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Ask A South Bay Chef: Best Mother's Day Brunch Recipes

If you ask South Bay Chef Robyn Wood for the best Mother's Day Brunch Recipes, she'll give you enticing suggestions in her soft southern accentThe pastry chef at romantic Shadowbrook in Capitol, she's a former chocolatier from Georgia who graduated from the baking and pastry program at Diablo Valley College. Woods will be inventing new ice-cream concoctions with Shadowbrook's new ice-cream machine and putting souffles on the dessert menu soon. Open Table voters chose Shadowbrook as one of the most romantic restaurants in America, with it's fireplace room and cable car ride up the oceanside hill after walking the garden path down past waterfalls. Imagine baking her Mother's Day brunch recipes in your own kitchen with one or all of these aromatic selections, sweet or savory: Dill, Scallion & Gruyere Scones with smoked salmon and creme fraiche; orange french toast; and meyer lemon pudding cakes with fresh berries. Thirsty? Sip the champagne cocktail suggested by the Shadowbrook bar manager Patrick Crook.

Related: Explore the Charming Beach Town Of Capitola

Shadowbrook Restaurant
1750 Wharf Road
Capitola, CA 95010
(831) 475-1511

Dill, Scallion & Gruyere Scones With Smoked Salmon And Crème Fraiche
Yield: about 12 3" scones

1 lb flour
1-1/2 tbs baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
4 oz cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 tbs chopped fresh dill, plus a few fronds for garnish
2 scallions, chopped
1-1/4 cups shredded gruyere + additional for garnish
2 cups heavy cream
Thinly sliced smoked salmon
1/3 cup crème fraiche

Preheat oven to 375F. Line a sheet pan with parchment or a silicone mat.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a mixer. Mix with the paddle to blend.
Add the cold butter, and mix on low speed until butter is the size of peas.
Add dill, scallions and gruyere.
Turn mixer on low, and slowly add cream until dough starts to form.
Dump mixture on a lightly floured surface, and knead briefly to incorporate any dry bits and create a uniform dough.
Roll or pat to about a thickness of 1 inch. Using a 3 inch round cutter, cut out rounds. Pat scraps together, roll lightly and cut remaining circles. Only re-roll once.
Place rounds on sheet pan. Brush tops with cream, and sprinkle a little gruyere on top. 
Bake about 20 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool.
Split scones in half, spread a small amount of crème fraiche on one side, top with desired amount of smoked salmon. Top with other half. Place a small dollop of crème fraiche on top, and garnish with dill fronds.

french toast -thinkstock
Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Orange French Toast
Yield: 6-8 servings

8 slices day old Brioche, sliced about an inch thick
4 eggs
1/2; cup orange juice
Zest from one orange
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Pinch ground nutmeg
½ tsp vanilla
Clarified butter for frying
Powdered sugar for garnish
Warm Maple Syrup
Fresh berries


Heat oven to 200. Place a sheet pan in oven.
Whisk together eggs, orange juice, zest, cream, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla in a shallow dish.
Heat a griddle of large skillet over medium heat. Add clarified butter, coating surface well.
Dip bread slices into egg mixture, turning to coat both sides.
Fry slices in batches, adding more butter when needed, until golden brown on both sides. Place slices in oven to keep warm.
Place two slices French toast on each plate. Dust with powdered sugar.
Serve, passing maple syrup and berries on the side.

Related: 5 Sweet Chocolate Shops on the Peninsula

Lemon Pudding Cakes With Fresh Berries
Yield: 6-8 servings

1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup sugar, divided
4 large eggs, separated
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup flour
2 oz unsalted butter, melted
Pinch salt
Fresh berries

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Butter and sugar 8 4-oz ramekins. Set ramekins in a 9X13 baking pan.
Whisk buttermilk, 1/2 cup sugar, egg yolks, lemon juice, flour, butter, and salt in a large bowl until smooth.
Using electric mixer, beat egg whites to soft peaks. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar and beat to stiff peaks.
Using a whisk, gently fold buttermilk mixture into whites in 3 additions. Batter will be runny.
Pour batter into prepared ramekins. Pour enough hot water into pan halfway up sides of ramekins. Bake until tops are browned and cakes feel springy to touch, about 20-25 minutes.
Remove from baking pan. Cool completely on counter. Refrigerate until cold.
Combine a mixture of fresh berries in a small bowl. 
Run a thin knife around each cake. Invert ramekin on to a serving plate and unmold cake.
Top with fresh berries.

Related: Best Italian Food in San Francisco

Tuscan Champagne Cocktail (From Shadowbrook Bar Manager Patrick Crook)

1 oz. aperol
1 oz. orange juice
1 oz. club soda

Fill a large wine glass (16 oz or larger) with ice.
Add ingredients.
Fill glass with Prosecco or your favorite sparkling wine.
Garnish with a thin slice of orange.

Cindy Warner is a freelance writer and a San Francisco Bay Area native. Cindy has covered SF theater and opera for via her bicycle since January 2009. Check out her work on

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