Sunday, May 29, 2011

Spring Brunch - April 10th, 2011

There are few better things in life than relaxing over a long leisurely boozy brunch with great friends and good food.  We did just that at our Foodist Colony Spring Brunch in April.

Our bread basket

Hetal serving up breads

Bread Basket:  As guests streamed in, we served coffee, tea, bloody marys, and an assortment of homemade breads.  Our bread basket included fresh blueberry streusel muffins, spicy cheddar cheese scones, and slices of a multigrain and nut loaf. 

Sweet & Spicy Raita

First Course:   Next up was fruit & yogurt - classic breakfast staples.  Of course, we put our own twist on this, with a bit of old world flavor plus new world science.   Guru has recently started getting into molecular gastronomy (more on that later!), and gave us a treat with raita "balls" made with spiced homemade yogurt.  Fresh fruit including mango and pineapple along with chopped mint topped the yogurt rounds, and then the whole thing was sprinkled with a savory Indian spice mixture.

Kale Salad

Salad/Potato Course:   For our next course, we served a delicious fresh kale salad, with homemade preserved lemons, red onion, and ricotta salata cheese.   Nestled in the middle of each salad plate was an individual potato cup, hollowed out and filled with a delectable stuffing mixture.  The potato was then baked, and topped with creme fraiche and chives. 

The table goes quiet while they eat....

Hetal approves of our salad!

Baked Quail Egg in Phyllo Nest
Egg Course:   Of course, brunch isn't really brunch if there aren't eggs....and bacon!
We wanted to do something a little special for our egg dish, and we think this fit the bill.  We made "nests" of layers of flaky phyllo dough, and filled each nest with a savory mixture of mushrooms & cream.  Then we cracked a quail egg in each nest and baked until the phyllo was crispy, the mushrooms were bubbly, and the egg was just cooked.

Roompa and Sheila prepping bacon in the kitchen
Apparently squirrels like phyllo too!

Lemon Souffle Pancakes with Brown Butter Applesauce

Sweets:   We ended our brunch on a sweet note, with fluffy lemon souffle pancakes made with fresh lemon juice and zest, and fresh ricotta cheese.  The pancakes were sprinkled with powdered sugar, and then topped with a raspberry sauce.   On the side we served a brown butter & thyme applesauce. 

Alka flipping pancakes
Guru and Sheila prepping the next drink

As an extra treat, after the pancakes were polished off, we surprised our guests with after brunch "donuts and coffee."  Or in foodist colony terms, coffee martinis, and mini donut muffins coated in cinammon sugar

Sanjay reaching for his coffee martini

Mmmm...donut muffins! 

Finally, showing you never know what you'll get at a Foodist Colony event, before our guests left, Guru gave an impromptu lesson in molecular gastronomy!   The group took turns making their own yogurt balls, amid much laughter.  

Thao goes molecular

We had a great time at our spring brunch, and hope our guests enjoyed it too!  See the previous post for the recipe for the mini donut muffins.  If you want to learn how to make yogurt balls, you'll just have to join us for our next event! 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Recipe: Donut Hole Muffins from Spring Brunch

By popular demand, we'll be posting a few recipes from our supper club events.

Cinnamon and Cocoa Dusted Mini Donut Muffins

The first recipe is from our spring Brunch in April.  We ended our meal with "donuts and coffee", but done Foodist Colony Style.  The coffee was an intense coffee martini, and the donuts were these adorable donut hole mini muffins.   These are light, airy, and cinnamon-y like the best donut holes, but don't need to be fried.

I found this fabulous recipe from a great blog called A Sofa In the Kitchen, which was exactly what we were looking for, and really easy as well.  I doubled the recipe below, and I got 2 batches of 24 mini donut muffns each.  Leftovers were still moist 5 days later, so this is a great recipe to make ahead.  Just out of the oven, the cinnamon/sugar mixture makes them a bit sticky, but let them cool off, and they'll be fine.  My comments on the original recipe are in italics

1 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
pinch of nutmeg (I used fresh grated)
6 Tablespoons room temperature unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup cold heavy cream
1/4 cup whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

For Dipping:
In two separate bowls:

7 Tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar + 1 Tablespoon cinnamon mixed well

(I started off using a lot less butter, but I really did need almost the whole amount.  Also decided for the 2nd batch of mini-muffins to add some unsweetened cocoa to the sugar mixture, which was a nice touch).


1. Preheat oven to 350 F and spray mini muffin pan with baking nonstick spray  (this is really important, so your muffins come out of the pan easily)
2. Sift dry ingredients, except for sugar, into a small bowl
3. Mix cream, milk and vanilla in a glass measuring cup
4. Beat sugar and butter until light and creamy. appx. 3 minutes;  I used an electric hand mixer and it took maybe 4-5 minutes
5. Stopping mixer, scrape sides of bowl. On medium speed, add egg, and mix until well incorporated.
6. Add 1/3 of dry ingredient mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Alternate with milk mixture, starting and ending with dry ingredients. Do not overmix, stop when ingredients are just incorporated and smooth.   For this step, I moved to mixing with a wooden spoon. 
7. Scoop equal portions into mini muffin tinsI filled them probably about 3/4 full, and I like the domed top I got from doing that. 
8. Bake 10-12 minutes, until cakes are just slightly golden brown.  They will not be very brown, but don't let them overbake.  After 12 min, mine were perfect - I could stick a toothpick through the center of the cake, and not have any batter attach to it. 
9. Remove from oven, and allow to cool for about five minutes in the muffin tin.
10. Remove one by one from tin, submerging each cake fully in the butter bowl, then rolling it until completely coated in cinnamon sugar bowl
11. Place on parchment and allow to cool.
12. Enjoy - ideally with a coffee martini!

Enjoying coffee & donuts