An egg-cellent brunch masterclass

I’m a breakfast-for-every-meal sort of girl.

Most days, that means endless slices of buttered toast and bottomless cups of tea.

But my prefered option remains a cooked breakfast or -even better yet- an egg-focused brunch feast.

Now, I know brunch has been taking the restaurant world by storm these past few years. But in my opinion, the best ones are the ones you cook at home.

Pyjamas on, sleeves rolled up, slurping the largest cuppa known to man as you go.

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue ‚óŹ Learning how to make eggs Benedict ‚óŹ Cake + Whisky

Not to blow my own horn, but I’m rather¬†egg-celent at scrambled eggs myself.

However,¬†I’m not egg-xactly as well-versed in the king of brunch dishes – eggs Benedict.

Not to worry though –¬†turns out it’s actually quite easy!

…especially when the lovely team at¬†The Avenue Cookery School*¬†shows you all the tricks to making cracking¬†eggs Benedict at home!

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue Cookery School, London ‚óŹ Learning how to make eggs Benedict ‚óŹ Cake + Whisky

The Avenue’s brunch masterclass¬†starts, as all good (French?) stories do, with warm pastries…

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue Cookery School, London ‚óŹ Learning how to make eggs Benedict ‚óŹ Cake + Whisky

…and¬†bottomless Bloody Marys!

Egg-cited yet? Well, that’s just the beginning!

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue Cookery School, London ‚óŹ Learning how to make eggs Benedict ‚óŹ Cake + WhiskyAn egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue ‚óŹ Learning how to make eggs Benedict ‚óŹ Cake + Whisky

Next up: day-dreaming about the incredible kitchen equipment and considering moving in immediately.

Put on your apron & get cooking!

First things first: make a hollandaise sauce.

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue Cookery School, London ‚óŹ Learning how to make eggs Benedict ‚óŹ Cake + Whisky

Here’s what you’ll need for two:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 capfull white wine vinegar (this one is a-ma-zing!)
  • 100g unsalted butter, cubed
  • sea salt to taste

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue Cookery School, London ‚óŹ Learning how to make eggs Benedict ‚óŹ Cake + Whisky

Start by whisking together the egg yolks and vinegar in a small bowl.

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue Cookery School, London ‚óŹ Learning how to make eggs Benedict ‚óŹ Cake + Whisky

Place the bowl over a double boiler and whisk it continuously until it starts thickening.

You’ll want to keep the temperature under control so the yolk doesn’t overcook.

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue Cookery School, London ‚óŹ Learning how to make eggs Benedict ‚óŹ Cake + Whisky

When your whisk starts leaving marks, reduce the temperature further and whisk the butter in cube by cube.

Remove the hollandaise from the heat and season with more vinegar and salt.

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue Cookery School, London ‚óŹ Learning how to make eggs Benedict ‚óŹ Cake + Whisky

… and maybe a little bit of the good stuff if you’re feeling fancy!

Set aside and get cracking on your poached eggs.

You’ll need to make two per person and the fresher the better (hint hint)!

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue Cookery School, London ‚óŹ Learning how to make eggs Benedict ‚óŹ Cake + Whisky

In a large, deep saucepan, heat up about 4 inches of water to a small boil, then reduce the temperature slightly.

Crack your eggs and place each one in a small recipient, leaving the very liquid part of the white behind.

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue Cookery School, London ‚óŹ Learning how to make eggs Benedict ‚óŹ Cake + Whisky

Use your whisk to create a deep vortex in the middle of your saucepan.

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue Cookery School, London ‚óŹ Learning how to make eggs Benedict ‚óŹ Cake + Whisky

Once the surface of the water is almost back to being flat, lower one egg into the water and cook for about 3min.

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue Cookery School, London ‚óŹ Learning how to make eggs Benedict ‚óŹ Cake + Whisky

Remove the egg with a slotted spoon and repeat with the remaining eggs.

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue Cookery School, London ‚óŹ Learning how to make eggs Benedict ‚óŹ Cake + Whisky

Meanwhile, get everything else ready.

Toast your muffins, slice your avocado, fry your bacon…

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue Cookery School, London ‚óŹ Learning how to make eggs Benedict ‚óŹ Cake + Whisky

Pile your toppings of choice onto the English muffins.

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue Cookery School, London ‚óŹ Learning how to make eggs Benedict ‚óŹ Cake + Whisky

Top with a perfectly poached egg.

