Hot Cross Buns

By | Breakfast, Butter, Easter, Hot Cross Buns | 2 Comments

Here is what I had for breakfast Easter morning – a toasted  hot cross bun slathered with butter – a perfect breakfast with coffee. They are good fresh baked, but somehow toasting them make everything come together, the dried fruit, candied peel and the spices. Best of all, the butter melts into the bun and drips down your fingers.

I don’t bother with piping icing or making flour and water crosses, I just cut the tops with a scalpel, more effective than a knife. The recipe is here and it is a good one. This time I used currants but I’ve also chopped up raisins, added some dried cranberries see but I always add some homemade candied peel.


By | Butter, Eggs, New Year, Truffles, Vodka | One Comment

In my excitement over my galette des rois I forgot to post about New Year’s Day. So here it is.

We always have the same breakfast; it has become the traditional way to start the year, truffled scrambled eggs. Simple to make, even with a hangover, although I didn’t have one this year. The most difficult task is peeling the truffles because it’s time consuming especially as I try to remove only the bare minimum. Some people just brush their truffles, but the skin is very hard and often harbours dirt and tiny pebbles; neither is a great addition to eggs. Peeled truffles are easier to slice thinly; a sharp knife will do the trick although I admit to owning a truffle slicer that makes the task showy and simple.

Whisk your eggs. I had wonderful farm eggs from my friend Jan who resides in Cookstown, north of Toronto, with her chickens.  Add a good glug of whipping cream and season well with salt and pepper. Now cook them in a pan over low heat, this takes patience and time but the result is a superb soft, creamy texture.
Take the pan off the heat before you think the eggs are ready, the heat of the pan will continue to cook them, and stir in the truffles slices.  Serve with thick pieces of buttered toast and a glass of champagne – it is a New Year after all. This year we even had truffled butter from Paris to spread thickly on the accompanying toast. A perfect way to start 2010
We kept the truffle peelings, rinsed them well and covered them with vodka in an attempt to make a truffle liquor. I’ll let you know how it turns out – we may be able to just squeeze out an ounce.


By | Butter, Cheese, Croissants, Le Dome, Paris, Pascal Beillevaire | 2 Comments

Perhaps you thought I didn’t get my croissant? Well I did have to wait until Saturday morning but it was worth it. Crisp, flaky and made with enough butter to stain the bag and make my fingers greasy,  it was delicious and the perfect start to the day. Best of all the bakery is a mere five minute walk away, dangerous.

For some reason the croissants are always better on the weekends. I’m not sure why – perhaps they make a bigger batch? Croissants are hard to make in small batches, or maybe they are doing so much baking that they are distracted and leave the croissants in the oven just a little longer. Weekend croissants have wonderful caramelized edges. Notice the croissants are straight not crescent shaped. They sell crescent ones too but they are not au beurre. I don’t want to even think to about what replaces the butter. Without butter it simply isn’t a croissant.

Talking of butter, one of my favourite foods, I have recently discovered another delicious  raw milk butter. This one is from a cheese store Pascal Beillevaire.  Look how beautiful it is, with the cow and the milkmaid embossed onto the surface. There are several stores in Paris, the one pictured below is just behind the famous fish restaurant Le Dome, at the top of the 14th in rue Delambre.

Of course they sell a wide range of raw milk cheeses too and once you enter the store and inhale the aromas you won’t be able resist them. Just don’t forget the butter, it comes sweet or salted.