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This is no ordinary French toast recipe: The sweet custard is downright caramelized.
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 6 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2tteaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 8 1-inch-thick slices French bread
- Fresh blueberries and raspberries
Mix butter and brown sugar in small bowl to blend. Whisk milk, eggs, vanilla, and spices in large bowl to blend.
Melt 2 tablespoons brown sugar-butter mixture in each of 2 large nonstick skillets over medium-high heat. Dip bread slices 1 at a time in egg mixture to coat. Add 4 slices to each skillet. Cook until bottoms are deep brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Spread remaining butter mixture over bread in skillets. Turn slices over. Divide French toast among 4 plates. Sift powdered sugar over. Top with blueberries and raspberries; drizzle with maple syrup.
Nutritional ContentOne serving contains the following: Calories (kcal) 622.8 %Calories from Fat 42.4 Fat (g) 29.3 Saturated Fat (g) 16.1 Cholesterol (mg) 224.4 Carbohydrates (g) 75.4 Dietary Fiber (g) 3.2 Total Sugars (g) 44.3 Net Carbs (g) 72.2 Protein (g) 12.4Reviews Section
I Love You: Caramelized Mascarpone-Stuffed Brioche French Toast
There’s a lot to be said for knowing how and when to relax. Some people are too good at it, others, not good enough. Which are you?
I know how to relax about as well as I know how to speak Mandarin. It’s a completely foreign language to me. When I have free time, I fill it–whether it’s with throwing a dinner party at my house, going to a farmer’s market, leaving the city to go for a hike, reorganizing my bookshelf, or taking on laborious kitchen projects. Sometimes I have the dilemma of having recently done all of the above and having several hours to sit at home, with time at my leisure. Even with a few hours of ‘free time’ on my hands, I start to feel consumed by boredom.
A strange thing happened to me in these last two weeks: Matt and I bought a car–my first car in six years. I had become accustomed to my life being under the control of public transportation and my two feet. Out of necessity, I would have to allot several hours to grocery shopping, a trip to Dolores Park, and a ride out to a restaurant on the other side of the city. But a magical thing has occurred: I am no longer in need of a time cushion.
The other day, we drove home from a friend’s birthday (from North Beach, no less) and arrived home in just under 20 minutes. No waiting for cabs or buses. In San Francisco, a city that is filled with buses, street cars and underground trains, you’d be hard-pressed to find just one that runs on schedule (or has an intuitive, uniform system of entrances, exists and payment systems that make sense to anyone without a pHD). For a city much smaller than New York (I tried to calculate the precise numbers but number crunching is really not my thing), we sure make distances seem much, much further. The next day, we hopped in our car and went for a hike in Marin County and then popped by Whole Foods to pick up some groceries. Every transition was so seamless, so effortless, so time-efficient. All of a sudden, I’m reminded of the way that cars constrict space and time. A whole new world has opened to me. One in which I feel like I have more…time. I feel like I’ve re-joined the modern world.
On the flip side, I’m commuting, which means no more reading on the train, and zoning out, but regardless, the weekend is my oyster. So I’m going to work on something that I know will make Matt happy: I’m going to try to relax more. I’m going to try to be late to the Sunday morning farmer’s market once in a while. I’m going to try to embrace brunch more often. And I’m going to let myself live a little less…busily.
Step one: making him one of his favorite breakfasts – French Toast. This isn’t just ANY French toast, though. It’s made with homemade brioche bread (I’ll share the recipe soon), is caramelized with the help of a little butter and brown sugar, stacked high and stuffed with creamy mascarpone cheese, drizzled with a homemade berry-maple sauce and sprinkled with powdered sugar. I’m a good wifey.
Being that that holiday that starts with a ‘V’ and ends with ‘Day’ is coming up soon, I thought I’d spread the French Toast love. It’s best eaten in your pajamas. Because I said so.
