Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Vanilla Berries

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Vanilla Berries // Amy Elizabeth

I like to prescribe to the 80/20 theory of healthy eating. It’s not precise, but it works for me. Most of the time, I try to eat fresh food, made from scratch, with fruit and vegetables and grains involved where possible. However, there are some foods I love which don’t fit into that mould – dishes covered in cheese or chocolate, baked goods and desserts drizzled in cream and custard. They have their place, too, they just need to be consumed a little less frequently. Once or twice a week, rather than everyday. 

However, just because those things make it into the 20% bracket, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be the very best they can be. This isn’t the space for dirty takeaways and those £1 packets of doughnuts from the supermarket, although they do sometimes sneak in. If anything, because they are less frequent, those treats should be the very best they can be. You should make them work harder for you, since you don’t get to eat them all the time. 

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Vanilla Berries // Amy Elizabeth

Which is where these pancakes come in. Fluffy, light pancakes with a sharp lemony flavour. Warm berries with a little hint of vanilla. A dollop of yoghurt or creme fraiche. Put down those store-bought pancakes that you microwave or pop in the toaster. These are worth the extra effort, and they deserve a place in that 20% part of your life. 

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Vanilla Berries // Amy Elizabeth

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Vanilla Berries
Serves 3
Write a review
Print
For the pancakes
  1. 250g ricotta cheese
  2. 75g golden caster sugar
  3. 3 large eggs, separated
  4. zest of 1 lemon
  5. 25g melted butter
  6. 65g plain flour
  7. natural yoghurt or creme fraiche, to serve
For the berries
  1. 2 handfuls frozen berries (I used blueberries, strawberries and raspberries)
  2. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  3. juice 1/2 lemon
  4. 1 tbsp. golden caster sugar
For the pancakes
  1. Beat together the ricotta, sugar and egg yolks until smooth.
  2. Stir in the lemon zest and melted butter and fold in the flour until you have a thick batter.
  3. Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks. This will take a minute or two with an electric whisk, and a little longer with a hand whisk. Gently fold into the batter until combined, being careful not to knock too much air out.
  4. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Place a heaped tablespoon of mixture into the pan; depending on the size of your pan, you can probably cook two or three at once but be sure to leave room between them so they can spread without sticking together.
  5. Cook for a couple of minutes on each side until golden brown.
  6. Serve warm with berries and yoghurt or creme fraiche.
For the berries
  1. Whilst the pancakes are cooking, place the frozen berries, vanilla extract, lemon juice and caster sugar into a small saucepan over a medium heat.
  2. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally until the berries have softened completely and begun to create a sauce. Remove from the heat and serve warm.
Adapted from BBC Good Food
Adapted from BBC Good Food
Amy Elizabeth http://amyliz.co.uk/

Want more? Follow me: Twitter / Instagram / Bloglovin / Pinterest

Maple Roasted Squash with Yoghurt & Pomegranate

Maple Roasted Squash with Yoghurt and Pomegranate // Amy Elizabeth

As I mentioned earlier this week, we did a lot of brunching whilst we were in the States. The best place we visited was Iron Gate in DC, which I urge you to visit if you are ever in that fine city. On arrival, we were led through a quaint little courtyard and into a cosy back room, complete with roaring fire and presented with the brunch menu of dreams. I mean, seriously, just look at it. It was almost impossible to choose between so many incredible-sounding dishes, but I eventually settled on burrata with salsa verde and garlic ciabatta, crispy yeast doughnuts with orange blossom syrup, and the maple roasted squash. All of the dishes were fantastic, but that maple roasted squash stayed on my mind and, what with it being squash season, I decided to try and take a whack at it myself. This is an unusual breakfast dish, and could be served for lunch or dinner too, but it somehow just works. Whilst eating it at our breakfast table before work doesn’t quite compare to eating it whilst sipping mimosas on honeymoon, it’s definitely enough to bring a smile to my face early in the morning. Although, when I made it this time around, I managed to get pomegranate juice on my shirt and had to change, making me late for work with the most middle class excuse ever – be warned! 