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue Cookery School, London ‚óŹ Learning how to make eggs Benedict ‚óŹ Cake + Whisky

And a good drizzle of truffle hollandaise.

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue Cookery School, London ‚óŹ Learning how to make eggs Benedict ‚óŹ Cake + Whisky

Sprinkle with chopped fresh herbs (parsley’s great with bacon and chives with salmon/avocado).

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue Cookery School, London ‚óŹ Learning how to make eggs Benedict ‚óŹ Cake + Whisky

Add a little crack of black pepper or a little bit of aleppo pepper.

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue Cookery School, London ‚óŹ Learning how to make eggs Benedict ‚óŹ Cake + WhiskyAn egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue Cookery School, London ‚óŹ Learning how to make eggs Benedict ‚óŹ Cake + Whisky

Step back to admire your handy work.

Reward yourself another bacon-dusted Bloody Mary… or maybe¬†a cup of egg-spresso?

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue Cookery School, London ‚óŹ Learning how to make eggs Benedict ‚óŹ Cake + Whisky

Dig in and be ready to bacon some hearts…

It’s quite the¬†egg-straordinary¬†brunch dish after all!

 

Want to become a Benedict egg-xpert? Head to the Avenue’s Sunday Brunch Club¬†for the ultimate brunch masterclass. You’ll learn how to make the perfect Eggs Benedict¬†with a side of¬†bottomless Bloody Marys in a fun and welcoming environment. A great way to start Sunday to get you in shape for the rest of your weekend!

*I was a guest of The Avenue for their Sunday Brunch masterclass preview. All pictures, opinions and egg obsessions my own.

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An egg-cellent brunch masterclass

The Fumbally, Dublin

It’s hardly a secret that carbs are my soft spot.

I could happily have pasta for every meal, can’t decline a slice of cake and have no idea how to say no to French fries.

But my biggest weakness is bread.

Dublin's best brunch at The Fumbally | Cake + Whisky

So from the moment I entered the door, I knew I would feel very much at home at The Fumbally.

Dublin's best brunch at The Fumbally | Cake + WhiskyDublin's best brunch at The Fumbally | Cake + Whisky

An absolute Dublin institution and a locals’ favourite, The Fumbally is quite simply the most fantastic of community caf√©s I’ve ever come across.

Dublin's best brunch at The Fumbally | Cake + WhiskyDublin's best brunch at The Fumbally | Cake + Whisky

It’s one of those no-nonsense, hipster-before-hipster-was-a-thing kind of places.

There’s a mishmash of tables to share, and junkstore decor to match.

Dublin's best brunch at The Fumbally | Cake + Whisky Dublin's best brunch at The Fumbally | Cake + Whisky Dublin's best brunch at The Fumbally | Cake + Whisky

There’s a tiny open kitchen at the back and a small counter to the side, both run by dynamic, ever-smiling staff,¬†deliver¬†all sorts of eggcellent¬†brunch treats.

Dublin's best brunch at The Fumbally | Cake + WhiskyDublin's best brunch at The Fumbally | Cake + Whisky

Signature ‘Fumbally eggs’.

Dublin's best brunch at The Fumbally | Cake + Whisky

A big plate of fluffy scrambled eggs served with garlic-fried kale, red pepper hot sauce and sunflower seeds.

Dublin's best brunch at The Fumbally | Cake + Whisky Dublin's best brunch at The Fumbally | Cake + Whisky

Beautiful, creamy ‘n’ zesty Turkish eggs served with salad, olives, flat bread and lemon and honey cream cheese.

Dublin's best brunch at The Fumbally | Cake + Whisky Dublin's best brunch at The Fumbally | Cake + Whisky

All topped with a smogasboard of sweet treats (if you happen to come across the tahini brownies, snap them up quickly, they go in a flash!)

Dublin's best brunch at The Fumbally | Cake + Whisky

Go with a bunch of people or share a table with strangers. Take your time. Enjoy every bite. Consider going back for seconds and thirds…

Eggs-actly what weekends are for!

The Fumbally, Fumbally Ln, Merchants Quay, Dublin 8
The Fumbally, Dublin

Brunch at Market Restaurant, Camden

In my world, Saturday is brunch day.

Luckily, there’s no shortage of fantastic places for this in London.

Brunch at Market restaurant, Camden | Cake + Whisky Brunch at Market restaurant, Camden | Cake + Whisky

The latest of my discoveries is Market restaurant, a lovely no-nonsense farm-to-table little place right by Camden Town station.

