I am not always the biggest fan of Sunday. But I love having a big Sunday brunch, especially after a hard Saturday night!
There are many places in Helsinki offering different kinds of brunches, mostly on Sunday but some also on Saturday. At some point I was going for a brunch almost every weekend, so I knew the brunch menus of many cafes. As I got busy with more and more baking and cooking, I started enjoying brunch with friends at my apartment more. These have been generally rather “collective” brunches. This means that I prepare main dishes and friends bring over for instance fruit juice, fruits, an extra type of cheese, or something that they baked / cooked if they wanted to etc…
The brunch ideas I am suggesting in this blog post dates back to the first Sunday of December 2014. I had invited my two close friends, Malin and Pyry over, and this was the first ever brunch in my new apartment, in Kallio. Let’s see what we had on the table:
1. Croque Madame Muffins
Croque Madame is a well-known French dish, quite popular all over the world. This version, in muffin tin, therefore shaped like muffins, is a cute version by Rachel Khoo. I love Khoo and her recipes! And this is extremely easy, fun and very delicious with crunchy texture all over. You can watch how she bakes it on youtube, following this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muRLOLmkEjc
2. Butter, olives and various kinds of cheese
For me, cheese is a MUST, not only in brunch but also in any breakfast or another meal of the day. Here on this table, I had gouda and manchego cheese. Other kinds of cheese I love to eat, especially in the morning, are feta and emmentale, and sometimes cheddar. I love making toast with cheddar!
Olives are another must, and here I had black olives but actually my favourite is green olives. I have been buying some Greek green olives from supermarkets here, but I haven’t yet found a very good and satisfying one. If you know a market in Helsinki that sells delicious green olives, or a particular brand that I missed in the general supermarket chains, let me know!
3. Jam, marmalade and honey
(Sorry for the blurry photo, I was trying to get used to my Olympus camera at that time!)
As it was December, I had a lot of plum marmalade at home. I was baking Finnish Christmas pastry “Joulutorttu” frequently and that pastry has plum marmalade in the centre (I will soon put the recipe in the blog). I have to say that I don’t really like plum marmalade by itself. My absolute favourite jam or marmalade is that of the beautiful fruit: fig! In this photo, on the right there is St. Dalfour fig jam. It is actually named as “fruit spread” because there is no added sugar in this jam. Another option that I have in my fridge right now is “Confiture Bonne Maman”, fig marmalade. Both of these two brands are equally tasty.
When it comes to honey, I normally do not like honey at all. But there is one brand that is heavenly: Miel l’Apiculteur. You can find this in Stockmann. It has so distinctively rich taste, from many flowers, that while you are eating it, you feel like you are eating the whole field of flowers!
If you are not serving to a bunch of vegetarian friends, then meat is another must of a brunch table. You can have one or more different kinds of cold cuts. Another option is to sauté or fry some meat. I had a bit of Turkish sausage, named “sucuk”, that day. I knew that Pyry love it so I fried a few slices of sucuk. This is a quiet spicy sausage, generally made with ground beef. When you fry sucuk, you do not have to put any oil on the pan. Just put the slices on the pan and let it fry with its own fat.
5. Dessert: Moelleux au chocolat
This is a deadly delicious and seriously tasty mini chocolate lava cake, again by Rachel Khoo. Her own little touch is the salted caramel oozing out. It is a bit tricky, because if you don’t do it carefully, you might bake it too much but if you practice a few times, you get the idea.
6. And… others
Of course, a brunch table is not a complete brunch table without the drinks. I am an absolute tea lover so I prefer tea. Other than that, only for my guest friends, I have coffee and a coffee machine in my kitchen. Seriously, I do not ever make coffee for myself! Apart from tea and coffee, on a brunch table it is great to have fruit juices, preferably those without too much added sugar, and also some milk, mostly to put in coffee or tea.
Oh, and one thing I cannot do without: tomato! There is nothing more refreshing than tomato on any table!
So, now that you have all the tips, invite your friends over next Sunday for brunch! And send me your photos by message, to the blog’s Facebook page, or as a comment here!