French toast is never something I have succeeded at making. My previous attempts have always been too eggy with lackluster flavor, which is why I am excited to announce this recipe. If you have spent any time perusing this blog you know I have an affinity for ice cream. As a result there is always a supply of heavy cream and eggs in our home. Yesterday morning my three year old, who loves Wallace and Gromit, noticed me staring down the contents of our fridge. When I asked her what she thought we should have for breakfast she said:
“I would like syrup, eggs, milk, and cracking toast like Gromit.”
And there you have it! Inspiration! I knew then that I had to tackle my failed past of French toast. I started with a base of cream and went a bit mad scientist from there. This recipe has two “secret ingredients” … three if you count a lot of love, as my mum would say.
The first secret ingredient is Whole Wheat Bread. This is where you’ll have to trust me. I’m talking plain 100% whole wheat sandwich bread. Have no fear! Your French toast is still going to be soaked with creamy, vanilla goodness but I found the wheat bread imparted fantastic nuttiness and great texture.
The second secret ingredient is Vanilla Sugar which is simply sugar blended with vanilla bean seeds, and stored. If you thought sugar couldn’t be more delicious then you haven’t tried this! Trust me when I say it makes a lovely difference in amping up the vanilla flavor. I guarantee you’ll start using it in other recipes too! Plain sugar just won’t be enough.
Well I hope you enjoy this small play on French toast and stay tuned for more ice cream recipes. It’s September and still in the upper 90s here in Dallas, so I don’t think the frequency of churning will fall any time soon … But then you know my views on that. Ice cream is perfectly lovely in February.
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 16 slices (approx. depending on size) 100% wheat bread. (crusts removed) What I used was about a scant 1/2″ thick. NOTE: save the crusts! Put them in a freezer bag and store in the freezer for future bread crumbs.
- 1/2t cinnamon
- 1/2t salt
- 1t vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup vanilla sugar. *
- 1/2t baking powder
- 3 eggs
- Remove crusts from bread.
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees and place a serving plate on the rack.
- Heat a skillet or grill pan over low-medium heat and spray with your non-stick spray of choice. (I used coconut oil)
- In a medium sized mixing bowl whisk together all other ingredients until well incorporated.
- Dunk as many slices of bread as can comfortably fit in your skillet at once until well saturated. Mine took about 10 seconds per side.
- Place in skillet until deep golden brown on bottom side. I have a very enthusiastic electric stove top. I set my burner to 4 which turned out about right. The full out medium 5 setting was too hot. Each side took about 6 minutes but yours may be different. You might experiment with a single piece to make sure the inside is cooked and the outside is a nice deep golden color.
- Flip and do the same to the other side.
- Keep repeating until all bread is cooked and keep cooked slices in warm oven.
When ready to eat, spread with butter, dust with powdered sugar, and happily garnish with syrup.
* I used Alton Brown’s vanilla sugar recipe but did not have a vanilla bean on hand. Instead I added 1T of vanilla bean paste. After an hour it would be fit for using in the French toast but allowing it the full “steep” time is best. Make some in preparation for this recipe and have fun experimenting with the other 2/3cup you’ll have left over. Roll some sugar cookies in it or add it to one of your favorite sweet breads maybe. The opportunities are endless.
Happy French Toasting!