Maple Roasted Squash with Yoghurt and Pomegranate // Amy Elizabeth

Maple Roasted Squash with Yoghurt and Pomegranate // Amy Elizabeth

Maple Roasted Squash with Yoghurt and Pomegranate
Serves 2
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. neck of a butternut squash, peeled and cut into wedges
  2. 10g butter
  3. 1&1/2 tbsp. maple syrup
  4. salt & pepper
  5. Greek yoghurt
  6. pomegranate seeds
  7. pea shoots (optional)
  8. olive oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Place a roasting tray into the oven to heat up, with the butter inside.
  2. Once the butter has melted, remove from the oven place the butternut squash wedges into the tray. Toss with the melted butter, maple syrup and seasoning.
  3. Roast for 30 minutes, turning halfway through.
  4. Remove from the oven when the squash is soft and starting to caramelise on the edges. Leave to cool.
  5. To serve, spread 2-3 spoons of Greek yoghurt on a plate. Place the squash on top of the yoghurt and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds. Garnish with pea shoots, if using, and drizzle with a little olive oil.
Amy Elizabeth http://amyliz.co.uk/

 

Want more? Follow me: Twitter / Instagram / Bloglovin / Pinterest

Caramel Apple Dutch Baby

Caramel Apple Dutch Baby // Amy Elizabeth

Is there anything more quintessentially autumnal than caramel apples? With Bonfire Night on the horizon, I felt that it was time to submit to my desire to eat all the caramel apple flavoured things, so I baked a caramel apple pie and rustled up this Dutch Baby for a Saturday morning breakfast. This is the best kind of breakfast – the kind that takes a little bit of preparation but not a lot of effort, and which really tastes best with ice cream. I aim for an 80/20 split of healthy/non-healthy food in my life, but when Caramel Apple Dutch Babies are involved, I’m willing to relax the rules a little (a lot). Cooking this up in the morning will make your kitchen smell delicious, and will tempt out any sleeping friends or relatives in the vicinity to join you at the breakfast table (or breakfast sofa, no judgement here). Serve with hot coffee, fresh juice and the aforementioned vanilla ice cream to get all those good autumn feelings. Then pull on your wellies and go and kick some crunchy leaves whilst you still can. Winter is coming, people. Make the most of autumn for now. 

Caramel Apple Dutch Baby // Amy Elizabeth

Caramel Apple Dutch Baby // Amy Elizabeth

Caramel Apple Dutch Baby
Serves 4
Write a review
Print
For the Dutch Baby
  1. 50g unsalted butter
  2. 2 Granny Smith apples (although any apple will do, really), peeled & cut into slices
  3. 50g light brown sugar
  4. 3 eggs
  5. 160ml semi-skimmed milk
  6. 100g plain flour
  7. 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
For the Caramel Sauce
  1. 125g caster sugar
  2. 2 tbsp. water
  3. 25g unsalted butter
  4. 75ml double cream
For the Dutch Baby
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C.
  2. Melt the butter in a skillet before adding the apples and sugar. Leave over a medium heat, stirring occasionally for around 5-7 minutes until the apple slices have softened and are fully coated.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs and milk until combined, before adding the flour and cinnamon. If possible, use an electric mixer to whisk together - the more air you have in the batter, the better!
  4. Make sure the apples are in one layer (or thereabouts) on the bottom of the skillet and pour the batter on top. Quickly transfer to the oven.
  5. Bake for 18-20 minutes until your Dutch baby is all puffed up and golden brown! Serve immediately with caramel sauce.
For the Caramel Sauce
  1. Mix together the sugar and water in a saucepan. Place on a medium-high heat and heat until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Turn up the heat and boil for 4-5 minutes until the mixture has turned a deep caramel colour. Do not stir!
  3. Remove from the heat and add the butter and cream. Stir together until smooth and leave to cool.
Notes
  1. If you don't have a non-stick skillet available, you can cook the apples in a frying pan and transfer to a pre-heated oven-proof dish before adding the batter.
Adapted from Food52
Adapted from Food52
Amy Elizabeth http://amyliz.co.uk/
Caramel Apple Dutch Baby // Amy Elizabeth

