Feast | Food

The ultimate breakfasts to serve on Mother’s Day


Posted by , 24th March, 2017

It’s a good thing that Mother’s Day falls on a Sunday, giving you plenty of time and few excuses not to treat mum to a delicious breakfast of fine food. Whether on a tray in bed with a hot cup of coffee, served sat around the table with family, or as a sweet afternoon indulgence, these options are guaranteed a smile, and a wonderful way to make her feel appreciated.

Nordic cinnamon buns

Finnish founder Jali Wahlsten says he wanted the Nordic Bakery to be “just like any cafe you’d find across Scandinavia”. You can make your own authentically spiced and glaze cinnamon buns, which hold a delicate dough interior within, rightly a bestseller. Ideally prepare on the evening before Mother’s Day for a delectable breakfast treat, or make these scrumptious buns on the day for fika (meaning to have coffee with pastries, their version of afternoon tea). To transport your senses northwards, this recipe requires two baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper. Makes 12-13.

Dough ingredients
570 ml lukewarm milk
150g caster sugar
45g fresh yeast (or easy-blend dried yeast, according to manufacturer’s instructions)
1 tsp cardamom seeds, crushed with a pestle and mortar
180g unsalted butter, melted
1 Egg
1kg plain flour

Filling ingredients
100g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
200g dark brown soft sugar
3 tbsp. ground cinnamon

Glaze ingredients
85g caster sugar
1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

1) To make the dough, put the milk, sugar, yeast, cardamom, melted butter and egg in a food processor or mixer with a dough hook. With the motor running, gradually add the flour until it is all incorporated and the dough has come together. Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place for 1 hour, or until it has doubled in size. After an hour, punch down the dough and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll it out until it is about 30cm x 80cm and 7mm thick. For the filling, spread the butter evenly over the dough and sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon all over the top.

2) Roll the dough up from a long side. Cut into roughly 6cm rolls, but cut them at an angle – so, make the first cut diagonally, then the second cut about 6cm along diagonally in the opposite direction. You should get a roll that looks like a trapezium (or a triangle with the tip chopped off). Carefully transfer the buns to the prepared baking trays, with the longest edge of the bun sitting on the tray, cover with tea towels again and leave to prove in a warm place for 30-60 minutes, until almost doubled in size.

3) Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Bake the buns in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.

4) To make the glaze, put the sugar, lemon juice and 100ml water in a small pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, until slightly thickened. The glaze will be quite watery.

5) Remove the buns from the oven, transfer to a wire rack and brush the glaze generously over them. Leave to cool before serving.

fine food

Chocolate brownie pancakes by Martha Collison 

For a quick breakfast treat, whip up this chocolate-y batter the evening before, and serve with the warm dark chocolate sauce on the day. Makes 12 pancakes.

175g plain flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp salt
50g light brown soft sugar
25g cocoa powder
300ml whole milk
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 medium egg
60g butter
A little oil, for frying (optional)

For the chocolate sauce
170ml pot double cream
1 tsp clear honey
75g dark chocolate, finely chopped
Raspberries, to serve

1) Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, brown sugar and cocoa powder in a large bowl or large jug. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients.

2) In a small jug, beat together the milk, vanilla and egg. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the well you’ve made in the dry ingredients, whisking until the mixture is smooth.

3) Melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat, swirling it round to coat the base, then beat into the batter. Leave the frying pan on the heat, ready to fry the pancakes.

4) Use an ice-cream scoop or pour a few tbsp. of batter into the centre of the frying pan. Try to get as close to a circle (about 10cm in size) as you can so the finished pancakes stack neatly on top of each other. Cook the pancakes for 1 minute on each side and then place onto a serving plate. Repeat the cooking process with the remaining batter, using a little oil for frying if necessary, until you have 12 pancakes.

5) To make the chocolate sauce, heat the cream and honey in a small pan until steaming. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate until it melts and the sauce is smooth. Serve the pancakes in stacks, drenched with chocolate sauce and scattered with a few raspberries.

fine food

Shakshuka by Yotam Ottolenghi

A traditional (and highly popular) north African dish. Some like it with preserved lemon or feta, and you can add the herbs and spices of your choosing. Ideal for brunch, or breakfast after a long lie-in. Serve with a couple of thick slices of sourdough, with its moreish chewy crust, ideally bought from the local bakery; dunked into the runny egg yolk or to mop up the delectable rich sauce. Serves 4.

½ tsp cumin seeds
190ml light olive oil or vegetable oil
2 large onions, peeled and sliced
2 red and 2 yellow peppers, cored and cut into 2cm strips
4 tsp muscovado sugar
2 bay leaves
6 sprigs thyme, picked and chopped
2 tbsp. flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 bunch fresh coriander, chopped
6 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
½ tsp saffron strands
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper
Up to 250ml water
8 free-range eggs

1) In a large saucepan, dry-roast the cumin on high heat for two minutes. Add the oil and sauté the onions for two minutes. Add the peppers, sugar, bay leaves, thyme, parsley and two tablespoons of coriander, and cook on high heat to get a nice colour.

