Recipes: The ultimate brunch
- Credit: Archant
Charlotte Smith-Jarvis whips up some tasty ideas for brunch
So many good ideas spring forth from the UK and, like afternoon tea, we can claim brunch as one of them. Its origins are hazy, but the word ‘brunch’ seems to have been coined in 1895 by writer Guy Beringer, as an idea for a lighter meal on Sundays, post church, instead of the usual heavy lunch. Other sources suggest it was created as an option for “Saturday night carousers”, a way of dealing with a hangover, perhaps. We don’t need to worry about where it comes from – we can simply enjoy getting together with friends for brunch. Just think about it – you get a weekend lie-in, and you can get away with indulging in naughty things like cake and even cocktails!
Chocolate and hazelnut ‘pop tarts’
(makes about 15)
Chocoholics will love these nostalgic treats which freeze (without the icing) really well.
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Melt together the chocolate and butter. Add the ground hazelnuts and a pinch of salt and stir to a paste. Set aside to cool. Roll out the pastry to around 2mm thick and cut into 6cm by 9cm shapes – pair them up. For each tart place 1.5tsp of filling in the centre of one piece of pastry. Spread it along, leaving a 1cm gap at the edges. Brush another piece of pastry with beaten egg and press it on top, with the egg face down to seal. Press down with a fork all around the edges, cutting off any untidy bits. Now batch freeze and store or bake at 190C for 10-12 minutes until golden. When cool ice with fudge topping if you like. From frozen they will take about 15 minutes to bake (without icing).
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Sausage sliders with candied bacon and Bloody Mary ketchup
(makes about 12)
This is the ultimate brunch. Using local pork mince, bacon, apples and mushrooms it is an homage to Suffolk produce and tastes gorgeous.
Prepare the sausage mix the day before by simply mixing all the ingredients together and chilling in a container.
On the day, fry or grill bacon until crispy.
Place in a pan with the apple juice and sugar. Boil and stir until sticky and shiny. Set aside.
If you’re having apples and mushrooms, place the butter in a frying pan and add the mushrooms, cooking at a high heat until softened and oozing with juices. Add the apples and saute for a couple of minutes. Set aside. Divide your sausagemeat into 12 pieces and shape into burgers.
Fry or grill for a few minutes until cooked through.To make the sliders, cut the brioche buns open, smear with ketchup, top with the apples and mushrooms, then the sausage burger, a couple of pieces of bacon and top with the other half of bun.
Orange, apricot and amaretti muffins
Everyone adores these – perhaps because they have a tiny hint of booze. When making muffins try mixing the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet in another the night before. Then you can mix the two together in the morning and pop them in the oven without fuss. Don’t pre-mix everything as they won’t rise as well.
Pre-heat the oven to 190C.
Mix together the first five ingredients. Mix together the eggs, orange zest, boozy apricots, oil and milk. Pour the wet mix into the dry and stir only until combined. Spoon the mix into muffin cases in a muffin tray and bake for 20 minutes until risen and spongy.
For the icing add the juice of the orange drop by drop to the icing sugar to make a thick paste that only just drops off the spoon. When the muffins are cool smear some of top of each and top with more crushed amaretti.
Bear claws with rhubarb and ginger compote
(makes approx. 24 mini claws)
These originate in Canada and are really quite cute. Pump Street Bakery in Orford make them and they are divine.
Make the compote by placing all the ingredients in a small saucepan. Add a good splash of water, bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer until soft and thickened. Taste for sweetness and add more sugar if needed. Set aside or freeze when cool.
For the claws, cut the pastry in half and roll each half out to 45cm x 22cm. Cut out rectangles 11cm x 6cm. Mix together the first egg, yolk, almonds, sugar, butter and almond extract into a paste. Place 1.5tsp of the mix on the bottom half of each piece of pastry, leaving a gap of 1.5cm from the bottom and 1cm around the edges. Dab the edges with the beaten egg. Fold the top half of pastry over and press to seal.
Cut four slits on the sealed edge at the bottom, taking care not to pierce the frangipane.
Now batch freeze and store or brush with beaten egg and bake at 200C for 10 minutes until risen and golden. From frozen bake for 15 minutes.
Blueberry lemon waffles with lavendar syrup
I’ve had awful experiences with lavender – biscuits that taste like drawer liners, panna cottas akin to soap, and laundry detergent scented cakes. It’s a heady aroma, and one that should be used carefully in cooking.
Blueberry and lavender, when paired properly, are a match made in heaven and the syrup that goes with these hot waffles is delicately perfumed. My edible lavender came from Suffolk-based www.infusions4chefs.com and I made the waffles in my trusty Cuisinart waffle maker, which churns them out in minutes. Let the batter rest for 5-10 minutes before cooking for best results.
Prepare the waffle batter by mixing all the ingredients apart from the baking powder and blueberries. Beat until smooth and lump-free then sieve in the baking powder and stir, followed by the blueberries. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes while you make the syrup and heat-up the waffle machine/iron. In a small pan add all the syrup ingredients and a splash of water. Bring to the boil then turn down and simmer for five minutes.
Pour the waffles into your machine according to instructions or into a hob top waffle iron. Cook until golden. Strain syrup through a sieve to remove the lavender and blueberry pulp and warm through quickly. Serve with your hot waffles.