 

Want more? Follow me: Twitter / Instagram / Bloglovin / Pinterest

Weekend Breakfast: Potato & Courgette Rosti

Potato and Courgette Rosti with Poached Egg

Despite my best efforts, I am still guilty of skipping breakfast more often than not. Maybe it’s because I can’t get into avocados, which seem to be the breakfast of choice for the thinking woman these days. It’s the texture. It’s just too weird for me. I think mostly, however, that it’s a lack of time and inclination in the morning. A bowl of cereal, whilst fast, is hardly inspiring and is so easily forsaken for a few extra minutes in bed or a cuddle with the cat (or, chasing her around to try and give her a hug…). 

Potato and Courgette Rosti with Poached Egg

Eggs

The weekend, though, is a time to revel in breakfast. To turn breakfast, which feels dull and chore-like, into brunch, which is everybody’s favourite meal. This rosti recipe is perfect for such a time, although it also serves as an excellent lunch of dinner option. The rostis should be slightly crispy on the outside for maximum satisfaction, and they should most definitely be topped with an egg. Extra points if your poached egg is runnier than mine… 

Potato and Courgette Rosti with Poached Egg

Potato and Courgette Rosti
Serves 2
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 200g potato
  2. 200g courgette
  3. 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  4. 2. tbsp plain flour
  5. salt & pepper
  6. crushed chilli flakes
Instructions
  1. Coarsely grate the potato and courgette using a box grater. Place in the centre of a tea towel and squeeze over the sink to get rid of a lot of the moisture.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and mix with the beaten eggs and flour. Season liberally with salt & pepper, and throw in a pinch of crushed chilli flakes.
  3. Heat a small amount of oil in a large frying pan until it begins to bubble. Spoon a quarter of the potato mixture into the frying pan and flatten into a disc. Repeat until you have four rostis in the pan.
  4. Cook for 3-4 minutes before flipping over and repeating on the other side. The rostis should be lightly browned and crispy on the outside.
  5. Serve immediately with a fried or poached egg on top.
Amy Elizabeth http://amyliz.co.uk/

Want more? Follow me: Twitter / Instagram / Bloglovin / Pinterest

Garlic & Thyme Mushrooms on Toast

Mushrooms on Toast

Sometimes the simple things really are the best. Fresh bedding. A hug. the first snowdrop of Spring. And Mushrooms on Toast. There’s no need to complicate it – this dish is simple and all the better for it. A chance encounter in an almost-empty fridge led me to this recipe and I’ve been hooked ever since. I don’t think anyone can resist a slice of hot, buttered toast – even more so when it’s topped with earthy mushrooms in a garlicky cream sauce. The perfect lunchtime snack for this bitterly cold time of year. 

Mushrooms on Toast

Garlic & Thyme Mushrooms on Toast
Serves 1
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. a big knob of unsalted butter
  2. 6-8 mushrooms, sliced
  3. 1 clove of garlic, minced or finely grated
  4. 1 sprig of thyme, leaves only or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  5. 30ml double cream
  6. 1-2 slices of toast
  7. Parmesan, to serve
Instructions
  1. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and add the mushrooms. Cook over a medium heat for 1-2 minutes until the mushrooms are starting to soften, adding more butter if they start to stick.
  2. Add the garlic and thyme and stir together. Cook for 2 minutes more until mushrooms are soft and the garlic has cooked through - try not to let it brown.
  3. Pour in the cream and stir. Leave for a minute, stirring occasionally, until the cream has thickened.
  4. Serve the mushrooms on top of a slice or two of toast with a liberal grating of Parmesan.
Notes
  1. I used a mixture of button mushrooms and chestnut mushrooms but really any mushrooms will do!
Amy Elizabeth http://amyliz.co.uk/
Mushrooms on Toast

