Last Minute Easter Brunch recipe idea

March 20, 2008 7:01:21 PM PDT
Managing an Easter brunch celebration for 20 relatives (and their kids!) might seem like enough to make the host regret the day they ever volunteered their house for a post-church feast! To quell the frustration for this year's Bunny Fest, dynamic duo Justin Hall and Molly Schemper of Chicago's FIG Catering have created simple, delicious treats that can be managed by any cook and are great fun for kids, too!

RECIPE:

Carrot Cake French Toast w/Cinnamon Butter & FIG Syrup

Carrot Cake:
1 C. Whole Milk
2 Eggs
1/3 C. Butter, melted
1 C. Dark Brown Sugar
1½ C. All-Purpose Flour
2 t. Baking Powder
1 t. Baking Soda
½ t. Salt
2 t. Cinnamon
1¼ C. Raw Carrot, grated

Butter & flour a bread pan. In a large mixing bowl combine milk, eggs & butter & beat with a fork until well mixed. Then add the sugar & beat well. Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt & cinnamon & then add them to the first mixture. Then stir in the carrot. Place mixture in to your butter pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until you can poke it with a skewer and it comes out clean. Remove from the oven & let cool for 1 to 2 hour before making the French toast.

French toast:
4 Eggs
1 C. Whole Milk
¼ C. Heavy Cream
1 t. Cinnamon
½ t. Salt

First, Place a large buttered skillet on medium heat. Then slice your carrot cake into ½" slices. In a mixing bowl combine all ingredients & whisk together until incorporated. Then dip your carrot cake into the batter, letting each side sit for 30 second to soak up the liquid. Wipe off any extra mixture & place the slices face down into the buttered skillet. Let each side cook for 4 minutes or until it is golden brown.

Cinnamon Butter:
1/2 C. Butter
4 T. Cinnamon
1 T. Sugar
½ t. Salt

With an electric mixer combine all ingredients and whip until butter is light and fluffy. Place butter into a bowl and serve tableside with the French toast.

FIG Jam:
2 C. pure maple syrup
2 T. fig jam

In a small saucepan, mix ingredients and heat until warm. Serve over French toast.

ABOUT FIG CATERING:

Under the direction of Head Chef Justin Hall and Pastry Chef Molly Schemper, FIG Catering offers small event catering services for groups from 2-100, along with cooking classes for adults and kids and prepared, individual meals delivered to the busy Chicagoan. For more information, please visit their website: www.FIGcatering.com.

MOLLY SCHEMPER:

After graduating from DePaul University with a marketing degree, she worked for four years at a full-service branding agency. After, Molly worked weekends with Carol's Event Staffing, an off-premises catering staffing company, providing service for some of the largest caterers in the city. A self-proclaimed foodie, Molly cooked, independently studied cooking, read about chefs and new restaurants, ate a lot and generally expanded her food knowledge every day. Deciding the advertising business was not for her, she jumped ship to work on a ship - actually two private yachts. She spent a year and a half traveling in the Great Lakes, Florida, the Bahamas, the east coast of the United States and Canada, as a personal chef and crewmember. Upon resettling in Chicago, Molly met Justin while slinging burgers and beers at Poag Mahone's. Three years later she had managed to rid her customers of enough tip money to concentrate on FIG full time. In addition to the marketing and client relations, Molly handles most of the sweet side of the business (making truffles, gelatos, cakes and more).

JUSTIN HALL:

Justin studied the culinary arts at a trade school during his high school years, and since then, his passion, knowledge and repertoire have expanded to include contemporary American, Chinese and Mexican cuisines, among others. He continued his education at the Culinary & Hospitality Institute of Chicago (CHIC), but he soon found he was learning more practical skills in kitchens than classrooms.

Justin spent nearly five years honing his skill with the Kimpton Group as sous chef at Atwood Café and sous and banquet chef at Hotel Monaco and South Water Kitchen, located in downtown Chicago. Justin took a position at Poag Mahone's, an Irish-American alehouse in Chicago's Financial District, where he flipped one of America's Best Burgers (according to GQ Magazine and The Oprah Show) and met his future partner. Since May 2006, Justin has devoted all of his time to building the business of FIG.

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