Brunch at Market restaurant, Camden | Cake + Whisky

It‚Äôs a small, cosy restaurant¬†with blasted brick walls, zinc-topped tables & an open kitchen that knows it’s way ’round the brunch classics.

Brunch at Market restaurant, Camden | Cake + Whisky

Starting with loads of tea (and a little bit of coffee).

Brunch at Market restaurant, Camden | Cake + Whisky Brunch at Market restaurant, Camden | Cake + Whisky

Scrambled eggs and smoked salmon on (remarquably excellent) toast.

Brunch at Market restaurant, Camden | Cake + Whisky Brunch at Market restaurant, Camden | Cake + Whisky Brunch at Market restaurant, Camden | Cake + Whisky

Salt beef hash with fried duck egg and caramelised onions.

Brunch at Market restaurant, Camden | Cake + Whisky Brunch at Market restaurant, Camden | Cake + Whisky

Incredibly fluffy buttermilk pancakes with hot berry mix, vanilla crème fraiche and maple syrup.

There were also Eggs Florentine thrown in somewhere, but it looks like I didn’t manage to capture them in all their glorious simplicity!

With quality, wholesome food¬†made using the freshest seasonal produce, Market restaurant is absolutely the place, and no matter what you choose from the short but perfectly formed brunch menu, you’ll be in for an egg-ceptional start to the day!

You might want to book a table though, as it’s quite small and (unsurprisingly) fills up quickly!

Race you there? 3…2…1… BRUNCH!

Market restaurant, 43 Parkway, Camden NW1 7PN

Brunch at Market Restaurant, Camden

Cranberry Oatmeal Cake

Growing up in France, my breakfasts were almost always of the sweet variety. Toast with butter and jam, or Nutella, pastries… and on the very best days, cake!

Fast forward a few years (really not that many!) and you’ll find that my breakfasts have taken a savoury turn… but cake very much remains at the top of the ‘best breakfast’ list!

Cranberry Oatmeal Cake

Now, I know that not everyone can stomach a brownie calorie bomb early in the morning (feel free to call me shall you need some help!), but the below Cranberry Oatmeal Cake is a completely different animal.

Cranberry Oatmeal Cake Cranberry Oatmeal Cake

It has oats, and berries, and syrup and egg. It has that sweet, milky taste of the very best porridge, contrasting perfectly with the sharp, tangy cranberry and deep, dark chocolate chips.¬†And it’s much more convenient to eat on-the-go than a bowl of cereal.

Cranberry Oatmeal Cake

If that’s not¬†top breakfast material, I don’t know what is!

Cranberry Oatmeal Cake

Cranberry Oatmeal Cake (serves 6-8)

Ingredients: 

  • 100g porridge oats
  • 250ml hot milk
  • 100g butter, softened
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 60ml maple syrup
  • 1 big free-range egg, lightly beaten
  • 120g self-raising flour + 1 tbsp
  • 150g fresh or frozen cranberry
  • 1 tbsp dark chocolate chips

1.¬†Pre-heat the oven to 180 C¬į. Grease and line a large loaf tin.

2. In a small bowl, mix the cranberries with 1 tbsp flour until evenly coated (that will prevent them from falling to the bottom of the tin).

3. Combine the oats and the hot milk in a large mixing bowl and set aside for a while to allow the oats to absorb most of the milk.

4. Cream the butter and sugar together with a whisk, then stir in the maple syrup and the egg.

5. Fold the flour into the butter mixture.

6. Drain any remaining liquid from the oats, then stir into the cake batter.

7. Add in the chocolate chips and 2/3 of the cranberries and mix once more.

8. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and sprinkle the remaining cranberries evenly on top.

9. Bake for about 45 min (or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean).

10. Let rest in the tin for 10 min before turning out onto a wire rack to cool. Dust with a little icing sugar before serving.

 

 

Cranberry Oatmeal Cake

Brunch at Oldroyd

I don’t believe Oldroyd needs any introduction.

I have already written about it several times, and yet here I am again, writing about it once more.

You might want to call this a bad blogger syndrom, and you wouldn’t be wrong.

But then again, what’s a girl to do when one of her absolute favourite locals starts doing brunch eh?

Brunch at Oldroyd | Cake + Whisky Brunch at Oldroyd | Cake + Whisky

With about 30 seats and simple yet tasteful decoration, Oldroyd is a dream no matter when you visit.

But if you asked, I’d say Sunday is probably the best day.

Brunch at Oldroyd | Cake + Whisky Brunch at Oldroyd | Cake + Whisky

Because it’s Oldroyd’s brunch day and they serve up their signature fettucine carbonara.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, so first things first.