Want more? Follow me: Twitter / Instagram / Bloglovin / Pinterest

Chorizo & Borlotti Beans on Toast

 

Chorizo & Borlotti Beans on Toast // Amy Elizabeth

Here I go, brunching again… I would apologise but I’m pretty sure that this recipe will equally suffice for a lunch time snack or a lazy dinner so I think I’m off the hook. Baked beans on toast were a staple of my childhood, simple tinned beans piled high on white bread toast slathered in butter and topped with a handful of grated cheddar cheese. So simple, but so good. This is a bit of a grown-up version, inspired by brunch-time at Mrs Atha’s in Leeds on Saturday. If you haven’t been, you really must – the food is excellent but the surroundings are better, it’s a really gorgeous building with plenty of curios to entertain you whilst you wait for your order to arrive. Rich, smoky and sophisticated – this dish is a total winner and I was inspired to come home and make it for my very next meal. I didn’t, but only because Paul hates beans with a true passion, but as you can see, I didn’t wait long… 

Chorizo & Borlotti Beans on Toast // Amy Elizabeth

Chorizo & Borlotti Beans on Toast
Serves 3
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 100g chorizo, sliced
  2. 1/2 onion, chopped
  3. 1 clove of garlic, crushed or finely grated
  4. 4 sprigs of thyme
  5. 400g chopped tomatoes
  6. 400g borlotti beans
  7. 1/2 tsp. paprika
  8. salt & pepper
  9. 4-6 slices of toast
Instructions
  1. Heat a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the chorizo and fry for 3-5 minutes until the chorizo has released some oil and has started to brown.
  2. Add the onions and garlic and fry for another 5 minutes or so, until the onions have softened. Throw in the thyme leaves in the last minute and stir through.
  3. Pour in the chopped tomatoes, beans, paprika and seasoning. Stir together and turn down the heat.
  4. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until everything is cooked through and the sauce has thickened.
  5. Serve on thick slices of buttered toast.
Amy Elizabeth http://amyliz.co.uk/

Chorizo & Borlotti Beans on Toast // Amy Elizabeth

 

 

Want more? Follow me: Twitter / Instagram / Bloglovin / Pinterest

Eggs in Purgatory

Eggs in Purgatory // Amy Elizabeth

It’s a cliché to love brunch, isn’t it? Everyone loves brunch. There’s a reason for that, of course. Brunch is absolutely brilliant. Brunch is for days off and weekends, when there’s nothing else to do but to indulge in piles of pancakes and gloriously dippy eggs. Plus, you can drink at brunch, and what’s not to love about that?

This is one of my favourite recipes to whip up for guests on mornings after nights before – it’s slightly fiery and the wonderful combination of runny yolk with melted cheese and rich tomato sauce is very restorative. It’s incredibly simple, and therefore perfect if you’re feeling a little fragile, so when Inghams Italy asked me to contribute an Italian recipe to their blogger cookbook, this was the first thing on my mind. 

I first made this dish after watching Nigella’s Italian-inspired show ‘Nigellissima’, cobbling together the ingredients the very next day and trying to remember the method. It’s pretty close to the original, so I obviously have a better memory than I thought, although she poaches her eggs in the sauce rather than baking them in the oven. If you want to save on washing up, you can do the same, although I find it’s easier to get a perfect yolk in the oven – especially if you’re feeding a crowd. This particular recipe is just enough for one person but, as is often the case, you can double and triple to get the required amount for your brunch party. Serve with ciabatta, obviously, although any crusty bread will do in a pinch. 

