How to take your French toast to the next level | The Gourmand & Gourmet

How to take your French toast to the next level

French toast. A perennial favourite on every Brisbane breakfast menu, we have proven we are addicted to it in all its glorious renditions. Beginning its life as Pain Perdu or “lost bread,” French toast was created as a way to use up day old bread that would have otherwise been wasted on pudding. And we all know the basics: sliced bread is drenched in beaten egg, or better yet equal amounts of egg and cream, and then pan fried in butter. But you can do so much better than just dousing it in maple syrup and ice cream, delicious as the classic breakfast is. Stale bread works best because the dry crumb soaks up every last little bit of eggy goodness, provided the bread is pressed like a sponge into the egg mix, then released. This helps to have moist bread right to the centre, otherwise the edges are delicious, but the centre is still stale and dry. And you can literally make French toast out of any type of bread. Sourdough, croissants, brioche, sponge cake, madeira cake, banana bread, scones, gluten-free bread – even Christmas cake! Don’t be boring with plain white bread. The balance works best when your toppings are creatively paired otherwise the richness can be a little overwhelming. Here’s some fun suggestions to get you in the mood for your own French toast creations on a Sunday morning! Sweet There’s nothing quite like egg and cream drenched sourdough, fried until its edges are golden, with a side of maple syrup and some crisp bacon. Take this to the next level with some strawberries macerated in maple syrup, a salt sprinkle and orange zest, or perhaps a side of bacon ice cream. Everybody loves a trifle. Take those delicious flavours and drench some madeira cake in egg mix laced with madeira. Make a raspberry jelly (packet mix is totally fine) and a thick custard and whip some cream with vanilla. Plate up with lots of fresh raspberries and segmented blood orange, serve with a side of maple (always on the side) and dust with icing sugar. Go banoffee with banana bread as your base! Serve with a banana cut lengthways, some cream whipped with nutmeg, your favourite biscuit, bought or homemade, smashed into crumbs for a crunchy sprinkle and chocolate sauce made of hot cream with equal parts chocolate. Savoury Try drenching a ham and gruyere sandwiched croissant in your egg mix. Fry until golden, then finish in the oven so your cheese gets all oozy. Serve it with a sweet but acidic tomato relish and some mushrooms roasted with thyme and garlic. Do a double egg French. Cut a round hole in your sourdough, drench in your egg mix, pop in your pan of melted butter and crack an egg in the hole. Flip your French and sprinkle freshly grated parmesan over the top. Finish under the grill to brown the cheese, but be careful not to overcook your egg. Serve with tomatoes, chunky cut and tossed with basil, olive oil, salt and pepper and a drizzle of pesto. As you can see, Frenching something gives you seriously license to treat yourself and play with flavours that you already love. As long as it’s slightly over the top, you’re onto a winner. nims xx