Saturday, 14 April 2012

Buckwheat Pancakes with Poached Eggs and Hollandaise Sauce

This is a fairly quick gourmet breakfast - its obviously more effort than a bowl of cereal but if you have kitchen helpers you can have it on the table in under half an hour if you delegate. Great for when you have friends over for brunch - or if you are just like Eric and I and you eat it all yourself.

Hollandaise sauce is not hard. It's not! It just takes a bit of concentration. I heard a lady in the supermarket the other day asking where they keep their hollandaise sauce. I didn't even know you could buy it pre-made - but it just couldn't taste as good as a fresh batch.

So let's start with the buckwheat pancake mixture because you will want to let that stand for a while. You can even make it in advance and keep it in the fridge until you need it! I wouldn't leave it in the fridge for longer than 24 hours - you probably could but its better to make up the dry mix in advance and add the wet ingredients just before you use it if you need to leave it longer than that.

Buckwheat flour is rich, nutty, and very very healthy for you. As Buckwheat is not actually wheat, it is a gluten free flour. To make these entirely gluten free, substitute the wheat flour for another gluten free flour such as rice or coconut flour (or simply use buckwheat for the whole lot).

Buckwheat Pancakes

3/4 cup all purpose flour (I use whole wheat but this makes quite a dense pancake - if you prefer lighter fluffier ones just use plain white flour - you are getting enough fibre from the buckwheat anyway!)
3/4 cup buckwheat flour
3 teaspoons baking powder (you can get gluten free baking powder in the health food store)
1 cup milk
2 eggs
2 teaspoons agave nectar

Sift all dry ingredients together into a bowl. Make a well in the center. Whisk eggs, milk and agave in a jug until combined. Gradually add to the flour mix, whisking continuously until combined. Cover with cling wrap and rest for 10 minutes.

While it is resting, start on the hollandaise.

After the batter has rested, melt a little butter in a pan (I used a well-seasoned cast iron grill plate, but an eco non-stick such as Luke Nguyens naturals range would suit as well).

TIP: Do you hate getting batter drips everywhere, and find it impossible to get your pancakes an even size? The best no-fuss way to get your batter into your pan is use a funnel and fill up an old ketchup squeeze bottle. Open up the nozzle and squirt straight into the pan!

Poached Eggs

4 fresh eggs
2 teaspoons vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
saucepan of water

You really don't need any of those fancy egg poaching cups, machines or do-dads. All you need to do is crack an egg onto a saucer, fill a wide saucepan with water and 2 teaspoons vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil and the reduce to a simmer. Fill a bowl with cold water and set to the side. Using a spoon, stir the water in the same direction to create a whirlpool, and then tip your egg from the saucer into the middle of the whirlpool.

Leave to cook for 2-3 minutes for a semi-soft yolk, or 3-4 minutes for a firm set yolk, without stirring. Your egg white will have strands coming off it in the saucepan and it may look like a disaster, but as soon as you serve they will look good! Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and place into the bowl of cold water to stop them cooking. Then drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining eggs until all done, and then serve on top of the pancakes, drizzled with hollandaise, and topped with chives perhaps!

For the recipe for Hollandaise Sauce click here