Brunch at Oldroyd | Cake + Whisky

And by that I mean Bloody Mary, obviously.

As a matter of fact, the very best one I’ve ever had in London (and trust me when I say beating The Smokehouse‘s Chicken Salt delight was no easy task)!

Brunch at Oldroyd | Cake + Whisky

Spicy and very pickle-y, it’s not one for the faint-hearted but still the very best way to get the brunch party started.

Though a tall, icy glass of Earl Grey iced tea does rather nicely as well!

Brunch at Oldroyd | Cake + Whisky

Croquetas¬†have been a feature on¬†Oldroyd’s menu since the restaurant opened and they’re an absolute must-order.

Brunch at Oldroyd | Cake + Whisky Brunch at Oldroyd | Cake + Whisky

This time, they were filled with mushroom, served with a generous dollop of truffle mayonnaise and as delightful as ever.

Brunch at Oldroyd | Cake + Whisky

Zucchini fries are always a good idea too.

Brunch at Oldroyd | Cake + Whisky

Feather-light, thin & crispy, they’re utterly irresistible.

But if you’re there for brunch, you might as well make the most of it.

Brunch at Oldroyd | Cake + Whisky Brunch at Oldroyd | Cake + Whisky

The Bacon & egg fettucine, with confit garlic & berkswell, is out-of-this-world good.

Brunch at Oldroyd | Cake + Whisky

It has eggs and bacon and carbs, it’s rich and creamy and comforting and basically all of your brunch dreams come true.

Brunch at Oldroyd | Cake + Whisky

And if you want more, the Braised ox cheek with polenta & gremolata is an excellent choice.

Brunch at Oldroyd | Cake + Whisky

Melt-in-the-mouth meat never goes out of fashion as far as I’m concerned. Warming, comforting and satisfying, it’s winter food at it’s finest.

The only issue is that it might well rule dessert out. Don’t worry chocolate mousse with raspberries & salted pistachio praline, I’ll be back for you!

I can never stay away for very long anyway (and if you want to make sure¬†you don’t have to fight me for¬†the last table, you better book here)!

Oldroyd, 344 Upper Street, London N1 0PD

PIN FOR LATER:

Brunch at Oldroyd | Cake + Whisky

Brunch at Oldroyd

Scottish brunch at Mac and Wild

On one of my -very productive- days scrolling the internet, I came across the word ‘fernweh’.

Fernweh¬†is a consuming longing to be somewhere you’ve never been. I wasn’t sure I really understood it at the time, but it all made sense¬†as soon as I stepped into Mac and Wild in Fitzrovia.

Scottish brunch at Mac & Wild | Cake + Whisky Scottish brunch at Mac & Wild | Cake + Whisky

The brick walls, the raw wooden tables, the casual-meets-refined atmosphere…

It all collided and made me want to turn right back and head on to the Highlands.

Scottish brunch at Mac & Wild | Cake + Whisky Scottish brunch at Mac & Wild | Cake + Whisky Scottish brunch at Mac & Wild | Cake + Whisky

But with over 50 different labels of whisky, home-bottled cocktails and a whole shelf full of pickles, Mac and Wild has strong arguments to help you¬†postpone the fernweh urge…

… and settle for Scottish brunch instead!

Scottish brunch at Mac and Wild | Cake + Whisky

Starting with a classic: Scottish breakfast.

Scottish brunch at Mac & Wild | Cake + Whisky

Loads of brown food, and pretty much every single kind of meat patty you can possibly think of.

It might be a cardiologist’s worst nightmare (even though Mac & Wild’s version is surprising un-greasy!), but things don’t get much better than that…

Scottish brunch at Mac & Wild | Cake + Whisky

… unless of course you go for the Veni-Moo.

Voted UK & London’s best burger for two years running, Mac and Wild signature dish is an absolute beauty!

Scottish brunch at Mac & Wild | Cake + Whisky

…especially if you decide to add candy bacon to the juicy beef-venison-caramelised onion-bearnaise masterpiece.

Quite simply burger-perfection.

Scottish brunch at Mac & Wild | Cake + Whisky

All washed down with cocktails & a few drops of scotch…

Scottish brunch at Mac & Wild | Cake + WhiskyScottish brunch at Mac & Wild | Cake + Whisky

… plus some Irn-Bru (it would have been wrong not to!)

Its bubblegum taste was the perfect introduction to our beast of a dessert.

Scottish brunch at Mac & Wild | Cake + Whisky

I shouldn’t but I will‘: Dark chocolate Nemesis, salted caramel sauce, orange, almonds, vanilla ice cream & taffy crumble.

