I love weekend brunch at home and this morning am making one of my two very favorite brunch meals. This is not for the faint at heart, believe me. You can cut the fat in this recipe, but the fat is part of the amazing flavor of this French Toast.
Makes a single serving.
2 or 3 drops of almond extract
2 or 3 drops of vanilla extract
1 tbsp bourbon
¼ tsp cinnamon and pumpkin spice
2 tbsp cream
2 slices day old bread (sourdough is excellent)
2 tsp butter for the pan
2 tsp butter for topping
2-3 tbsp real maple syrup, warmed
In a somewhat flat bowl, drop a tiny bit of almond extract and vanilla extract (I usually pour a little bit into the bottle cap to make sure I don’t over do it) and 1 tbsp of bourbon.
Sprinkle into that liquid some cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice blend (or any spices you like). Mix it around with a fork and let it sit a few minutes.
Then pour into the spices 2 tbsp of cream (or you can use milk if you prefer) and mix well with the fork. Add one egg and beat it all together.
Take one slice of bread (I use day-old or dried bread to soak it up best) and lay it into the batter. Let it sit a minute and then turn it over. Let the bread sit a few more minutes so it really soaks up the batter and gets soggy with it.
Meanwhile prepare your pan. I use a non-stick pan but add a little butter to it. Warm it on medium-low heat until the butter is melted and begins to sizzle. Drop the slice of bread into the pan and let it cook for about 4-5 minutes until it’s really brown on that side. Then turn it over to brown the second side (you can use a fork, spatula or tongs) for another 4-5 minutes.
Key Tips for French Toast
It must be hot! Put your plate in the oven to warm your toast, and if you make it in batches, put the first one on the plate in the oven to keep it hot. Also, this is vital, heat up the syrup! Put it into the microwave for 15-20 seconds. It heats quickly because it is sugar and water (two of the three things that heat in the microwave – fat is the third).
I usually make one slice at a time so the second slice can be soaking up the rest of the batter while I cook the first. When both slices are done, drop some butter onto them and then pour the hot syrup over them. Yum! I love bacon with French Toast. The salt and sweet make a great combo.
Tips About Syrup
Always use REAL maple syrup. Not the fake kind or flavored corn syrup kind. There’s no comparison. Maple syrup comes in 4 grades, depending on when the sap was harvested. I like Grade A amber for French Toast and a darker Grade B to use in cooking. You can get it for a reasonable price at Trader Joe’s.
I know that French Toast seems like a straightforward breakfast, which it really is. But I have played with it over the years to add a bit of flavor blend and have come upon this current winning recipe. Play with the spices and flavors. You may like more almond extract than I do. Whatever works for your palate.
A citrus additive (like lemon or orange zest) would be yummy too. Explore and have fun with it.
What is your favorite weekend brunch recipe? How do you prepare it? Do you have a special recipe that you’ve played around for years until you finally perfected it to your taste? Please share with the community!