Thursday, December 9, 2010

Breakfast berry brulee

First published in the Canberra Times 8 December 2010.
It’s Christmas morning, the present wrappings are strewn across the floor, family members are gathered in small groups looking at their gifts and drinking fresh orange juice. I’m standing in front of the stove making toffee to pour over an industrial sized bowl full of juicy berries and creamy yoghurt to feed the hungry mob. I know this sacrifice is well worth the breakfast to come.

Photos by Steve Shanahan

It has become something of a tradition in our household to have this breakfast on those special occasion days such as Christmas and birthday family gatherings. When I ask my family for their breakfast choice, generally the response is “you know Mum, the yoghurt with the berries and the toffee stuff”. Grown-ups love this breakfast too, it gives them permission to eat toffee, which is okay, as it’s balanced by the fruit and yoghurt.

This is a very simple, special occasion brekky, a snack to prepare, but packs a punch in flavour and presentation. Buy the best quality fruit and yoghurt you can find and if you are unable to obtain fresh berries, use frozen ones. While nothing can take the place of fresh fruit, if you do use the frozen ones, leave them slightly frozen as this gives a nice zing to the dish.

A slice of toasted Panettone, an Italian Christmas yeast bread, served on the side or with the brulee on top makes a nice addition.

A medium to dry sparkling wine and a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice complete the picture.

Serves 4 to 6

600g thick Greek yoghurt
1 punnet raspberries – about 120g
1 punnet blueberries – about 120g
120g strawberries, halved
3 peaches sliced
1 cup caster sugar

Place the yoghurt in a large serving dish, scatter the berries, then add the peaches. Place the sugar in a heavy based saucepan with 310mls of water and stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat to medium and continue to cook until the mixture becomes a light golden colour or when a small amount dropped into a glass of cold water hardens slightly. Quickly pour the hot toffee over the fruits. Serve as soon as possible. Some of the toffee will melt into the yoghurt while some will be crisp shards. Optional: top with roasted slivered almonds.

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