1299 views 15 comments

French Toast, all jazzed up

by on September 1, 2009
 

Do you ever make a particular recipe till everyone is fed up? As in completely, totally fed up. For instance my husband doesn’t want to see Salmon with his two eyes. I’ve over-cooked it (not texture wise) – but cooked it too many times, different ways but still enough for him to be totally bored with it, out of his mind. (Note many photos taken in a hurry!)

Crusted french toastSometime, I try to entice him with an old recipe, especially if we haven’t had it in a while, like I did with the Greek salad. Sometimes, words are enough to encourage him to give it another go…and other times, seeing the ‘food’ in q on a plate or in a pan, or smelling it makes his knees cave in. And that’s what happened this weekend.

Cornflake, Pecan and Coconut crusted french toast

I mean, I love weekends. Who doesn’t. A chance to lie in, while the sun is high in the sky, the leaves and birds chirping away happily in cosmic harmony. Shrrrrrr but not for me, alas. Before I get a chance to rouse myself up and out of my sleeping position, my son D clambers out of his room, swings my door open, bounces up to me and says ‘Hello Mama’. Most times he’s done a big one. I roll over, pretending to sleep some more till he climbs up over me and that’s it. My day’s begun. My girls are also early-risers on the weekend but not in the week! Imagine that.

Yolk in view

Anyway, this weekend, my sis and her family were visiting – so talk about a house-full: 6 kids, 4 adults, noise, lights, action. Perfect opportunity to make a delightful brekkie. So, inspired by HG and determined that the husband would make a return to the Land of FT, I gave it another try….and this is not a spoiler – it WORKED. Though I ended up making 3 versions – plain; crushed pecan and cornflakes; and crushed pecan, cornflakes and coconut – this covered the kids and adults.

So here it goes

Some tips before you embark on the journey

  • Use whole meal bread – it is healthier and tastier
  • If you have left-over, slightly stale bread, you’re in business. Though fresh bread also works well!
  • I like to slice my bread diagonally  in half to form triangles
  • I prefer to add my dried spices (cinnamon, vanilla powder, ginger etc) to the egg mixture rather than to the crust mix. With liquid flavourings, add them to the egg mix as well
  • I love to use a grill/griddle pan – It gives it a ridged look and texture. Also my grill pan is large so I can turn out more French toasts fasterReady to go
  • If you want really eggy French toast, let the slices of bread soak longer in the egg mix for a few seconds more on both sides. Otherwise, dip in mix to coat, flip over and then fry
  • You can make it with only egg whites (I had to do this for my bro-in-law). In this case, you can freeze the yolks for use later
  • Any unused mixture should be refrigerated and used up within a day. I’m not sure what/how to freeze the mix.

Note that the proportions below are guides. I generally serve an adult 2 – 3 slices of bread (6 triangles) with fruit and cream so this should feed 2 adults at least!

Ingredients

For the crust

1/2 cup cornflakes, crushed

1/2 cup dessicated coconut/coconut flakes

1/2 cup pecans, crushed

For the Eggy mix

2 Eggs

100ml Milk

Flavouring: 1/2 a teaspoon cinnamon or vanilla powder (or to taste). Options include liquid flavourings – vanilla, pineapple…and even rum flavouring(obviously not for breakfast)

Flavourings

For the toast

4 – 6 slices of Wholemeal (or white) Bread. It also works well with baguettes and brioche slices too – though the results are somewhat different.

Bread triangles

How to

Making the Crust

I start with making the crust. Crush the cornflakes by hand or in a ziploc and do the same for the pecans

Mix all the ingredients together and set in a wideish plate, so you can dip the eggy bread in with ease

Trio of crusting bits About to crushcrushed pecans coconut, cornflakes, pecans

Making the Eggy mixture

Crack the eggs into a wide (flat-bottomed) bowl or plate.

Add milk and flavourings

Whisk/mix with a fork till well combined

cracked egg broken eggMaking it up Vanilla and Cinnamon

Heat up a pan on medium heat – I love to use my grill pan – it is large and leaves nice grill marks on the bread

You should have your conveyor belt all set up : bread, egg mix and crust mix. First dip one side of bread in egg mixture and turn so other side is coated – both sides should be egg-soaked

Dip bread in mix All soaked up

Next  dip eggy bread in crust mix, again turning on either side so both sides are well crusted.

Eggy bread in crusting Crusted bread

The pan should be hot…I add a little butter and let it brown – it gives off a fantastic toffee aroma. I don’t let it burn, only brown and then I add a little vegetable oil.

Butter Toffee butter

Next put place the bread in and let brown on either, about 2/3 minutes each on medium heat so it cooks well

In the pan Frying up

Serve warm. My kids love it with fruit – One is a banana addict, the other goes for strawberries.

For the kids IMG_4356

Verdict from my man – Finally, I can eat French Toast. He sat down, ate a couple of slices with his cereal and proclaimed his return to the FT world. However brief.

Strawberries and cream

My sister, the guest was enthralled with the toffee fragrance from the butter and the crusting – seeing as we grew up on plain old french toast. Her husband enjoyed it along with the Watermelon Frappe I made (Basically blitzed up some watermelon with my hand-held blender – you could also do it with a regular blender too!)

Watermelon frappe

Some other combinations I’ll try in the future are :

Coconut and Almond with lime rind in the egg mix or served with lime wedges

Orange and Cumin or Cinnamon

Walnut and parmesan with mixed herbs

I’ll let you know when.

What are your favourite combinations? Share them with me please!