Thursday, 10 May 2012

A French kind of Toast

Baked Creme French Toast

Happy mornings happen but twice a week. Ralph wakes up, roughly 2 hours before me. Our house is so tiny, that there's really nothing that he can do without waking me, except sit very still and be very quiet. Not only that, but when I do finally wake up- he does the best thing ever: he smiles. And sometimes he makes breakfast too. How awesome is that?! I do like to make a homely delicious breakfast though. When I'm busy in the kitchen, I feel like I'm slowing down time, extending the peace and happiness of the morning.

This was a particularly delicious morning. Weeks before I had found this recipe on Smitten Kitchen. But I never seemed to have the right ingredients around. This was the morning that everything came together- my mood, remembering to buy the ingredients, and finding the time to make the actual french toast. I should make clear how likely each of those conditions are: Very slim. This french toast is enough to convince me to make a change- with a little extra effort, we had such a happy morning.

I didn't quite do this recipe as required. I used french loaf instead of a proper white, and I had quite a bit of liquid left over. I've altered the recipe to make up for that. As usual, I don't have access to all of the correct ingredients- so I used what can get (cream instead of heavy cream, table salt instead of sea salt). Also, I didn't brulee them (which is why I use creme without brulee in the name)- I wasn't really interested, but there are instructions on how to do this in the original recipe. I'm not big on crunch, and rather enjoyed the gooey yummly things that this version created.

Baked Creme French Toast
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 french loaf
1 1/3 cups milk (I used 2%)
2/3 cup cream
4 large eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp orange essence
2 tsp vanilla extract

1) Slice loaf into thick 2-3 cm slices
2) Mix all ingredients except bread together in a large, deep and flat dish- but not bigger than will just fit all the bread. 
3) Preheat oven to 180 C
4) Place the bread, single layer, in the mixture to absorb. Turn over every 10 minutes or so, for about 30 minutes.
5) Now, take bread out, and place on a greased baking tray. Bake for 20-30 minutes, depending on how well done you like it. I took mine out when they turned golden, and they were still soft and gooey inside.
6) Serve and enjoy. Particularly good with golden syrup, but enjoyed above with home-made strawberry jam.

I can't overestimate how much I love ooey gooey french toast.. And the only place to really have it is at home sadly, because everywhere else, it's well done, no goo allowed. I know some people like their eggs well done, but do we all have to suffer?? 

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