P.S. Find more brunch inspiration over on my Breakfast & Brunch Pinterest board

Eggs in Purgatory // Amy Elizabeth

Eggs in Purgatory
Serves 1
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. Olive oil
  2. 1 clove of garlic, crushed or finely grated
  3. 200g chopped tomatoes
  4. 1 squeeze tomato paste
  5. Salt & pepper, to taste
  6. 1/4 tsp. chilli flakes
  7. 1 egg
  8. Parmesan, grated
  9. Ciabatta, to serve
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C
  2. In a small saucepan, heat the oil over a medium heat and add the garlic. Fry gently for a minute or two, but don't allow the garlic to brown.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir together.
  4. Season with the salt, pepper and chilli flakes.
  5. Simmer for 3-5 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly.
  6. Pour into an oven-proof dish and crack the egg onto the top. Grate some parmesan over the top until there's a light covering over the whole dish.
  7. Bake for 8-12 minutes (depending on how runny you like your eggs!).
  8. Grate over some more parmesan and serve with slices of ciabatta.
Adapted from Nigella Lawson
Adapted from Nigella Lawson
Amy Elizabeth http://amyliz.co.uk/
 Disclaimer: This post is in association with Inghams Italy, but it’s still delicious. 

Want more? Follow me: Twitter / Instagram / Bloglovin / Pinterest

Breakfast Yoghurt with Banana & Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate // Amy Elizabeth

I am bad at eating breakfast. At school and university I was religious in my breakfast-eating, adamant that I couldn’t function in the morning without a bowl of cereal or a slice of toast. However, somewhere in my working life I have got out of the habit and more often than not it will be lunchtime before I eat. It’s not always because I would prefer an extra ten minutes in bed (although I would). It’s more often because I find breakfast foods completely unappetising in the morning. However expensive the granola, it always feels a bit cardboard-y. 

Breakfast Yoghurt with Banana & Dark Chocolate // Amy Elizabeth

That said, I think I have found a solution in this breakfast yoghurt. It’s very much a copy of Leon’s ‘Yoghurt of the Gods’, which I picked up on a trip back from London earlier in the summer. It’s easy to assemble, sweet enough to satisfy and the dark chocolate adds a lovely texture and bitterness to this otherwise unnervingly soft dish. There’s something about being allowed to eat chocolate for breakfast that just makes it appealing – but I can feel vaguely virtuous as it’s dark chocolate and that cures heart attacks, or something. This doesn’t really count as a recipe, but I wanted to share the combination in case there are other breakfast-averse folk like me out there, searching for a solution. 

What do you eat for breakfast? I would love more suggestions! 

Breakfast Yoghurt with Banana & Dark Chocolate
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 banana, sliced
  2. 2-3 big spoonfuls Greek yoghurt
  3. 1 big squidge of honey
  4. 1 square dark chocolate, chopped
Instructions
  1. Place the banana and yoghurt at the bottom of the bowl.
  2. Pour over honey and dark chocolate to taste.
  3. Stir together (or don't) and enjoy with your morning coffee or juice.
Amy Elizabeth http://amyliz.co.uk/

Want more? Follow me: Twitter / Instagram / Bloglovin / Pinterest

French Toast with Honey Roast Peaches & Mascarpone Cream

Doughnut Peaches

French toast is the bomb. When it comes to brunching, it’s the perfect dish – sweet or savoury. It’s decadent but totally easy to achieve. I’ve already made Vanilla Spice French Toast and Lemon & Poppyseed French Toast but I think this version might be the most indulgent of all. It’s basically a dessert that’s socially acceptable at breakfast time. Although, come to my house and any form of dessert is acceptable at breakfast time – there are no rules here. There are, however, soft, sweet roasted peaches and big dollops of vanilla-spiked mascarpone to devour. When are you coming to visit? 

