To help celebrate the women that hold a very special place in our lives, I’m sharing an elegant brunch menu that's low on stress but bursting with this season's best ingredients. These two recipes are from my collection of unfailing favourites, elevating ordinary ingredients into tasty concoctions that look extraordinary. I hope some of you are bold enough to forward this link to children or husbands as a strong hint of what is required on your Mother’s Day breakfast tray. You really do deserve it! These recipes have been tried and tested and are a pinch to make, so there are no excuses.
Recipe, styling and photography by Elisabeth Chieng of The Gluten Free Table
Tall, fluffy pancakes make the best breakfast, especially when they’re liberally drizzled with maple syrup. Make them extra special with a berry relish and edible flowers.
2 cups fresh or frozen berries
1/4 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup (60ml) maple syrup
1 teaspoon cornstarch
80g butter, softened
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 cups plain gluten free flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 lemons, rinds finely grated
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
4 eggs, separated
1/4 cup maple syrup
300 ml buttermilk
1/4 cup coconut flakes, to serve
1/4 cup pistachios, to serve
Edible flowers, to serve
To make the berry relish, combine the cornstarch with a tablespoon of water and set aside. Place berries, sugar and maple syrup in a saucepan and simmer over a low heat for 3 minutes until berries have softened. Slowly add cornstarch mixture and cook, stirring continuously until compote is thick and glossy, about 1-2 minutes. Set aside.
To make the maple butter, place the butter and maple syrup in a bowl and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
To make the pancakes, combine the flour, baking powder, lemon rind and vanilla seeds in a bowl. Whisk egg yolks, maple syrup and buttermilk until combined, add to flour mixture and mix until smooth. In a separate bowl, use a hand mixer to whisk egg whites and a pinch of salt until soft peaks form, and then fold through flour mixture.
To cook the pancakes, heat a lightly greased large non-stick frying pan over low heat. Cook 1/3 of a cup of the mixture, in batches, for 3-4 minutes each side or until puffed and golden.
Serve warm hotcakes with berry relish, a dollop of maple butter, coconut flakes, crushed pistachios and edible flowers.
Zucchini and mint fritters with eggs and feta
Whether for breakfast, brunch or lunch in bed, these fritters are sophisticated and easy to make.
1 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup gluten free plain flour
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped mint
200 gm goat’s cheese, coarsely crumbled
Finely grated rind of 2 lemons, plus lemon wedges to serve
3/4 cup (loosely packed) pea tendrils (optional)
6 edible flowers, trimmed and halved lengthways (optional)
Grate the zucchini and place into a colander, sprinkle with a little sea salt and mix. Let it rest for 10 minutes. Once rested, squeeze out the moisture from the zucchini with your hands and then set aside.
Blanch peas in a saucepan of boiling water until tender and bright green, roughly two minutes. Drain the peas and pulse in a food processor to a chunky purée. Meanwhile, whisk the buttermilk and two eggs in a bowl to combine, then add flour and mix until smooth. Stir in the zucchini, spring onion, mint, lemon rind and peas then season to taste.
Preheat oven to 130C. Heat a centimetre of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add 1/2 cupfuls of batter and fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through. Drain fritters on paper towels and place in a single layer on a baking tray in oven to keep warm.
Meanwhile, cook remaining four eggs in a saucepan of boiling water until cooked to your liking (the eggs pictured were cooked for 7 minutes). Remove from the water and, once cooled enough to handle, peel. Serve fritters with eggs, lemon wedges and goat’s cheese and scatter with pea tendrils and edible flowers.