Caramelized Mascarpone-Stuffed Brioche French Toast
very loosely inspired by this recipe in Bon Appetit
4-5 1-inch slices of brioche (homemade if you have it)
2 large eggs
1 cup of milk
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of hazelnut extract (optional)
3 tablespoons of brown sugar
3 tablespoons of butter, at room temperature
For the Berry Maple Syrup:
1/2 cup of frozen assorted berries
1/3 cup of pure maple syrup
1. Mix the butter and brown sugar with a fork, in a small bowl.
2. Whisk together the eggs, milk, spices and extracts.
3. In a small saucepan, combine the berries and maple syrup. Dial the heat up to medium, and stir the syrup occassionally while you are making the French toast. The sauce will thicken the longer you cook it. Remove from heat once it reaches a desired consistency.
4. Heat 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar-butter in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Soak each piece of brioche in the egg-milk mixture, then place into the skillet, cooking for about 3-4 minutes.
5. Briefly stick the butter into the microwave to melt it and make it more spreadable. Using a silicone brush, spread some more of the butter-sugar mixture over the cooking slices of brioche. Flip and cook for a few more minutes (until both sides of the bread are caramelized). Dial down the heat if you think the bread if browning too quickly.
6. Repeat with the rest of the bread slices.
7. To assemble: place one slice of bread on a plate, spread some mascarpone cheese over it and top with another slice. Repeat. Top with another slice (I prefer a stack of 2-3 slices). Scoop the berry syrup on top and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Musical Pairing: Bill Withers – Live at Carnegie Hall + Caramelized Mascarpone-Stuffed Brioche French Toast
Listen to tracks from Bill Withers’ Live at Carnegie Hall (and read about why it pairs with this dish) over on the Turntable.
How to make overnight french toast
- ASSEMBLE. This recipe starts with a french bread base. Cube the bread and add it to your baking dish. Then beat together the milk, eggs, brown sugar and cinnamon and pour it over the top. This will sit overnight and soak up nicely into the bread.
- TOP. Then you’ll add a brown sugar crumble topping and berries to the top of the bread right before baking. I love using frozen mixed berries because we always have them on hand in the freezer. They give it the perfect sweet flavor!
- BAKE. I love to cook my casserole the full hour so that the top of the bread becomes a little caramelized/toasted and the center is cooked through. If you’d like the center more of a bread pudding texture, I would take it out about 15 minutes sooner. Either way it’s delicious!
Baked French Toast Casserole
This baked French toast casserole starts with bread cubes and blueberries. Fresh eggs are whisked with oat milk, cream, sugar, cinnamon and quality pure vanilla extract and poured over the top. The streusel topping with flavors of brown sugar and cinnamon tops it off and then once baked it’s finish with more blueberries and warm maple syrup.
Grease a 9”x13” baking pan with butter. Evenly distribute the bread cubes and the blueberries in the pan.
Step 2 -- Grease a 9”x13” baking pan with butter. Evenly distribute the bread cubes and the blueberries in the pan.
Whisk the eggs, oat milk, cream, sugars, cinnamon and vanilla in a large bowl together. Pour the mixture evenly over the bread.
Step 3 -- Whisk the eggs, oat milk, cream, sugars, cinnamon and vanilla in a large bowl together. Pour the mixture evenly over the bread.
Cover the pan tightly and store in the refrigerator until needed, preferably overnight.
Step 4 -- Cover the pan tightly and store in the refrigerator until needed, preferably overnight.
Mix the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl together. Use a fork to mix together the butter and flour mixture until it becomes the consistency of small pebbles. Store in a resealable bag in the refrigerator.
Step 6 -- Mix the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl together. Use a fork to mix together the butter and flour mixture until it becomes the consistency of small pebbles. Store in a resealable bag in the refrigerator.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle the topping over the casserole and bake in the oven for 45-60 minutes.
Step 7 -- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle the topping over the casserole and bake in the oven for 45-60 minutes.
Whisk the eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl
In a small bowl, properly whisk together the eight eggs. Add in the milk, ¼ cup of brown sugar, the salt, and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon. Whisk the mixture until it is of uniform consistency with no chunks. It might seem like a lot, but as long as you use the proportions of bread as directed in the recipe, everything will be absorbed. Aside from the bread soaking up the mixture, it will also create a heavenly custard for the ultimate melt-in-your-mouth texture. Yes, this is going to be as tasty as you are imagining it to be right now!
