When it comes to brunch at home, french toast is a bit of an underrated king. Sure, a stack of fluffy pancakes is the gold standard, and probably the unanimous favourite amongst most, if not all of us. But, by the time you’ve sifted your flour, whisked up your batter and performed a perfect set of flips, you’ve probably demolished your kitchen, collected a bath tub’s worth of utensils, and at least partially died from starvation. Sure, good things come to those who wait, but what about the times when you just don’t want to?
For those moments of sleepy laziness, a quick plate of buttery, egg-soaked brioche french toast is the perfect balance between convenience and indulgence. Below, we’ve put together a collection of some of our favourite french toast formulations – some of which require nothing more than a quick slap-dash plate up, and others which require a little more time and effort.
The Base: Cinnamon & Vanilla Brioche French Toast
First things first. The most important aspect of all of these french toast formulations, is of course, the french toast. For me, the perfect french toast lies within the fluffy, buttery depths of a brioche bread loaf – nothing more and nothing less. Add a dash of cinnamon powder and (halal) vanilla essence, and you effectively have a plate of aromatic heaven before you’ve even begun. Should you be really lazy, you could even leave it at that, and enjoy a heavenly brunch in less than 10 minutes.
For every two slices of brioche french toast, (i.e one serving), you’ll need:
– 2 thick slices of brioche loaf (Obviously)
– 2 eggs
– 1-2 tablespoons of milk – (a quick dash will do)
– 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
– A couple of drops of vanilla essence (halal versions are available)
– *Optional* 1-2 teaspoons of sugar – (I usually omit the sugar when adding sugary components. I mean, if you’re going to add a giant dollop of nutella, you want to be as healthy as possible, right?).
1) Simply beat the mixture together and soak both sides of each loaf.
2) Fry on a non-stick pan / a regular pan lightly coated in butter or oil, until both sides are golden brown in colour.
1) Nutella & Honeycomb French Toast
Nutella brioche french toast with berry compote, creme fraiche, crushed honeycomb, bruleed bananas, roasted pecans and blueberries.
Nutella. Honeycomb. Berry compote. Roasted pecans and bruleed bananas. If a winter’s night could be eaten for breakfast, this is what it would taste like. This decadent formulation is a symphony of sweetness and texture, and although your teeth will probably cry out in pain, your tastebuds will be thanking you for days.
For the compote, you’ll need:
– An assortment of mixed berries – raspberries, blueberries, strawberries etc.
– Brown sugar and water to taste.
1) Simply place the mixed berries on a medium heat and stir until you form a fairly thick sauce.
2) Add brown sugar to taste, and water to adjust the consistency.
As for the roasted pecans – simply place them on a low to medium heat and stir evenly. Bruleed bananas can be a little trickier to achieve, as you’ll need a dusting of sugar, and a blow-torch to glaze it over. If you don’t have a blow-torch to hand – (because you aren’t a welder or a psychopathic dentist), you can always caramelise them instead on the stove, using nothing more than sugar and butter.
And finally, you’ll need a nice big chunk of honeycomb, and a nice big kitchen hammer to go with it. Unleash your wrath, and sprinkle the crushed honeycomb over your creation.
2) Espresso French Toast
For those who want to consolidate their brunch and their coffee into a single, efficient scoffing session, look no further than this plate of “espresso french toast”. This formulation utilises our no-churn espresso ice cream recipe, and is best served with a drizzle of nutella, a generous dollop of berry compote, and an assortment of roasted pecans and walnuts.
Espresso french toast – Espresso ice cream, nutella, and a sea of berry compote
3) Biscoff French Toast
Of the handful of items that I would happily trade my family members in for – i.e a bag of excellent coffee beans, a sharp suit, or a new car – (sorry, did I say handful?), a lifetime supply of biscoff would probably sit at the top. I am quite frankly, a biscoff fanatic, and so, this is is probably my favourite formulation of the lot.
All you have to do is crush the life out of some biscoff biscuits, and melt some good old biscoff spread in a metal / heatproof bowl over a warm pot of water. Cook up your brioche french toast, drizzle the molten biscoff as generously as you dare, and scatter those sinful biscuit crumbs as far as your eyes can see.
Biscoff french toast
4) Lemon Cheesecake French Toast
As a fairly no-nonsense kind of man, I have rarely met a deconstructed cheesecake that I haven’t frowned upon. (The passionfruit cheesecake at The Great Chase being the only exception thus far). But when you crave a bit of tartness to go with your healthy dose of french toast, this deconstructed lemon cheesecake formulation is a satisfying way to go.
All you’ll need is some lemon curd (either homemade or pre-bought if you’re feeling lazy), some mascarpone, and some crushed digestive or gingernut biscuit crumbs.
Lemon cheesecake french toast – Lemon curd, mascarpone, and gingernut biscuit crumbs
5) Cinnamon-Poached Pear French Toast
If however, you are in a far more autumnal or wintery mood, you certainly can’t go wrong with a plate of cinnamon-poached pears.
For the poached pears, you’ll need:
– Pears – (No sh** Sherlock).
– 200g of brown sugar
– Approximately 600-700ml of boiled water – (or more if you’re making a large batch)
– 2-3 cinnamon sticks
– 1 bay leaf
1) Add the sugar, boiled water, cinnamon sticks and bay leaf to a suitably-sized pot and place on a medium heat.
2) Peel the pears, slice them in half (lengthways) if desired, and insert them into the pot.
3) Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes.
4) Uncover, increase to a high heat, and boil the syrup for a further 5-10 minutes, or until you have obtained a desirable sugar syrup consistency.
All that’s left to do is plate up your cinnamon and vanilla brioche french toast, add the poached pears, and serve it all up with a refreshing dollop of creme fraiche, and some delightfully crunchy almond flakes.
Cinnamon-poached pears, creme fraiche and almond flakes.
And there we have it, five of our favourite french toast formulations. By now, you can probably see that french toast is an incredibly versatile brunch item, and there is literally no end to the sinful creations you can conjure up. Let us know how you get on with these formulations, and be sure to share your photos!