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Dessert for breakfast? Here's how it's done


This is a lot sweeter than a typical breakfast.

There’s more than meets the eye to this seemingly typical Irish breakfast. The beans? They’re actually white chocolate-coated biscuits in an orange and strawberry coulis. The bacon? It’s actually a brandy snap. The hash browns are really crispy fried brioche, and the sausage is made from peanut butter-coated sponge cake wrapped in caramelized rice paper.

After the success of her Rubik's cube cake, food blogger Vicky McDonald was looking for a new baking challenge when a brilliant idea struck her: Why not turn a humble breakfast into a decadent dessert?

“The whole idea began with the egg,” the Dublin resident told TODAY.com. “I often make panna cotta and serve it with lemon curd. The two together always reminded me of a fried egg.”

The project took Vicky a few weeks of trial and error followed by an entire day to make the dish. 


“I originally wanted the hash browns to be crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy in the middle. I attempted to deep-fry my homemade marshmallows, which resulted in a spectacularly gooey mess,” Vicky said.  “I now know this would have worked with a store-bought marshmallow. However I wanted to use all homemade ingredients, so back to the drawing board. In the end I decided to use brioche as it's one of my favorite breakfast foods.”

Here, Vicky shares her recipe for her dessert version of the fried egg – panna cotta with lemon curd. Head to her her blog, Stasty, where she reveals the rest of the recipes.


Panna cotta

  • 5g of butter, for greasing
  • 150ml of double cream
  • 12g of fine sugar
  • One/two drops of vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon of gelatin powder
  • ½ teaspoon of water

Butter 4 small saucers. Place the cream, sugar and vanilla extract in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over a gentle heat. When the cream is just about to boil and all the sugar is dissolved, take the pot off the heat. In a small bowl, dissolve the granules of gelatin in a teaspoon of water. Put some boiling water into a saucepan and place the bowl of gelatin over the saucepan and place on a gentle heat. Heat until all the gelatin has melted and becomes sticky and translucent. Take one dessert spoon of the warmed cream and mix into the melted gelatin. Once it is well mixed in, add the rest of the cream and whisk until smooth. Pour the mixture into your prepared saucers and leave to cool. Once cool, cover the saucers with cling film and place in the refrigerator for at least three hours, overnight if possible. Removing the panna cotta from the saucer was a bit tricky. I turned the saucer onto a plate and rubbed a hot cloth over the underside of the saucer, which slowly eased the panna cotta from the saucer onto the plate. I had two successes and two failures. I happily ate the ones that didn’t turn out exactly right. 

Lemon curd
Once again, this is something that I have made before. For the purposes of this dish I only used a small spoonful of curd, but I saved the rest in a jar in the fridge. Lemon curd is great with natural yogurt or on biscuits.

  • 25g of butter
  • 50g of fine sugar
  • Finely grated zest and juice of one unwaxed lemon
  • 1 large egg and 1 small egg yolk – well beaten together

On a low heat, melt the butter. When it has fully melted add the sugar, lemon juice and rind. Make sure the heat is very low. Next stir in the beaten egg and continue to cook over a very gentle heat until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of the spoon. Take off the heat and leave to cool. Once cooled, transfer the curd into a clean jam jar and leave in the fridge. The curd will keep for a few weeks in the fridge.

I took out a small spoonful of the curd and put it in a bowl. I added one small drop of yellow food coloring to make it a stronger yellow color, that looked more like a yolk. I put this small dollop of curd on top of the panna cotta. I then put the whole plate in the fridge to set until ready to plate up. To give the egg the look of a real fried egg, I made some caramel pieces by melting sugar and water in a saucepan until it became caramelized. I placed the molten caramel on a sheet of silicone paper. Once set, I broke the caramel pieces up into small shards. I placed a couple of the shards around and on the panna cotta to make it look like a fried egg.