2) Add the tomatoes, saffron, cayenne, salt and pepper. Cook on low heat for 15 minutes, adding enough water to keep it the consistency of a pasta sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning. It should be potent and flavoursome. You can prepare this mix in advance.

3) Place four saucepans on medium heat and divide the mixture between them.

4) Break two eggs into each pan, pouring into gaps in the mixture. Sprinkle with salt, cover and cook very gently for 10-12 minutes, until the egg just sets.

5) Sprinkle with coriander and serve with bread.

fine food

Avocado mash with pink ginger by Joanna Weinberg

This twist on the ever-trending and heavily Instagram-ed avocado on toast makes for a picture-perfect (and healthy) breakfast. For the traditionalists (or those with an empty pantry), simply mash the avocado with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Add an egg (in whatever form, but a crispy fried egg with a wonderfully orange yolk would be spectacular) on top, for a simple and filling dish that has an extreme high probability for enjoyment. Best served on a seeded multigrain slice.

1 avocado
1 tablespoon pickled ginger, finely shredded
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Squeeze lemon juice
Salt (optional)

1) Mash all the ingredients together to your preferred consistency.

2) Adding a teaspoon of the pickling vinegar from the ginger if you like the flavour.

3) Taste and scrunch in a little salt if necessary.

4) Mash onto toast.

fine food

Ginger and peach bircher muesli pots by Alex Hely-Hutchinson

Use fresh ripe peaches, or grill them for 20 minutes until caramelised. For an extra hit, add a sprinkle of cinnamon or mixed spice into the soaking oats. The compote works well with any in-season fruit. Alex is the owner of the ever-popular 26 Grains café in London, so you know her oat recipes will be scrumptious. Serves 4.

200g rolled oats
4 tbsp. chia seeds
800ml unsweetened almond milk
Juice and finely grated zest of 1 un-waxed lemon
2 peaches, pitted and sliced
2 tbsp. honey
1 tsp grated root ginger
4 tsp chopped pistachios

1) Mix the oats and chia seeds before adding the almond milk and a squeeze of the lemon juice. Leave in the fridge to soak for 2-3 hours (or overnight if you’re making this for breakfast).

2) Place the peaches, honey, ginger, lemon zest and remaining juice in a blender and whizz to a purée. Divide the purée between four glass ramekins and then spoon equal portions of the soaked bircher muesli on top. Serve or chill and serve the next day.

fine food

Virgin Pina Colada by Áine Carlin

For a refreshing and healthy summery accompaniment to any breakfast dish, coming with the ability to transport the senses to a tropical sandy island, even if the weather does still require a coat. Depending on personal preference this deliciously creamy drink would work well with a small tipple of rum, but either way, the pineapple rightly takes centre stage here.

250g fresh pineapple, chopped
1 banana
100ml coconut cream
100ml coconut milk
1 large medjool date, stone removed
A few ice-cubes

Place all the ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend until completely – for an even smoother finish, pour it through a fine mesh sieve. Divide between two or three glasses and garnish with some pineapple. Serve immediately.

fine food

Brioche French toast with bacon, banana & maple syrup by Joanna Brennan

For those in need of a more indulgent weekend treat, this maple-soaked sweet brioche with banana is wonderfully offset by the addition of salty bacon, making for a fantastic balanced combination, sure to be savoured by many a household. Serves 4.

4 eggs
200ml single cream
½ tsp vanilla seed paste
1 tbsp. golden caster sugar
4 thick, generous slices or 8 thin slices of day-old brioche
25g butter, for frying
1 tbsp. vegetable oil, for frying
12 rashers bacon
2 bananas, sliced
Maple syrup, to serve

1) In a large bowl, whisk the eggs vigorously, then add the single cream, vanilla and sugar, and whisk again.

2) When you’re ready to cook, heat the oven to its lowest setting, pop a baking tray inside and pour the cream mixture into a shallow dish or tub that will allow space for the brioche to lay flat. Heat a griddle or a frying pan to a medium heat, and melt the butter and the oil together.

3) Place the brioche slices in the cream mixture for 1 min, then turn each slice and gently press all over, allowing them to soak up the liquid for another 1 min or so until fully soaked.

4) Remove the brioche from the mixture and place onto the hot griddle or pan (you may need to do this in batches). Cook for a few mins on either side until the inside is tender and moist (but not wet). To check this, make a small cut in the middle with a knife – the inside should be like cooked bread pudding. Keep warm in the oven while you cook the remaining slices.

5) In the meantime, fry the bacon in a pan for 5 mins until crispy. Serve the French toast topped with bacon, bananas and a drizzle of maple syrup.

fine food

For more delicious recipes, take a look at our dedicated food section here.

Recipe credit: Nordic Cinnamon Buns, Jali WahlstenChocolate Brownie Pancakes, Martha Collison; Shakshuka by Yotam OttolenghiAvocado mash with pink ginger, Joanna WeinbergGinger and peach bircher muesli pots, Alex Hely-HutchinsonVirgin Pina Colada by Áine CarlinBrioche French toast with bacon, banana & maple syrup, Joanna Brennan.

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