For those days when your breakfast needs a little shot of dutch courage…I give you my Spiked Donut French Toast! It’s custardy, it’s crisp-edged, it’s coated in spiced sugar, and it’s spiked with a little bit o’ rum.
And those sweet-sour plums on the side, roasted in a little sugar and vanilla, add the perfect jammy counterpoint to the toast. Exactly like the jam in the middle of a Berliner, or those delicious Polish Paczki, with their plum filling.
I don’t like to use this word very often, but I can’t help but call this breakfast an indulgence. It just feels so luxurious! But in the best way…as in it’s still kind of trashy. It’s like a milkshake that’s been boozed up with very expensive bourbon.
Or a kobe beef burger that’s got truffles and ridiculously expensive cheese on it. Legitimately fancy, but also undeniably trashy.
That whole trashy/fancy motto is pretty much what I aspire to in life. I don’t want any fine bone china…unless it has a skull and cross bones in the bottom of the cup. I do want an expensive gold necklace that says ‘kiss my grits’. And I do want a pair of vans with pineapples all over them…but that’s not really relevant here.
I aim for the very epitome of the high/low ethos. So when it comes to serving myself and my man a fancy Saturday brunch, I’m all about the silky french toast…spiked with rum, and inspired by donuts.
I’m always fascinated by how people’s tastes vary, like the person who’s all flannel shirts and denim cut-offs in the streets, and yet has frilly curtains and 1000 thread count sheets. Those dichotomous people are soooo interesting to me.
But then again, I have a special love for the person who is down.the.line in their tastes. Like they’re 100% about the 1950s, so they dress that way, they talk that way, they dance that way…that is a level of commitment I could never achieve. And of course, the funnest thing of all is that we could probably all get down together over a plate of this French Toast. It’s just fancy enough, and yet, just trashy enough.
So tell me – where do your tastes run? Are you all over the shop, like me? Or are you totally committed? And when can we get together for brunch?
- 2 plums
- 2 tsp sugar (or more to taste)
- ½ tsp vanilla bean paste
- 2 thick slices of dense white bread
- 2 eggs
- ⅓ cup (85ml) milk
- pinch of salt
- 1-2 tablespoons of rum
- butter and oil, for cooking
- ½ cup (110g) caster sugar or granulated sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of cardamom (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400F/200C. Slice the plums in half, remove the stones (or leave them in if they're very stubborn) and place in a small baking dish. Sprinkle over the sugar and add the vanilla paste, and then toss together thoroughly with your hands, dressing the plums in the sugar and vanilla. Add a splash of water to the dish and roast for 10-20 minutes, or until the fruit is soft, but still holding its shape.
- To make the french toast, slice the bread into triangles and set aside.
- In a shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and rum.
- Place a large non-stick frying pan over a low-medium heat, and add a teaspoon of butter, and a teaspoon of oil to the pan. While they're melting, take one piece of bread at a time, and carefully soak in the egg mixture - they need about 20 seconds a side to soak it up.
- Place no more than two slices of french toast into the pan at a time, and fry slowly, until they're golden brown and set in the middle. French toast actually takes a while to cook through, so don't rush it.
- Feel free to keep the toast pieces warm on a tray in the turned-off, but still warm oven from the plums, as you continue cooking all the pieces.
- When they're all cooked, stir together the sugar and spices on a plate, and toss the toast pieces around in it, to coat them generously.
- Serve two triangles of french toast per person with two halves of cooked plum, and plenty of the plum syrup. Yum!