Brioche French Toast with Caramelized Bananas
1 qt. half-and-half
1 cup + 2 tbsp. sugar, divided
1/2 cup vanilla extract
1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
2 loaves brioche bread or challah
2 oz. clarified butter
Mixed berries (blueberries, strawberries and blackberries)
Whipped cream blended with Chambord
Maple syrup, optional
At Al Biernat's, the brunch menu includes savory dishes that incorporate the beef and seafood that make the Dallas-based restaurant a dinner destination. But the menu also veers in a sweet direction with a selection of pancakes and French toast. This custardy French toast is made with brioche and topped with caramelized bananas, berries and powdered sugar.
Calling all French toast lovers!
If you’re a brunch food fan like me, you’ve probably been on a life-long hunt for newer and better morning recipes. Perfect pancakes, winning waffles, majestic muffins…there’s no breakfast or brunch food I’d turn away from the table.
But my favorite of the carb-based breakfasts has got to be French toast. For something so easy, it sure tastes amazing, even in its simplest form. And when you get start to get a little fancy? Oh baby!
The Ultimate French Toast Cake Recipe
Given my intense love of a big plate of French toast, I feel like International Delight created their new limited edition creamer flavor, French Toast Swirl, just for me. Crazy? Yes. Egotistical? Perhaps. But when you see what I made with it, you just might agree…
French Toast Swirl is basically a big fall hug in liquid form. Can a flavor be COZY? Because this one sure is! It tastes like cinnamon, sugar, and buttery syrup, and I swear, there’s just a hint of brisk fall leaves and fuzzy sweaters in there as well. I couldn’t wait to get started experimenting with it!
I decided to make a French Toast Cake, to really let the flavors of this creamer shine. This French Toast Cake features:
- Moist yellow cake shaped like bread slices
- Prepared French toast style (dipped in a French toast-flavored custard and caramelized)
- French toast-flavored buttercream (with cinnamon and maple flavors)
- Lots of fresh berries
- Powdered sugar
- Maple syrup
- Whipped cream
I went with some really traditional French toast toppings for my cake, including fresh berries, maple syrup, and whipped cream. I considered more “cakey” toppings like a ganache drip or buttercream rosettes, but in the end I wanted to keep things classic and a bit rustic.
Keeping the toppings simple allowed the flavors of the cake and buttercream to really shine. The cake is a simple yellow cake, chosen because it’s sturdy enough to hold up to the French toasting (that’s a technical term) but still soft and moist, not dry or dense.
The French toast process infused each cake layer with flavor, moisture, and the best part—a crunchy, caramelized sugar shell! I LOVED taking a bite of the final layer cake and getting a bit of that caramelized texture on the outside of the layers.
And finally, the buttercream, which not only has the delicious French Toast Swirl creamer, but also lots of other goodies like extra cinnamon, vanilla extract, and a touch of maple extract, to really make it taste like breakfast in a bowl! You are gonna wanna eat this buttercream with a spoon!
- Preheat your griddle to 375° degrees and grease with coconut oil.
- Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl and set off to the side for a moment.
- In a shallow dish whisk together the four eggs, heavy cream or milk, vanilla extract and kosher salt.
- Quickly dip both sides of the bread in the egg/cream mixture and place on a wire rack set into a rimmed sheet pan. Sprinkle the one side with the cinnamon and sugar mixture.
- Once the griddle is hot place the french toast, cinnamon-sugar side down, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until a sugary crust forms on the bottom. Sprinkle with the top with cinnamon sugar before flipping and repeating.
- Keep the French toast nice and warm on a sheet pan in a preheated 200° oven.
- Serve with butter, maple syrup, a dusting of powdered sugar and fresh berries.
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French Toast with Caramelized Cinnamon Orange Sugar
I am so thankful for oranges and other citrus during the winter months, when our local fresh fruit supply is nonexistent here in the Midwest. It’s bright and cheery, and offers incredible flavor and color on our plates when the snow is falling cold and white outside. In both sweet (Orange and Dark Chocolate Scones with Orange Glaze) and savory (Roasted Cauliflower with Golden Raisins, Pine Nuts & Orange) dishes, my family has been enjoying the beauty of citrus this season.
