Welcome to The Breakfast Club
Our first edition of The Breakfast Club dives straight in to the delights of pancakes and crepes... and we've got our hands on some Chaat Masala from the brand new Cassia at Home range.
Hello and welcome to the first edition of The Breakfast Club!
Our new fortnightly newsletter celebrates the first – and arguably the best – meal of the day. We’re all about balance here at Freedom Farms, so you can expect a bit get-up-and-go, and a bit take-it-easy. We see breakfast as a meal that can bring pure joy: a moment to gather your thoughts while enjoying something that tastes really good.. the day stretches ahead of you, full of opportunities, best explored with a belly that’s filled in the nicest possible way.
The Breakfast Club aims to be a source of breakfast inspiration, tips, tricks, new happenings... and we’d love to think we could be the oracle when it comes to all things bacon and eggs.
In our first edition of The Breakfast Club, we pit crepes against pancakes, and meet a life-changing spice blend from one of the country’s leading chefs that’s perfect for pepping up eggs.
Crepes or pancakes?
Do you prefer wafer-thin crepes folded or rolled around moreish fillings, or a stack of thick, fluffy pancakes? We won’t make you choose… both are delicious when done right. The main difference is that French-style crepes are unleavened, whereas American-style pancakes include a raising agent such as baking powder or baking soda, which makes the batter rise as it cooks.
Springtime heralds relaxed weekend brunches out on the deck, or in a warm bath of morning sunshine pouring in through a window... so we’ve put together some crepe and pancake ideas to whet your appetite.
In place of cow’s milk, you can use any plant milk, yoghurt, cream, or kefir in the batter.
Use the freshest ingredients possible – in a simple dish like this, it makes a difference. Baking powder or soda that’s been open less than six months, just-bought butter (the best you can afford), stoneground organic flour.
Try buckwheat flour or a blend of plain and buckwheat flours for a Breton-style galette.
Pancakes are particularly forgiving of experimentation with non-wheat flours – almond, coconut, chestnut, amaranth, etc.
Don’t overmix! The more you mix the batter, the more you build the gluten strands which will make the end product chewy. For tender, delicate pancakes and crepes, sift dry ingredients and mix gently and minimally. Don’t worry too much about little lumps in the batter as they dissipate during cooking, like magic!
Use a large (balloon) whisk to mix the batter – the shape helps incorporate air into the batter.
Try adding lemonade to pancake batter for an extra-fluffy texture and sweetness.
Fat pancakes can hold additions such as blueberries or raspberries, chocolate chips, and diced apple. Crepes can be spiked with liqueurs like brandy, Grand Marnier – or even a non-bitter beer, which fans say makes for ultra-lacy specimens...
Pancake batter shouldn’t be left to rest for longer than five minutes before cooking, as the raising agents will stop working.
Conversely, some experts reckon crepes are best made with well-rested batter. Food scientist Harold McGee is one: he explains that as the batter rests, the flour continues to be soaked into the liquid, and as a result, the batter cooks quicker and with a smoother texture. The batter thickens as it rests so whisk in a little more liquid prior to cooking.
Use lovely fresh, free-range eggs. Eggs add flavour, structure and richness to pancake and crepe batters.
Pep up eggs with secret spices
A couple of weeks ago, we were excited to try out the new Cassia at Home range of curry sauces and spices from renowned restaurateurs Sid and Chandni Sahrawat. As well as a juicy pork scotch korma curry, we came up with a delicious recipe for chaat masala hash with eggs – it’s just the ticket when you want something filling and flavourful, but fuss-free for breakfast.
RECIPE: Chaat masala hash with eggs
The word chaat covers a wonderful world of street snacks, ubiquitous throughout much of India. Chaat dishes are sweet, salty, tangy, crunchy, refreshing and ultimately, finger-lickingly umami… and a key factor in their deliciousness is the spice blend that graces them with the final touch: chaat masala. It should, however, come with a warning – this stuff is so good it will become habit-forming!
Here we’ve used Cassia at Home chaat masala blend to enliven our fresh free range eggs. It’s a great way to make delicious use of leftover potatoes or other root vegetables, and odds and ends of greens and herbs – but we’re given instructions for cooking from scratch here... just skip the first step and reach for those leftover spuds, if you have them.
Serves 2 | Ready in 30 minutes
½ onion, finely sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 capsicum, diced
3 tsp Cassia At Home Chaat Masala
300g potato (more or less, washed and cut into small cubes, and/or use kumara)
1 cup chopped leafy greens (baby spinach, Asian greens, baby kale, broccolini)
3 Tbsp stock
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
4 Freedom Farms eggs
2 handfuls chopped herbs (coriander or mint)
Small handful curry leaves and 1 Tbsp pomegranate arils (optional, to garnish)
Put potato in a pot and cover with cold water. Put lid on, bring water to a boil and cook at a rolling boil for 10 mins or so until potatoes are tender. Drain.
Heat a large cast-iron pan over medium heat and add a generous glug of vegetable oil. Add onion and garlic to the pan and saute for 4-5 mins until onion is translucent. Add capsicum and stir in, then stir in 1 tsp Cassia chaat masala blend, and continue to cook for 2 mins until fragrant.
Add potatoes, stir to coat in spice, and saute for 2-3 mins, flipping potatoes just once so they get some good contact with the pan. Add greens, stock and vinegar, and saute for 2 mins or so, to wilt the greens.
Make four hollows evenly spaced out in the potato mix. Drizzle a little oil into hollows, then crack an egg into each one. Cook for 5 mins on medium-low heat and then either turn heat down to low, put a lid on and cook for another couple of minutes until egg whites are set or, if your pan is oven-proof can transfer it to a preheated oven at 180℃ to cook for a few mins until whites are set.
If using curry leaves, heat a little oil in a pan and toast, flipping, until crisp and semi-translucent, then cool on a paper towel.
Sprinkle remaining chaat masala over the finished dish and top with crisp curry leaves and pomegranate arils. Dish up with a fish slice onto serving plates.