Friday, 13 June 2014


It's not everyday you can say you had brunch with Gizzi Erskine.

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Followers of LFF on instagram will know that my boyfriend and I have a shared obsession with brunch. Our Sunday mornings are either spent trialing new recipes at home [fueled by copious amounts of coffee], or venturing into South London, Sunday papers in hand, to try out hyped-up haunts.  So when Nescafe Dolce Gusto invited me to take part in a brunch masterclass with TV chef Gizzi Erskine, I jumped at the opportunity to pick up some new tricks.

The concept behind the event was to  dishes which are complimented by coffee that would pair perfectly with a Nescafe Dolce Gusto creation. Gizzi picked two recipes to demonstrate – Sweetcorn Fritters with Roasted  Chorizo, Tomatoes and Avocado, and Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart (what dessert dreams are made of!). Our destination for the day was Food at 52 – a very cool cookery school in East London. 
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I’ve had Sweetcorn Fritters before (my boyfriend makes a mean fritter with halloumi and hot tomato salsa) so I was interested to see how Gizzi’s would compare.  Gizzi’s were super easy to make, and incorporated a new ingredient for me – buttermilk. I took the job of lead fryer and had fun (albeit it a little tense) flipping the fritters! The flavours were delicious, although I would serve mine with hot tomato salsa and halloumi given the choice at home. I’m not a big desserts girl (give me a cheeseboard anyday) but Gizzi’s Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart was just so good – one of the best things I have eaten in a long time. I admit it wasn't easy to make – the caramel was tricky to perfect – but it was so worth the effort. Think buttery pastry layered with a sticky sea salt-punctuated caramel topped with a whipped dark chocolate mix and you have my perfect dessert on a plate. We ate the tart whilst it was still warm (foodgasm!) with frothy Nescafe Dolce Gusto lattes. 
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If you fancy recreating Gizzi's brunch at home, here are the recipes:


[omit the chorizo if you're vegetarian like me] 

Image and video hosting by TinyPic200g sweetcorn, freshly cut off the cob / 2 spring onion, finely sliced / 1 green chili, halved seeded and thinly sliced / 1 large egg / 1 egg yolk /  75ml buttermilk / 30g polenta / 15g corn flour / teaspoon salt / teaspoon ground black pepper / oil for frying / olive oil drizzling  / 4 cooking chorizos / 250g cherry tomatoes on the vine / 1 avocado, sliced / the juice of lemon or lime / sea salt /coriander


Heat the oven to 200°c. Rub the chorizo with oil and pop in the oven to roast for 20 minutes for the last 10 minutes add in the cherry tomatoes drizzling them with some oil too.

Mix together the corn, spring onion, chili, egg, buttermilk, polenta, corn flour, and season in a large bowl. now leave covered in the fridge to rest for 15 minutes.

Heat a frying pan and add a little oil. spoon into the hot pan a half of the fritter mixture into 2 -4 dollops (they will spread out), and cook it for 1-2 minutes until it is golden underneath, and it starts to bubble up. using a wide spatula, flip it over carefully and cook on the other side for a minute, then remove to a warm plate while you cook the rest. 

Serve the fritters between 4 plates. top with chorizo, roasted tomatoes, avocado, squeeze over the lemon juice and serve with fresh coriander.


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150g unsalted butter /  1 X pack of ready to roll short crust pastry (based on 200g pastry used for tart-25cm) / 160g good quality chocolate (lindt or green & blacks 70%) / 8tbsp cocoa powder / small pinch of salt if required / 4 eggs / 180g caster sugar / 3tbsp golden syrup / 3tbsp single cream [For the Caramel] 150g caster sugar / 65g unsalted butter, diced / 100ml single cream / 1tbsp sea salt


Grease a tart tin (25cm) with butter and then dust flour inside, place the pastry inside and blind bake in the over 

on 170°c for 30-35 minutes. 

Cook the tart without the blind bake for the last 5 minutes of cooking. when the pastry is cooked and starts to get a little brown take it out and leave to cool. in the meantime, make the caramel by melting the sugar and a splash of water in a saucepan on a medium heat until it is a light golden colour, then whisk in the butter and then the double cream. 

Finish with the salt. pour the caramel into the cooked tart and place in the fridge to set for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 140°c. 

When the caramel has almost set, start making the chocolate mix by melting the butter, chocolate, cocoa powder and salt in a bain marie (a bowl held above a saucepan of simmering water) stirring until it's smooth. 

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together until light and well creamed, followed by the golden syrup 
and double cream. add the chocolate mixture and mix well. 

Pour the mix into the tart on top of the set caramel and bake in the oven for 40 to 45min.

A big thank you to Nescafe Dolce Gusto, Food at 52 & Gizzi Erskine for a fab day!

Learn more about Nescafe Dolce Gusto on their Facebook page.

1 comment:

  1. Looks amazing! I've never had fritters before but I'd totally try the with haloumi (Sophie style) or with chorizo! The tart looks insane... I'm also a savoury person but, a chocolate caramel tart,straight out of the oven still warm?? Even that I'd had to try ;)