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Monday 24 July 2017
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5 Dessert-Inspired Breakfast Dishes

For those with a sweet tooth, enjoying a decadent dessert is the best part of any meal, from red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting to vanilla ice cream. In Laguna, it’s not difficult to find the perfect confectionery splurge: With ice cream shops and bakeries around every corner, the city offers nearly unlimited options for those seeking sugary satisfaction. Luckily, locals don’t have to wait until after a meal is over to get their fix. Chefs around town are bringing dessert front and center in reimagined breakfast options that offer a tempting way to begin the day.

 

Strawberry Shortcake Waffles

Strawberry shortcake waffles (By Jody Tiongco)

Strawberry shortcake waffles (By Jody Tiongco)

In January, The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel Chef de Cuisine Steve Wan unveiled an entirely new creation at hotel restaurant Raya: strawberry shortcake waffles. The dish is a fun spin on the traditional dessert, he explains, as house-made Belgian waffles are topped with a creamy blend of whipped mascarpone, cream cheese, lemon and thyme. To finish it off, the resort’s maple syrup is served on the side, as well as a dollop of sweet strawberry compote made with fresh berries and a bit of sugar. The variety of textures and flavors not only keep the dish exciting, but also—with the inclusion of citrus and savory thyme—prevent it from being too much of a good thing. (949-240-2000; ritzcarlton.com)

 

Urth Bread Pudding Breakfast

Urth Bread Pudding Breakfast (By Jody Tiongco)

Urth Bread Pudding Breakfast (By Jody Tiongco)

This Parisian-inspired dish is a “combination of cereal and French toast,” according to Urth Caffé owner Shallom Berkman. “It’s more like a breakfast you’d actually find in France.” Freshly baked brioche bread is sliced, soaked in sweet custard and baked until it’s warm and creamy. It is then topped with a combination of baked banana and fresh sliced banana, sprinkled with sugar and lightly caramelized. For extra decadence, the dish is served with a side of freshly steamed milk, meant to be poured directly on top of the bread pudding. To change things up, diners have the option of requesting cinnamon raisin brioche as a base or a slow-roasted apple topping. (949-376-8888; urthcaffe.com)

 

German Apple Pancake

German apple pancake (By Jody Tiongco)

German apple pancake (By Jody Tiongco)

Apple pie lovers will find just what they are looking for in Madison Square & Garden Cafe’s German apple pancakes. In this customer favorite, Granny Smith apples are thinly sliced, sauteed and mixed directly into the restaurant’s German pancake batter, made of milk, organic flour, a pinch of baking soda and a secret ingredient—the result is a large, fluffy pancake that is thick, crispy and sweet. Different than the typical short stack, the treat is lightly dusted with cinnamon to complement the apples that add a tart kick; maple syrup and brown sugar are also provided to finish off the dish best savored in the cafe’s secluded garden amid bubbling fountains and decorative pottery. (949-494-0137; madisonsquare.com)

 

Caramel French Toast

Caramel French toast (By Jody Tiongco)

Caramel French toast (By Jody Tiongco)

Anastasia Cafe’s caramel French toast has long been one of its most popular breakfast items. The secret to success, according to chef Amado Anaya, is the rich caramel sauce made with water, cream and brown sugar that comes on the side. Drizzle the simple dip over slices of fresh ciabatta bread that are first coated in a sweet batter of eggs, cream, honey and vanilla extract, then lightly toasted on a skillet and baked until golden brown. Fresh from the oven, the toast is dusted with powdered sugar and can be ordered on its own or as part of the breakfast combo: It’s paired with eggs any style as well as bacon or ham—perfect for when you don’t want to choose between sweet and savory. (949-497-1212; anastasiaboutique.com)

 

Red Velvet Pancakes

Red velvet pancakes (Courtesy of Surf & Sand Resort)

Red velvet pancakes (Courtesy of Surf & Sand Resort)

In the dessert world, there are very few dishes that scream indulgence like a rich, creamy red velvet cake. At Splashes Restaurant and Bar, the classic favorite is reimagined in pancake form. The batter itself is made in-house and achieves rich flavor from buttermilk, clarified butter, cocoa powder and, surprisingly, sour cream. Once cooked, the cakes are topped with vanilla white chocolate shavings, an array of fresh berries and a dollop of freshly-whipped mascarpone whipped cream—in addition to maple syrup upon request. While the dish will certainly satisfy any sweet tooth, Surf & Sand Resort Executive Chef Ron Fougeray points out that it’s far from overwhelming; the sour cream, unsweetened dark cocoa powder and mascarpone balance each other out, making it one of the restaurant’s most popular pancake choices. (949-376-2779; surfandsandresort.com)

By Caroline Ruhland




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