The Capital Hotel in Little Rock shares with us some of their beautiful, melt-in-your-mouth brunch recipes!
Recipes courtesy of Capital Hotel Culinary Staff :: Photography by Janet Warlick
Shot on location at One Eleven at the Capital Hotel
Brunch, according to a blog post from The Washington Post, dates back to 1896 when an article in a Pennsylvania newspaper referred to the meal as “a repast at 11 o’clock a.m.” The idea of Sunday brunch may have been popular in 1939 as The New York Times declared Sunday “a two-meal day,” and by the 1960s entire cookbooks were dedicated to the spread. The rise in popularity may also be because as our lives have become more hectic, breakfast is often consumed on the go, in workplaces and schools — if at all — and not as a family.
Today the meal, which includes breakfast and lunch/dinner items, is also a social event, often served at bridal, wedding and baby showers, and on holidays, such as Christmas, New Year’s Day, Easter and Mother’s Day. A number of restaurants serve brunch as a part of their regular offerings.
Such is the case at the historic, renowned Capital Hotel, where brunch is served each Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There you’ll find signature dishes, such as the petit dejeuner de Paris, a selection of pastries, fruits, cheese and yogurt, and their delectable, fluffy Capital pancakes. As we are fans of their stellar culinary staff, we sought out their assistance to share with you recipes that will garner beautiful, melt-in-your-mouth results, perfect for wowing Mom and all your other brunch guests. While you’ll need to plan ahead, the results are well worth it.
BANANA STUFFED FRENCH TOAST
- 6 slices of brioche (recipe follows)
- 1 banana, sliced into 6 pieces and pan roasted
- 24 ounces French toast batter (recipe follows)
- 24 ounces bourbon sauce (recipe follows)
- confectioner’s sugar
Cut the brioche in half, on the bias. Cut a pocket into the bread and insert a banana piece in each pocket. Dip the stuffed bread into French toast batter and cook on a flattop grill or in a pan for three minutes; turn. When brown on both sides, remove from grill or pan and place on plate. Top with bourbon sauce and garnish with powdered sugar.
Yields 6 servings.
Chef’s note: cut the banana in half lengthwise, then cut halves into three pieces lengthwise. To pan roast the bananas, after cutting them, cook in a bit of oil and allow them to caramelize. Cool before stuffing. Sous chef Tiffany Williams suggests cooking the toast on the cutside first to seal the banana in the bread.
French Toast Batter
- 11 ounces milk
- 8 ounces heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 egg
- 2 ounces granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ ounce peach schnapps
- 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
In a large bowl, whip egg and yolk together until frothy. Add remaining ingredients one by one, until thoroughly mixed.
- 11 ounces butter
- 1 ⅓ cups light brown sugar
- 1 ounce bourbon
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
In a medium pot, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar — don’t allow to boil. Remove from heat. Stir in bourbon, cinnamon and salt.
Chef’s note: if it’s grainy, add a bit of water.
- 4 eggs
- ¼ cup sugar
- 3 ½ milk
- 1 packet dry yeast
- 3 ⅓ cups high-gluten flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 8 ounces butter, softened
Mix eggs, sugar, milk and yeast together. Add the flour and salt; mix for 3 minutes until the dough is formed. Turn the mixer to speed 2. Slowly add the softened butter. Continue to mix for 6 minutes to knead the dough. Chill for 1 hour. Roll the dough into a rectangle and fold into thirds, making sure to press the dough down onto each other to stick to itself. Seal the bottom of the dough pinching the seam. Roll the dough into a log shape and place in a buttered and floured loaf pan. Proof until doubled in size. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes until cooked.
Chef’s note: While the Capital Hotel uses a Pullman pan, Matthew Dunn, pastry chef, said the batter can easily be divided and cooked in two standard-size loaf pans. Recipe can also be halved.
CRAB & LEEK QUICHE
- 12 ½ ounces cold butter
- 1 egg
- 3 ½ ounces water
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon salt
Mix flour, salt and cornstarch. Cut in butter. Mix together eggs, water and vinegar. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Mix just until it comes together. Wrap dough in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 2 hours. Roll dough until ¼ –inch thick. Line 6 individual quiche pans or one 10-inch quiche pan with the dough. Allow dough to rest for 1 hour. Preheat oven at 325 degrees. Blind bake shell with beans for 12 minutes.
- 8 ounces milk
- 8 ounces cream
- 3 eggs
- 6 ounces fresh cooked crab, shredded
- 2 ounces leeks, about a quarter of a leek
- 2 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- nutmeg, to taste
Place milk, cream and eggs in bowl. Mix with blender. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
If mixture is lumpy, pour it through a sieve. Wash and dice leeks. Cook in butter with salt and pepper until soft. Place the leek and crab in baked quiche shell. Top with cheese. Pour quiche mixture slowly over until shell is full. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes, until top is golden brown.
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 4 ounces butter, melted
- 2 ounces fresh cooked crab, shredded
Vigorously whisk egg yolks and lemon juice together in a stainless steel bowl, until mixture is thickened and doubled in volume. Place bowl on double boiler, making sure water in pan doesn’t touch the bowl. Continue to whisk rapidly, making sure egg doesn’t overheat and scramble. Slowly add melted butter; continue to whisk until thickened and doubled in volume. Remove from heat. Fold in crabmeat. Top each portion of quiche with a spoonful of hollandaise.
VANILLA PANNA COTTA WITH STRAWBERRY GELEE
Vanilla Panna Cotta
- 2 ¼ cups cream
- 4 ½ ounces milk
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 gelatin leaf or 3 teaspoons of powdered gelatin
Warm the milk, vanilla beans and sugar. Add the gelatin. Pass the mixture through a sieve; add the mixture to the cold cream. Pour 4 ounces of the mixture into eight 8-ounce dishes. Allow to set for 3 hours.
Yields 8 servings
- ½ pint of strawberries
- 4 ½ ounces water
- 1/8 cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon agar
Place strawberries in mix and pulse until pureed. Mix the water, sugar and agar together. Bring to a boil in a saucepan. Once the mixture boils, add it to the puree. Cool. Pour slowly on top of the set panna cotta. Place in refrigerator to set.
- 4 egg whites
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup powdered sugar
Whip egg whites until fluffy. Slowly add sugar into egg whites and continue to whip until stiff peaks and shiny. Sift the icing sugar so it’s smooth. Fold into meringue until there are no lumps. Using a star tip, pipe into small rosettes of meringue on a lined sheet pan. Bake at 200 degrees for 2 hours until dry.
Top panna cotta with fresh berries, sliced strawberries. Add meringues just before serving.
Want to skip the prep work and go straight to the source?
Call the Capital Hotel’s One Eleven restaurant at 501.370.7011 or log on to oneelevenatthecapital.com to make reservations or for more information.