take off the heat. By using a wooden spoon, quickly mix. In the final, the pastry should resemblance to a homogenous piece of dough that doesn’t stick to the sides of the pan (takes about 1 minute).
Let it cool down for about 4 minutes and take a mixer. Start kneading on a low speed by adding eggs, little bit at a time. Increase the speed and slowly continue adding the eggs. The choux pastry should have a nice shiny texture. Thick enough and easy to work with.
Fill up the frosting bag with the choux and start creating small spiral directly onto a baking tray lined with baking paper.
Bake for about 25 minutes, depending on their size. Do not open the oven, wait until they raise and get lightly golden. Turn of the heat and let them cool down in the oven.
After 20 minutes or so, take them out and cut them in the middle.
The Raspberry Whipped Cream
Whip the double cream in a hand blender. Flavour with sugar and add raspberries. Blend until peaks into a smooth texture. Taste.
Vanilla pudding should be cooled down by now. Take a mixer and whisk for a bit. Then, stir in the butter. Mix until very smooth and shiny texture. Done.
Fill up two frosting bags, one with The Vanilla Cream, the other with The Raspberry Whipped Cream.
Start filling up the inside of the bottoms of each choux puff. Spiral a good layer of The Vanilla Cream, top up with The Raspberry Whipped Cream. Close them gently with the top of choux puffs. Sprinkle with icing sugar and enjoy. Yummy!
Makes 7 serves.