Cafe to you
We’re bringing cafe culture home, and munching on lemon-laced biscuits that feel just right with that first cuppa of the day...
There’s certainly reason to feel optimistic, with much of Aotearoa moving down alert levels this week. Many of our favourite cafes are reopening for dine-in custom, and many are desperately needing some love – if you’re in a part of the country that’s in level 2, go forth and enjoy that breakfast out there in the world! Eggs cooked to your liking...an extra side of bacon… toast that didn’t jam in the slots and fill the kitchen with an acrid burning aroma... Hollandaise that didn’t break you!
Over a third of the population will be watching wistfully while we patiently await what we are confident will be our turn, soon. With that in mind we’ve put together a stack of hot tips for bringing some of the cafe vibe home.
Nail those eggs… You’d rarely if ever find a dud egg on your plate at your favourite cafe – they’re turning out hundreds of them every day – obviously, practice makes perfect, and now’s a great time to practice! Whether your favourite is poached, fried, scrambled, or boiled – research and experiment with methods till you find what works best for you. (Heads up, we recently shone a light on scrambled eggs, and got Peter Gordon to share his go to.)
Cook your bacon with love and attention… again, try different methods and roll with what you like best. We reckon Freedom Farms Streaky Bacon is best cooked under the grill in the oven for only about 3 mins each side, to crisp up the fat to glorious gold. Our Middle, Shoulder, Rindless Eye, and Rindless Middle bacons do very well in a pan – you want the heat just right, too hot and the juices run for the hills. Start your rashers on a low heat and work up to medium-high for the win!
Go all-in… if you’re going to put the time in to cooking a delicious breakfast, go large! Don’t stop at bacon and eggs… you need sausages, too – Freedom Farms Breakfast Sausages are an obvious choice but our Classic Pork also go down a treat, and we love the smoky, tangy addition of our Smoked Pork Chorizo, sliced and sizzled briefly… don’t throw away the vibrant, flavour-filled oil it leaves behind in the pan… fry your eggs in that! And your mushrooms, tomatoes, and cubes of leftover roast potato – yes indeed.
Don’t skimp… use butter and cream with abandon, just like your cafe chef does.
Ready your reading material… the rustle of newspaper pages turning certainly adds to the cafe experience. Pop to the shop and pick up the paper – if you’re not already a subscriber. Ditto your favourite magazines – one great thing to come out of 2020 was the proliferation of local magazines, often by small independent publishers. If you can subscribe, we can vouch for the arrival of the daily paper, and regular magazines, as one of the saving graces of lockdown! If you’re more of a digital subscriptions fan, mind those greasy fingers!
Sweet sounds… The soundtrack chugging along in the background may be one of the less apparent reasons you love your favourite cafe – replicate it by putting together a playlist of the same kind of tunes, or try getting in touch with the cafe via social media and asking if they can reveal any of their aural secrets. Another idea is to try and bring the entire soundscape of a cafe into your living space… Google search ‘cafe sounds’ and you’ll find a plethora of long clips of ambient cafe sounds … yep, the internet has the answer to everything!
DIY… the next best thing to a barista made coffee is following Sam Low’s guide to making great coffee at home.
Lemony Sour Cream Biscuits
Okay, okay, we’re not about to start sneaking biscuit recipes into every edition of our breakfast newsletter… we have morning decorum to uphold! But just let us explain that with their chewy-on-the-outside, cakey-in-the-middle texture, and uplifting note of lemon, they’re really quite perfect for cutlery-free breakfasting, along with a cup of tea (we would recommend a bone china cup, and Earl Grey… the bergamot jams along with the lemon in the biscuit wonderfully).
We have the Instagram feed of Lucy Corry (@thekitchenmaid) to thank for rediscovering this biscuit – she recently posted an old fave inspired by a recipe book published a decade ago, Little Kitchen Around the World by Sabrina Perrini. It reminded us that we were big fans of that book when it was released; the ‘Lemon biscotti’ recipe therein became a go-to for getting the kids apronned up. Corry’s post was a well-timed reminder, what with the backyard lemon tree still dripping in gold. Here’s our version, slightly tweaked.
2 ½ cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¾ cup caster sugar
Zest 1 medium lemon
150g sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
⅓ cup golden icing sugar (or plain icing sugar)
1/ In a saucepan melt the butter then set aside to cool slightly.
2/ Sift flour, baking powder, and baking soda into a mixing bowl. Add the sugar, lemon zest, sour cream, vanilla, egg and egg yolk, and melted butter and stir to combine – the mixture will be quite firm. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 20 mins.
3/ Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200℃ and line two trays with baking paper.
4/ Sift the icing sugar onto a plate.
5/ Roll tablespoons of chilled dough into balls and set aside, then once all the dough is used, roll each ball in icing sugar to coat well. Place coated balls of dough on trays, allowing 5cm in between as they spread a little during cooking. Work quite quickly to prevent the dough warming up, and the icing sugar being absorbed.
6/ Bake for around 12 minutes, rotating the trays after 8 mins, until biscuits are lightly golden on top. Cool on trays until you can handle them, then cool completely on a wire rack.
If you’re not familiar with Freedom Farms… we’re a 100% NZ-owned company that set out over a decade ago to bring you bacon farmed the Freedom way… from NZ farmers who care about the same things we do. Simply put, that is farming that is kinder for farm animals, and takes it easy on the environment. When you buy our bacon, eggs, pork, sausages and ham you are supporting a wonderful little group of NZ farmers… and for that we’re really really grateful!
That’s all from us… fingers crossed this will be our last newsletter from level 4! Stay safe, and be nice to each other. If you feel so inclined, please share The Breakfast Club with other people who like breakfast. See you again soon 👋