A recipe by Dough Lover’s Ronke Arogundade
Brunch is my favourite meal. It allows you to be creative in a way that wouldn’t quite be acceptable at other times – that’s what makes it fun. I love that you can have sweet and savoury things together with equal billing. You can eat salty bacon with sweet pancakes. From there you can go on to a sweet muesli or a chocolate or a cookie. It’s acceptable to drink a coffee and it’s acceptable to drink a cocktail. It’s a greedy person’s paradise.
If you’re Australian or American, it’s kind of in your DNA to go out for brunch; New Yorkers will queue up forever to get into the right place. But for the UK the idea is still quite unfamiliar. When people come in and they see a coffee machine and a counter, they assume we’re a coffee shop, but really we’re closer to a restaurant.
I’m a classically trained chef. I started off at a restaurant called L’Escargot in Soho, in the latter part of its heyday. It was amazing – I learnt a lot and I was super inspired by it. I spent some time on the pastries, some time on the larder, some time on the sauce, so by the time I left I had a skills base in all of those areas. I carried on in that classic French line for a while, worked as a private chef and then started my own high-end catering business, the Good Eating Company. That was really good for me because it meant that I developed the ability to cross disciplines very easily. Then at some point the nutritional element came in, which is another passion of mine. So I float between the classic French side, where I want everything I make to be beautiful, and the nutritional side, where I want all those beautiful things to be less harmful than their traditional equivalents.
I’ve been cooking gluten free for the last 20 years, but I would never want to go to a ‘gluten free’ restaurant, which is why I didn’t call Dough Lover that. What’s exciting for me is being able to offer something for everybody. Because it’s such a strong muscle that I’ve developed over the years, it’s easier to make everything gluten free rather than have the two things mixed up on one premises. So all of our sourdough bread, all of our cakes, muffins, every cookie, is made in our kitchen and is gluten free.
80g demerara sugar
80g soft light brown sugar
2 large eggs
265g brown rice flour
1tsp vanilla extract
200g chopped dark chocolate
200g chopped nuts (optional)
1½tsp baking powder
1tsp bicarbonate of soda.
Preheat the oven to 130°C.
Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together. Add the egg, followed by the flour and baking powder. Fold the nuts and chocolate into the dough.
Divide the dough into roughly 18 pieces and roll each into a ball. Space the cookies out onto a baking tray, leaving at least 2½ inches between each one.
Bake for approximately 35 minutes. Halfway through baking, remove the tray from the oven and drop it onto a work surface to knock the air out of the cookies. Do not over bake – the middle of the cookies should still be a little soft. Allow them to cool completely before lifting from the tray.
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