- Food & Drink
Brunch is a conundrum of a meal. Essentially a large, late breakfast for lazy gourmands, it still retains a dash of urbane sophistication years after it swaggered across the Atlantic and astonished everyone by making pancakes acceptable on days other than Shrove Tuesday.
There’s a touch of childlike frolicking about brunch. It’s a sticky collection of dishes, covered in syrup and piled high with bacon. All those sensible, weekday porridge-and-wholewheat-toast breakfasts are flung aside. Instead, waffles, steak and vodka are suddenly deemed completely fine as the first thing to grace your toothpaste-rinsed mouth.
If all this talk of batter and butter has you reaching for your frying pan, then let me help you out. I’ve filmed a series of five Brilliant Brunch recipe demos for Grokker. The demos kick off gently with Frying Pan Granola, get a bit Aussie with Rye Soda Bread Scones topped with Avocado and Feta, go Scandi for Potato Rösti with Smoked Salmon, pause in the USA for American Pancakes with Bacon and Maple Syrup and then end with a classic: Eggs Benedict.
Filming the demos was a swift lesson in how tricky it is to talk, point and look knowledgeable all at the same time. A considerable amount of battery power was used up filming me walking into the room – my skills as a performer do not, apparently, include naturalistic strolling.
The day dipped below the horizon before we could film the last recipe: Brioche French Toast with Strawberries and Crème Fraîche. For those who prefer their recipes in a straightforward, written down way, it is authentically hand-typed for you below. Modern whizz kids can take themselves off to Grokker and cook along with me.
(Edit: You need to register with Grokker to watch the videos. You can register via your Facebook or Twitter accounts or just register with your email if you don’t want to share account information with Grokker.)
Brioche French toast with strawberries and crème fraîche
1 tbsp icing sugar
4 medium eggs
2 tbsp whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
50g unsalted butter, cubed
6 brioche buns, halved
300g crème fraîche
Runny honey, to serve
Hull and slice the strawberries. Place them in the bowl with the icing sugar and toss to mix. Set aside.
Beat the eggs, milk and vanilla extract together and pour into a large, shallow plate. Set aside while you clarify the butter.
Melt the butter in a large frying pan over a low heat. Let it simmer so the foam rises to the surface. Remove from the heat and skim off the foam with a teaspoon. Pour the butter into a small dish and set aside.
Wipe the frying pan clean with a kitchen towel and grease with a little clarified butter. Warm over a medium heat. Meanwhile, dip 1 slice of brioche in the egg mixture to soak. Add the brioche to frying pan and fry for 2 minutes or until the brioche is golden brown underneath – don’t whack the heat up too high, the brioche tends to burn quite easily. Keep it at a medium-low heat.
Flip the brioche and fry for a further 1–2 minutes, then slide out of the pan and keep warm. Swirl a little more clarified butter around the frying pan to grease it, then repeat with the remaining slices of brioche, regreasing the pan in-between each slice.
Serve the brioche French toasts on warm plates with the sliced strawberries, spoonfuls of crème fraîche and a drizzle of honey.