Tag Archives: brunch

Honey Glazed Fig and Date Breakfast Cake

I am not a morning person.  I need a few quiet moments (more like 60 quiet moments) to myself, with a steaming cup of coffee, to clear out the cob webs and figure out how I’m going to tackle the day.  I trudge to the kitchen, in the darkness, one eye open, hair all askew, heading directly for the coffee maker.  Even the dog knows it’s best not to approach.  Truly, I admit it, I’m an ogre.   On the flip side, if you want to stay up all night and party like it’s 1999, I’m most certainly your gal.

Fig and Date Breakfast Cake via SweetRevelations

Weekends thankfully, are different.  I can wake on my own time and head to the kitchen to make something a little more decadent for everyone.   Often it’s buttermilk pancakes, scones or cinnamon rolls, sometimes fresh doughnuts (the best!).  Sometimes, it’s cake!  Like this super moist, cardamom spiced cake, topped with fresh figs, fresh dates, sliced almonds, pepita’s and a sprinkle of toasted coconut.  Just to make it more indulgent, I poke holes in it when it comes out of the oven and pour a sweet honey glaze on top.  This is how I redeem myself for my grumpiness from Monday to Friday.  Glazed breakfast items.  Works every time.

Fig and Date Breakfast Cake via SweetRevelations

This is a brunch worthy, company worthy, breakfast cake.  The cake itself is very fast and simple to throw together.  It’s also pretty versatile, so you can play around with your toppings and spices and add what appeals to you.  A simple dusting of powdered sugar works too, if you want to exclude the honey glaze.  But seriously, why would you?  I mean truly, honey glaze should never be excluded.

I’m curious to know, are you a morning person or a night owl like me?

Happy week-end everyone,

Renee

xo

Honey Glazed Fresh Fig and Date Breakfast Cake

*adapted from Joy The Baker

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 8 fresh figs, sliced in half
  • 3-4 fresh dates, pitted and chopped
  • 2 tbsp. pepitas
  • 2 tbsp. coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1-2 tablespoons turbinado sugar for topping
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp. liquid honey
  • 2 tbsp. hot water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Butter and flour a 10-inch cast iron skillet or a 10-inch cake pan.

  1. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cardamom, and sugar in a medium bowl and set aside.  In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, butter and vanilla and almond extract.  Add the buttermilk mixture all at once to the dry ingredients.  Stir until just combined, careful not to over mix.
  2. Spoon batter into the prepared pan.  Top batter with fresh figs and dates, gently pressing them into the top of the batter.  Sprinkle with sliced almonds, pepitas and coconut  and then sprinkle the top with turbinado sugar.
  3. Bake for approx. 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.  Allow the cake to cool slightly while you prepare the glaze (keep it in the pan).  Whisk the powdered sugar and honey in a small bowl, adding 1-2 tbsp. of hot water to make a smooth, thin glaze.  Using a skewer, poke holes in the cake, to allow the glaze to seep through.  Pour the glaze over the warm cake.  Allow the cake to come to room temperature before serving.  The cake will keep well for a few days at room temperature.

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Filed under Breakfast, Cake

Beer and Buttermilk Crêpe Cake

Strawberries are in season and I can’t tell you how excited this house is about that.  We eagerly await the arrival of local berries, that make their appearance in early summer.   It means that soon to follow are other local goodies that we are so fortunate to gather from passionate farmers in our area.  How lucky are we!

crepecake

Recently I made a Crêpe Cake to showcase some of the gorgeous juicy berries that I purchased at market.  This is a great make ahead dish that would be stunning served on any brunch table or as dessert with a cup of coffee.  It’s light and airy and full of paper-thin crêpes stacked up high to highlight all of that delicious fruit.

The crêpes couldn’t be easier to make, and the addition of a light, hoppy lager makes them even more delicate and airy (yes, beer for breakfast can be good).   Don’t worry, although they do have great flavor, they don’t taste like beer.  The batter also includes tangy buttermilk and is best when made ahead and left to rest in the refrigerator for a few hours.   The crêpes themselves can also be made ahead, up to 48 hours, and layered between sheets of parchment paper until ready to use.  I would recommend this step as a time saver!   The cake is just a simple process of layering the crêpes with the filling of your choice.  Hazelnut spread is an all time favourite, but to keep the cake nice and light I opted for a simple banana pudding and whipped topping filling.

crepe cake

I just happily layer and fill, layer and fill, until I run out of filling.  I’m pretty sure this time I was close to eighteen crêpes in all when I was finished the cake.  Assembly took about 20 minutes total and I left the cake in the refrigerator until dinner time.  Minus the slice I removed, and ate, to photograph for you.

Geez Louise the things I do for you.

crepe cake

Just the smell in the kitchen when making these, reminded me of a trip I took to Paris a few years ago.  My girlfriend took me to the Eiffel Tower for my birthday and immediate crêpe eating ensued.    I believe at one point I had a savory crêpe in one hand and a sweet one in the other.  Life is grand.

