As for me the notion of breakfast, as a meal, generally oscillates between the comfort of routine and the pleasure of ceremony. Somehow, you can have the same thing for breakfast everyday and it’s no drama, as if we need to start the day with one constant before we are hit by all the variables that follow throughout. Then there is the ritual of the café breakfast, now that’s another thing.
We’ve made it somewhat of a sport to go out for breakfast here in Sydney, and if you are even trendier or sporting a hangover on a Saturday morning, it’s brunch. But it seems that the café breakfast, no matter what time of day is experiencing a revival. Before, it seemed rather preposterous that you would even leave your house at such an early hour to go and have breakfast out, when you can have a perfectly good one at home, but times are a changing. Nowadays, the hottest thing in Sydney’s eateries is the breakfast menu and I’m not the only one who has noticed.
But then again who can maintain such an addiction? As much as I do love the idea of breakfast out everyday, my hip pocket simply isn’t big enough. And besides, sometimes, all I want for breakfast is a good warm bowl of porridge and nice cup of tea. I know there was once upon a time, when I was about ten, or maybe even twelve when all I wanted for breakfast was chorizo and toast. This craving lasted for weeks and I remember my mum stocking up with containers of chorizo in our freezer just to keep up with my morning appetite.
I’ve now kicked that nagging chorizo habit in the mornings, and have move on to something else. I love pancakes or are they hotcakes, well either one. I’ve done pancakes/hotcakes at many a Sydney eatery; there were the nutella pancakes at La Plage, of course Bill’s ricotta hotcakes, sourdough ones from Brasserie Bread (which I highly recommend) and there were the hotcakes at Fifi Foveaux’s, which I might add are preferable to Bill’s- sorry Bill. But now it’s time to take the hotcake back to my own kitchen.
Setting down a plate of hotcakes at my own dining table didn’t have the same allure as eating them out at some café, but the taste was certainly enough to distract me from my humble surroundings. I made coffee flavoured hotcakes (or are they pancakes?) with some rosy red oranges and a drizzling of maple syrup. And to sound crudely cliché- it was simple and satisfying. Which I guess is what everyone looks for in a breakfast; I’ve never seen anyone sit down for a three course breakfast and whoever has the time to do so should really re evaluate how they spend it. Breakfast can be familiar and breakfast can be unchanging, but it should never be boring, or convoluted.
As for these hotcakes, well let their taste speak and that heady aroma of coffee in the kitchen for themselves. Then perhaps you can sit down and contemplate whether you are eating hotcakes or pancakes because I really don’t know the difference between the two and truth be known, I really don’t care, as long as they taste great.
Coffee Hotcakes with Rosy Red Oranges
adapted from Delicious Magazine, June 2005
1 1/3 cups (200g) self-raising flour
1 tbsp instant coffee granules
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbs golden caster sugar
1 egg, separated
200g Greek yoghurt
20g unsalted butter, melted, plus extra to brush
Rosy red oranges, peeled and segmented
Icing sugar, to dust
Maple syrup or honey
Sift the flour, soda and baking powder into a bowl and stir in the coffee and sugar.
In a separate bowl, beat together the egg yolk, yoghurt, milk and melted butter.
Beat in the dry ingredients.
Place the eggwhite in a separate bowl and whisk until soft peaks form.
Fold the eggwhites into the batter.
Brush a non-stick frypan with melted butter and place over medium-high heat.
Drop 1/4 –cup of mixture into the pan for 1-2 minutes until golden.
Flip over and cook for a further minute until golden on other side.
Transfer to a baking tray loosely covered with foil, and keep warm in a low oven while you make the remaining hotcakes.
Serve 2-3 hotcakes per person with some sliced rosy red oranges.
Drizzle with some maple syrup or honey and dust with icing sugar.