Christmas morning is only four sleeps away. At Casa Mulberry it is often a hurried affair. There is the thrill of discovering what goodies Santa has left in the stockings hung above the fire place, and then the challenge of packing (usually fragile) presents, (perishable, need to be chilled) foods and plenty of champagne in the car - before heading to our respective family gatherings. In this flurry of activity, I do like to savour a little bit of time for a romantic breakfast for two, as we reflect on the year that has passed, our adventures, our friends and family - and how blessed we are to have them to share Christmas with.
Chocolate panettone French toast with coconut cream and fresh strawberries is definitely a romantic way to start Christmas day, especially when accompanied by a small glass of your favourite French bubbles. It is super easy and quick to prepare - and is a totally luxurious and indulgent way to start the day. The trick is serving only a relatively small portion, to make sure you can cope with the delicious feasting that fills Christmas day.
Chocolate panettone French toast with coconut cream & fresh strawberries
1/3 cup coconut cream
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 1.5cm-thick rounds of chocolate chip panettone (cut across horizontally), quartered
1 punnet fresh strawberries, sliced
1tbs icing sugar, to dust
1tbs ground cinnamon, to dust
40g unsalted butter
1. In a wide, shallow bowl, beat eggs, coconut cream and ground cinnamon. Add the panettone, turn to coat and leave to soak for a few minutes, pressing down to make sure it soaks up the batter.
2. Heat half the butter in a non-stick frypan over medium heat. Drain excess egg mixture from half the panettone slices and cook for 1-2 minutes each side until golden. Keep warm while you repeat with remaining butter and panettone.
3. To serve, place slices on each plate, layer with sliced strawberries and dust with icing sugar and cinnamon.
Alternatively, if you feel as though, in an effort to preserve your energy for the excitiments of the day ahead, all you can muster is a little bit of slicing and popping the cork on the champagne - then this raspberry and goat's yoghurt butter cake is perfect to have ready at hand. It can be made on Christmas eve or even the day before.
Raspberry and goat's yoghurt butter cake
2 cups all-purpose plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
125g unsalted butter, softened
1 cup fine caster sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup thick Greek style goat's yoghurt
2 cups raspberries (fresh or frozen)
1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F).
2. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl.
3. Place butter and sugar in a bowl and crean until light and fluffy.
4. Add the eggs to the butter mixture and mix until well combined.
5. Add the flour mix, alternating with dollops of yoghurt, mixing well after each addition. Fold through raspberries, leaving a few to scatter ontop.
6. Pour the mixture into a greased 9" spring form cake tin. Scatter with remaning raspberries. Bake for around 50 mins.
Whether you start the day with a small glass of French bubbles - or an extra strong coffee, may you have a wonderful Christmas day surrounded by love and laughter!