Happy Summer,

Renee

xo

fruit

 

Sweet Crêpe Batter

adapted from Jehnee’s Crêpe Recipe from http://www.thekitchn.com

*makes approximately 25 crepes

4 cups warm buttermilk
1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 teaspoons sugar
6 eggs
1 1/2 tablespoon oil
1 cup light lager

Banana Filling

1 pkg instant banana pudding (or flavor of choice)

1 3/4 cups milk, cold

1 1/2 cups whipped topping

fruit for garnish

 

1.  Melt the butter and warm the milk in a microwave safe dish. Meanwhile, mix flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer for a few seconds to combine.  Make a well in the flour mixture, pour eggs and oil into the well and beat on medium speed until combined. Slowly add the melted butter and milk mixture and mix until batter becomes uniform in texture.   Stir in beer, until just evenly incorporated (don’t overmix). Refrigerate the batter, covered with plastic, for 8 hours or overnight, if you can.

2.   Pour  1/3 cup batter onto a smoking-hot pan (my pan was about 8″ wide), swirling the batter to create an even surface.  Cook for approx. 2 minutes on the first side (look for a golden brown colour), then about 30 seconds on other side. Layer crêpes between sheets of parchment paper.  Refrigerate crêpes until needed (I put mine in a resealable bag).

3.  When ready to assemble, make the banana filling.  Mix milk and pudding for 2 minutes.  Fold in the whipped topping.  Layer crêpes on a cake platter, starting with a crêpe and spreading about 1 1/2 tbsp. of banana filling on top.  Layer with another crêpe and continue on until you run out of filling.  Left over crêpes can be frozen for later use.  Refrigerate cake for at least 2 hours or more.  Top with whipped topping and fresh fruit just before serving.

 

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Buttermilk Scones with Clotted Cream

What a beautiful morning!  The sun is shining through every window and I can hear the birds outside!  It’s a bit unusual though because my house is eerily quiet and I’m the only one home this morning.  It’s just me and the dog.

I must say the peace is heavenly…..

O.K. ….two really important things are happening today…

First, it’s my friend’s birthday.  Happy Birthday girl!  She lives in London, England and is currently roaming the streets of Italy with another friend of ours.  I am so jealous, envious, HAPPY for them!  They will be eating great food and drinking great wine.   Cheers to you my friend, have a wonderful day.

Second, I made Clotted Cream yesterday and am feeling all smug and proud of myself.  It’s a cross between butter and whipped cream.  I sometimes buy English Double Devon as a treat for myself but it is hard to find and costly.   My girlfriend and I had a Cream Tea on one of my last nights in England a few years ago and it was “lovely’ as she says.  Homemade scones piled high with Clotted Cream and preserves, and of course a cup of tea.  Delish.   How appropriate that I made it the day before her birthday then.  And here I sit, birthday morning, thinking of my friend, eating one of these goodies with the homemade preserves I made here.

The Clotted Cream is ridiculously easy.  Almost embarrassing frankly, for my inflated ego at the moment.  Use the heaviest whipping cream you can find, with a high fat content (mine was 35%).  Pour 4 cups into a heavy-bottomed oven safe pan.  Cover and place in the oven at 180° and leave it for 12 hours.  Untouched.  Done.  No kidding.  Remove after 12 hours (try not to slosh the cream during transport) and allow to cool for about an hour.  Place in the fridge over night and tah-dah!  When you wake, there will be a glorious, thick layer of clotted cream on top.  Skim off with a slotted spoon and put in a jar.  Use on scones, pancakes, muffins, etc.  The remaining heavy cream can still be used for baking.  Shamelessly easy, but still feelin smug.

The scones are Buttermilk Scones from Nigella Lawson.  These are not sweet which makes them a perfect fit for cream and preserves.  So easy to make and I made them this morning in under 1/2 hour.  One of the reasons scones tend to be so dry is because they are baked far too long.  Twelve minutes is all that’s needed.   Once the scones are dry on the bottom, remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Nigella Lawson’s Buttermilk Scones

  • 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons soft vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 egg, beaten, for an egg wash (optional)
  • 1 large lipped baking sheet or half sheet pan
  • 1 (2-inch) biscuit cutter, preferably fluted

Preheat the oven to 425° and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

1.  Put the flour into a bowl with the baking soda, cream of tartar, and sugar. Chop the butter and the vegetable shortening into pieces and drop them into the flour. Rub the fats into the flour – or just mix any old how – and then pour in the buttermilk, working everything together to form a dough.

2..Lightly flour your work surface. Pat the dough into a round-edged oblong about 1 3/4 inches thick and cut out 2-inch scones with a biscuit cutter. (Mine are never a uniform height, as I only pat the dough into its shape without worrying whether it’s irregular or not.)

3.  Arrange the scones fairly close together on your lined baking sheet, and brush with beaten egg (to give golden tops) or not as you wish.

4.  Bake for 12 minutes, by which time the scones will be dry on the bottom and have a relatively light feel. Remove them to a wire rack to cool, and serve with clotted cream and your favourite jam.

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Filed under Breakfast, Extra Special, Scones and Breads