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Brunch on Saturday: Small Turkish plates and sweet French treats

This week in Brunch on Saturday, we dine out on Turkish mezze plates and make pecan brioche French toast at home

Kirsty Major
Friday 17 February 2017 17:09 GMT

Brunching out...

My problem with eating out is that when, after much deliberating, I settle on a choice, as soon as the plates are served I’ll grow green with food envy. In an attempt to save my friendships, my fellow diner and I visited Firedog, the new Greek and Turkish-inspired all-day dining spot in Fitzrovia, London. Here the small plates trend has reached the breakfast table via their signature mezze brunch menu.

At £18 per head, you won’t know where to start, or end for that matter. There are tomatoes with purple basil olive oil, hung cheese with sour cherry compote, wood-roasted tahini with caroub molasses, candied pumpkin yoghurt, grilled halloumi, feta and sujuk with charred spring onions, all presented on individually designed clay plates. The meal is served with a selection of flat breads with additional homemade jams, vanilla butter, lemon curd, clotted cream and organic honeycomb.

 Crispy sujuk on sourdough with dill, mayo, tomato and fried egg

For those who don’t like to share, there are a selection of meals using a combination of the mezze ingredients, from grilled halloumi with smoked tomatoes, butterbean hummus, fried egg, zaatar and flat bread, to sujuk hash with roasted onions, spinach and poached egg.

To drink we ordered the house special – siphon coffee. As beautiful as it is functional, there are two chambers. The first is filled with water and heated so the vapour pressure forces water to rise to the upper chamber, where it mixes with the coffee grinds. The mixed water is pulled back down into the lower chamber and through a filter, filling it with brewed coffee.

As beautifully presented as it was delicious, Firedog is the perfect spot for the eternally indecisive diner. Mezze to share, with coffee, costs just under £50 for two.

Firedog, 92 Newman Street, Fitzrovia, London W1T 3EZ

Brunching in...

Baked pecan brioche French toast

In France they actually call French toast “pain perdu” (lost bread) and make it using stale, leftover bread. Well, we thought that sounded a bit sad so we’ve opted for brioche to help give this breakfast an added je ne sais quoi.

Serves 4

35 min, plus 12 hours of soaking

1 loaf of brioche, sliced fairly thickly
​200g pecan butter, plus extra to serve
4 eggs
55g caster sugar
​500ml almond milk
100g fresh blueberries, plus extra to serve
Icing sugar, for dusting

To serve:
Maple syrup
Natural yoghurt

The day before, spread one side of each brioche slice with pecan butter and arrange the slices in overlapping layers in a shallow ovenproof dish, with the nut butter sides facing down. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, caster sugar and almond milk until combined, then pour evenly over the brioche. Dot the blueberries all over the surface, cover the dish with cling film and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F/ gas mark 4. Remove the cling film from the dish, place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown and puffed up, and no more liquid remains. Leave to cool a little to avoid burnt tongues, then dust with icing sugar. Serve with maple syrup, a spoonful of yoghurt, some more blueberries and pecan butter.

Pip & Nut: The Nut Butter Cookbook by Pippa Murray (Quadrille, £15), photography by Adrian Lawrence

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