This weekend, why not treat yourself to a lovely lazy brunch after a busy week at work? We’ve got two recipes for you, both from the fantastic new book by Hannah Miles, Pancakes, Crêpes, Waffles & French Toast, so you can choose between a vibrant and exciting savoury waffle or some luxuriously sweet French toast!
Huevos Rancheros or ‘ranch eggs’ are a traditional Mexican breakfast of spicy tomatoes with eggs served on corn tortillas. This version uses corn waffles in place of the tortillas. Although the tomatoes are traditionally cooked, I prefer tomato and avocado salsa as the taste is much fresher. Wake up your senses with a kick of piquant paprika and the delicate fragrance of coriander.
160 g/ 1 1/3 cups self-raising/rising flour, sifted
100 g/1 cup fine yellow cornflour/cornstarch
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
1 tablespoon caster/granulated sugar
3 eggs, separated
375 ml/1 1/2 cups milk
60 g/5 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
70 g/scant 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
sour cream, to serve
sea salt and freshly ground black
pepper, to taste
for the salsa
4 large tomatoes, halved
2 ripe avocados
freshly squeezed juice of 2 limes
2 heaped tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander/cilantro
1/2 teaspoon hot paprika, plus extra for sprinkling
an electric or stove-top waffle iron
a large frying pan/skillet or griddle
To make the waffle batter, put the flour, cornflour, bicarbonate of soda, caster/granulated sugar, egg yolks, milk and melted butter in a large mixing bowl. Whisk until you have a smooth batter. Season with salt and pepper. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks and then gently fold into the batter a third at a time.
Preheat the waffle iron and grease with a little butter.
Ladle some of the batter into the preheated waffle iron and cook for 2–3 minutes until golden brown. Keep the waffles warm while you cook the remaining batter and are ready to serve.
For the salsa, remove the seeds from the halved tomatoes using a teaspoon and discard. Cut the hollowed out tomatoes into small pieces using a sharp knife. Prepare the avocado by removing the stones and skins and cutting the flesh into small pieces. Immediately mix the avocado with the lime juice and tomatoes so that it does not discolour. Add the coriander/cilantro, sprinkle over the paprika and stir in. Season with salt and pepper and set aside in the refrigerator until needed.
Heat the oil in a frying pan/skillet and fry the 4 eggs for 2–3 minutes until the whites of the eggs are cooked but the yolks are still soft and runny.
Place the waffles on plates and top with a generous portion of the salsa. Place the fried eggs on top and sprinkle over the grated cheese. Top with a spoonful of sour cream and a pinch of paprika, and serve straight away.
pear and chocolate french toast
Poached pears are easy to prepare and often served as a classic dessert, Belle Helene, with chocolate sauce and ice cream. That delicious dessert is the inspiration for these naughty, but very yummy, French toasts – bursting with soft pear and gooey chocolate which melts as the toasts are cooked.
4 large thick slices of crusty white bread
120 ml/1/2 cup double/heavy cream
2 tablespoons caster/granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1–2 tablespoons butter, for frying
icing/confectioners’ sugar, fordusting (optional)
crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream, to serve
for the filling
1 ripe pear, peeled, quartered and cored
100 g/2/3 cup chocolate chips (milkor plain)
a large frying pan/skillet or griddle
Begin by preparing the filling. Place the pear quarters in a saucepan or pot of boiling water set over a medium heat and simmer for 20–30 minutes, until the pears are soft. Drain the pears, discarding the liquid, and set aside to cool. Chop the pear into small pieces once cool and mix with the chocolate chips.
Using a sharp knife, cut a pocket in the top of each brioche slice to create a large cavity. Take care not to cut all the way through as it is this cavity which will hold your filling. Spoon a quarter of the filling into each slice and press the opening down to close the pocket.
Whisk together the eggs, cream and caster/granulated sugar in a mixing bowl, transfer to a shallow dish and set aside. Melt the butter in a large frying pan/skillet set over a medium heat until the butter begins to foam. Soak each filled slice in the egg mixture on one side for a few seconds, then turn over and soak the other side. The slices should be fully coated in egg, but not too soggy – it is best to soak one slice at a time. Put each slice straight into the pan before soaking the next slice.
Cook for 2 minutes until the underside of the brioche is golden brown. Sprinkle the top, uncooked side with a little caster/granulated sugar. Add a little extra butter to the pan and turn over and cook for a few minutes further until golden brown. Keep the cooked toast warm while you cook the remaining slices in the same way, adding a little butter to the pan each time, if required.
Serve immediately, dusted with icing/confectioners’ sugar, with crème fraîche on the side and any leftover pear, glazed under the grill/broiler and placed on top.
Pancakes, Crêpes, Waffles & French Toast by Hannah Miles is available here.
More savoury, healthy or sweet delights? Try these books :-