French Toast with Honey Roast Peaches & Mascarpone Cream

French Toast with Honey Roast Peaches and Mascarpone Cream
Serves 4
Write a review
Print
For the French Toast
  1. 250g sliced brioche (stale is best!)
  2. 125ml semi-skimmed milk
  3. 75ml double cream
  4. 3 large eggs
  5. 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  6. sprinkle of cinnamon
  7. sprinkle of granulated golden sugar
For the Honey-Roast Peaches
  1. 6 doughnut peaches (or 4 regular peaches)
  2. large knob of butter
  3. big squeeze of honey
For the Mascarpone Cream
  1. 120g mascarpone
  2. 50ml double cream
  3. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the French Toast
  1. Lay the brioche slices into a baking dish so that they overlap.
  2. Mix together the milk, cream, eggs and vanilla until you have a smooth mixture.
  3. Pour the mixture over the brioche so you get an even covering.
  4. Using your hands, press down the brioche so that it starts to soak up the mixture and form more of a solid pudding shape.
  5. Put in the fridge for 2-3 hours, or overnight if possible.
  6. Remove from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature.
  7. Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
  8. Sprinkle the dish with cinnamon and sugar and pop into the oven for 30 minutes until puffed up and golden brown.
For the Honey-Roast Peaches
  1. Whilst the French Toast is baking, halve the peaches and remove the stones. Place in a oven-proof dish.
  2. Put a knob of butter on each peach half and drizzle over some honey - a small dollop for each half is sufficient as the peaches should already be pretty sweet!
  3. Place in the oven after the French Toast has been cooking for 10 minutes - they should take around 20 minutes to roast and become delicious!
For the Mascarpone Cream
  1. Whilst everything is baking in the oven, mix together the mascarpone, cream and vanilla in a small bowl until smooth and well-combined.
  2. Serve the French Toast with a couple of peach halves, a dollop of mascarpone cream and the sweet honey butter sauce from the bottom of the peach dish.
  3. Bask in the praise of your brunch companions.
Amy Elizabeth http://amyliz.co.uk/

Want more? Follow me: Twitter / Instagram / Bloglovin / Pinterest

Lemon & Poppy Seed French Toast

french toast 3.jpg

I like hosting. It’s one of my favourite things. I have guest towels and I like to show off how fluffy they are. It brings me joy to take care of my friends and family – to pour them a glass of wine when they arrive, to make them a cup of tea in the morning and serve them a brilliant brunch. French toast is my go to brunch food – it’s completely delicious and incredibly easy. You can prepare it the night before, or whip it up in the morning and it’s sure to impress your guests.

This particular French Toast recipe incorporates my new favourite flavour combination – lemon and raspberry. Fresh, citrusy, sweet and tart – everything that’s good in the world. The added crunch of the poppyseed compliments the doughy goodness of the brioche. This recipe serves three – but you can easily dial it up or down depending on how many guests you have.

french toast 1.jpg

You’ll need:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of semi-skimmed milk
  • 1/4 cup of double cream
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. poppy seeds
  • 1 lemon
  • 9 slices of brioche – slightly stale is best
  • 1 cup of frozen raspberries
  • 2 heaped teaspoons of icing sugar

french toast 2.jpg

 

1. Whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, honey, poppy seeds and the zest of the lemon until combined and smooth.

2. Lay your brioche slices in a shallow dish and pour over the egg mixture. Smush them around a bit to make sure they’re all covered (technical term, there…)

3. Leave to soak in that eggy goodness. Place the raspberries, juice of half the lemon and icing sugar in a pan over a low-to-medium heat.

4. Stir occasionally until the raspberries break down into a warm sauce. Add more sugar to taste.

raspberry coulis.jpg

5. Set aside and melt a knob of butter in a frying pan on a low-to-medium heat. Place the slices of brioche into the pan.

6. Flip after a couple of minutes. Cook until both sides are golden brown.

7. Keep going until all your slices are done. Depending on how big your frying pan is, you might want to keep the finished slices warm in the oven.

8. Serve with a drizzle of coulis and a glass of fresh juice. ‘Cos you’re the hostess with the mostest, after all.

french toast 4.jpg

Want more? Follow me: Twitter / Instagram / Bloglovin / Pinterest