I’ve been known to stir in the fragrant juice and zest of an orange into our pancake and French toast batters in the past, and those breakfasts have always gone over big for our family. So this past weekend, this concept was given a little different twist. I added orange zest to a cinnamon and sugar mixture, topped slices of French toast with it, and then cooked it until that citrusy sugar was all golden and caramelized and completely irresistible. Drizzled with a simple orange marmalade syrup, all warm and sticky, this French Toast with Caramelized Cinnamon Sugar proved to be another delicious hit. And it was so quick and easy to make!
* This is a sponsored post, created in partnership with Crystal Farms.
With the new French Toast Batter from Crystal Farms (a company based right here in the Midwest), I had a hot and delicious breakfast sitting in front of my family in record time. The batter is made with eggs, vanilla, and milk, and comes in a handy carton with a spout. It’s so quick and easy to use, that I actually found myself making the kids orange French toast on a hectic Monday morning, before I headed into work and our kids were off to school. I had saved the leftover cinnamon orange sugar and marmalade syrup from our weekend meal, and it helped to make Monday morning so much easier to step in to with a smile on.
Crystal Farms has also debuted two other new egg products. Simply Eggs can stand in for shell eggs in any baking or cooking recipe. And Scrambled Eggs has some buttermilk added to it, providing beautifully fluffy eggs every time. My husband and I are very much an eggs-for-breakfast-or-any-meal-of-the-day kind of couple, and we both found these products to be tasty and incredibly easy to use. It took only a few minutes to prepare a quick protein-rich weekday breakfast. And with a little more leisure time over the weekend, we indulged our hot skillet of eggs with some freshly chopped veggies and herbs, and a sprinkling of cheese. After making it through another week, an extra special weekend breakfast is always the perfect reward.
Cinnamon Toast with Ricotta and Strawberries
T oday, and over the next few weeks, I’m hoping to inspire you with a couple of five-ingredient recipes. They can work for breakfast, lunch or snack, because meals are more flexible these days at home.
Since kids have stopped going to school, my most frequent request from parents is ‘What are some simple lunch ideas for kids?” I get it. They roam the kitchen like a pack of wild animals, looking for handouts.
So I’ve also simplified these recipes for the kiddos, because self-sufficiency is important. Read on for lunch ideas and a simple cinnamon toast recipe anyone can make.
Simple Lunch Ideas
In the Simple Bites kitchen, I’m feeding a famished teen, tween and an eight-year-old. Yes, I wrote the post 42 simple lunch ideas kids can make and I’m still looking for new ideas.
There are heaps of peanut butter and jam sandwiches, frittatas and plates of cheesy nachos. We toss together the occasional power bowl and many, many smoothies. We stock up on affordable, healthful snacks and try to keep a bowl of apples on the table.
But most of our lunches are built around bread, a simple homemade sandwich loaf or a rustic miche from the local French bakery. These sammy’s might be a ham and egg breakfast sandwich or more of an open-faced cheese toastie.
Lately we’ve been on a bit of a cinnamon toast kick. Read on!
Cinnamon Toast with Ricotta and Strawberries
It was mid-morning one day last week (days have no meaning) and we had a tray of cinnamon toast in the oven. I pulled out a half-finished jar of soft ricotta cheese from the fridge and stirred in a little of the cinnamon sugar.
Ricotta-cinnamon toast was born, then and there. Not long after, it was topped with sliced strawberries and became an instant favourite new snack.
This is definitely an easy treat kids can make themselves. Let them customize the fruit on top and get creative with banana, blueberries, peaches and more.
I don’t have to tell you how perfect this cinnamon toast would be for Mother’s Day morning. Serve it with the ricotta on the side and a bowl of berries, or dressed it up, as pictured.
If you’ve got any edible spring flowers in the yard, add a few on top for decoration. I love violets, forsythia, wild roses or strawberry blooms.