Sunday, September 27, 2009

Maman's Almond French Toast

I've always been a pancake kind of girl.

Hardly cooked--with the runny center--and drenched in maple syrup is the way I like them best. There was a point in my life where I wished I could eat pancakes for breakfast every weekend. That is, until I went home to Urbana this summer.

I always liked French toast, but it was never really a love story. French toast never left me with that feeling I get after eating one too many pancakes, because I always end up eating one too many, where I lean back and sigh happily about my sticky fingers and empty plate.

Back in Urbana, I woke up on a sunny morning and made my way downstairs. There's nothing I like quite as much as waking up for breakfast at home. For some reason, it feels just right and makes me want to stay there, seated at our counter, until the end of the year. This time, I'd have to add "until the end of the year with a plate of almond French toast". This French toast is like no other: you know that feeling you get where you wish it was just a little juicier? Well, this one is drenched in a decadent mix of milk and cream, and the slivered almonds and almond extract bring the taste up to something totally crazy.

The good thing about Maman's French toast is that it's rich--and I've never really liked a breakfast/brunch dish that left me pining for more. Rich enough, however, that you could even serve it as dessert after a light meal. Basically, if you count the goûter or four o'clock snack, this French toast can be eaten four different times during the day. And that, in my opinion, means four different moments of pure happiness.

Maman's Almond French Toast
serves 4

- 8 slices of brioche
- 3 eggs
- 2 pinches salt
- 3 TB sugar
- 1/4 TS vanilla extract
- 1/4 TS almond extract
- 1 1/4 c. whole milk
- 1/4 c. heavy cream
- unsalted butter, for cooking
- 1 c. sliced almonds

Heat griddle. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs.

Add salt, sugar, vanilla and almond extracts.

Gradually whisk in milk and cream, and pour mixture into a shallow baking dish.

Place bread in the dish and let soak 3 minutes on one side, turn it over and let the other side soak for about a minute.

Butter the griddle, and let the butter bubble.

Just before placing the bread on the griddle, place almonds in a single layer in the shape of brioche slices.

Press one side of bread into the almonds and cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes.

Flip bread to other side and cook another 3 to 4 minutes.

Serve hot with maple syrup.

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vince said...

I just tried it and just one word :awesome !!! I thought I wasn't a French toast girl, but the almonds (on the top and the extract) totally changed the flavour.