Scottish brunch at Mac & Wild | Cake + Whisky

The ultimate indulgence and one of the many, many reasons to get to Mac & Wild very soon!

Bangin’ cocktails, eye-rolling-ly good food, all served by dynamic and passionate staff…

… Oh, and have I mentioned that they take bookings¬†too?

Brunch winner right there!

Mac & Wild, 65 Great Titchfield St, London W1W 7PS

PIN FOR LATER:

Scottish brunch at Mac and Wild | Cake + Whisky

Scottish brunch at Mac and Wild

Brunch at Dishoom

I don’t usually give another chance to restaurants that disappoint the first time around but I made an exception for Dishoom.

Truth be told, after our last visit, I really wasn’t keen to go back. For me, it simply wasn’t worth the hype.

But many people told me that going for dinner was a mistake, and brunch was what Dishoom was all about.

Brunch at Dishoom King's Cross | Cake + Whisky

And so, after hearing the same advice from quite a few foodie friends, I finally gave in and booked a table for breakfast at their dazzingly beautiful King’s Cross venue.

(yes, BOOK! Quite an improvement on the 30 min+ in the cold already!)

Brunch at Dishoom King's Cross | Cake + WhiskyBrunch at Dishoom King's Cross | Cake + Whisky

Once again, Dishoom signature decor, a mix of Bombay knick-knacks and vintage touches, took my breath away.

Brunch at Dishoom King's Cross | Cake + Whisky

The carefully thought-out details and the smell of Chai…

The second you step in, you’re transported miles away from London and its rain into the heart of India’s cultural capital: Bombay, home of Bollywood and the famous Irani caf√©s Dishoom was inspired by.

But did the food measure up?

Considering it’s been in basically every ‘London’s best brunch’ list, we came with high expectations.

Brunch at Dishoom King's Cross | Cake + Whisky

 

And having at heart to do as thourough a job as humanly possible, we covered the table in as many dishes as we could manage.

And here’s the good news. Some of it was very good indeed.

Brunch at Dishoom King's Cross | Cake + Whisky

Top of the list being Dishoom’s¬†famous Bacon Naan Roll.

Brunch at Dishoom King's Cross | Cake + Whisky Brunch at Dishoom King's Cross | Cake + Whisky

Freshly baked tandoor naan, graced with a touch of cream cheese, chilli tomato jam and fresh herbs, and wrapped around rock-salt cured streaky bacon.

A Dishoom signature dish truly deserving of its accolades.

Brunch at Dishoom King's Cross | Cake + Whisky

Not bad either were the Masala beans.

A massive portion for £1.5, with just enough warming chilli and a little sprinkle of fresh coriander, it is the perfect brunch side and anything but your usual baked beans.

Unfortunately, the rest of our selection wasn’t quite as successful.

Brunch at Dishoom King's Cross | Cake + Whisky

Akuri –¬†An Irani caf√© staple of spicy scrambled eggs with onion and tomato, piled up alongside plump pau buns and served with grilled tomato.

Brunch at Dishoom King's Cross | Cake + Whisky

A winner on paper, but while it tasted quite nice with a nice kick of green chilli and fresh coriander, the texture of the eggs was truly awful as they were dry, yet with plenty of liquid leaking out (presumably from the chopped vegetables not being pre-cooked).

Brunch at Dishoom King's Cross | Cake + Whisky Brunch at Dishoom King's Cross | Cake + Whisky

Kejriwal (fried eggs on chilli cheese toast) was even more of a disappointment, as the inviting orange-yolked eggs were un-evenly cooked (one was runny and the other entirely cooked through) and so covered in cracked black pepper that it was impossible to taste anything else. Quite a shame, really.

Brunch at Dishoom King's Cross | Cake + Whisky

And if the Chai was alright (not the best I’ve had, but not the worse either, and really quite helpful if you’re nursing a bit of a cold as I was that day), the Red grape & lemon wasn’t quite so. Too much lemon ruined the balance of the juice and brought out the unpleasant bitterness of grapes, instead of enhancing its natural sweetness.

So once again, Dishoom was quite a hit-or-miss sort of experience.

But if you stay right away from the fancy-looking options, and focus all your attention on the Bacon naan roll, it is actually quite a good brunch option!

Bacon, naan, chai. Sold.

Dishoom King’s Cross, 5 Stable St, London N1C 4AB –¬†Book a table here

Do you give restaurants a second chance? 

Brunch at Dishoom