If you ever needed evidence that I suck at the whole ‘be a professional blogger’ game, then surely it’s the fact that I’m posting a recipe for a decadent breakfast the day after Mother’s day?
What.Ever. I can’t keep up with my own hair-care schedule (did I wash it yesterday? the day before?) let alone all the ‘days’ of the world. We have a day for Nutella now. It’s too much.
As always, I’m here pretty much just sharing what I’m excited about with you. And I’m always excited about breakfast. Particularly french toast, particularly when it’s made with brioche, and particularly when it’s served with an interesting sweet-tart side.
Oh brioche. The beautiful result of cramming as much butter as possible into bread. Of course it makes the best french toast, with that truly custardy interior, and that ever-so-slightly crisp edge. That’s the pain perdu jackpot.
And this rhubarb situation is no less exciting. Sharp, tangy pink stalks, roasted in maple syrup and infused with rosemary. Rosemary is such a difficult flavour to describe, but I absolutely love it’s pine-y, citrus-y scent. If you’re not a fan feel free to leave it out, or even replace it with a few strips of lemon or orange zest.
The point is the combination of rich, subtly spiced french toast with sharp rhubarb, and something creamy and sweet. Those three things together are perfect.
Since we’re talking about it, here are my tips for cooking the perfect french toast:
- Keep the heat low. It takes a lot longer for french toast to cook through than most people seem to think – I don’t want any raw custard in the middle thanks, so keep it low and cook ’em slow.
- Let it soak. There’s nothing worse than cutting into your french toast, and seeing that the custard hasn’t soaked all the way into the middle. Make sure you give it enough time in that egg-bath.
- Use butter AND oil. Butter tastes fantastic, and gives french toast a beautifully brown crust – adding a little oil will prevent the butter from burning black, and ruining your beautiful breakfast.
- A cake-rack is your friend. If you need to keep your french toast warm, do so on a cake rack over a lined pan, in a warm oven. The cake rack stops the french toast from steaming underneath and going soggy.
Other than that, the only important rule I have about french toast is that it should be made often and always enjoyed with abandon.
I hope your Monday’s going swimmingly and your week is off to a brilliant start! Also, in case I haven’t said it often enough, thank you so much for visiting this blog. Your continued comments, and likes and emojis and just straight up presence means the absolute world to me.
THANK YOU I LOVE YOU!
- 3 stalks of rhubarb, washed, trimmed and cut into 2 inch (4-5cm) lengths (approx 1½ cups)
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 sprigs of rosemary
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup milk
- pinch of cardamom (or cinnamon if you prefer)
- splash of vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 2 thick slices brioche
- butter and oil for frying
- whipped cream, yoghurt, or ricotta whipped with a little sugar (I used ricotta)
- First, toss the rhubarb with the maple and rosemary (leave the sprigs whole) in a baking dish which holds everything snugly in a flat layer. Roast in a 180C/350F oven for 15 minutes, or until tender but holding their shape.
- To make the french toast, whisk together the eggs, milk, spice, vanilla and sugar in a shallow dish. Add the brioche slices and leave to soak, giving each side at least 2-3 minutes.
- Heat about 2 teaspoons of butter, with the same amount of oil, in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium-low heat until foaming, and then add the soaked brioche.
- Cook slowly for at least 2 minutes a side, until the brioche is golden brown, and the centre is cooked through.
- Serve the french toast with the rhubarb, plenty of the rhubarb-maple juices, and a little whipped cream, yoghurt or ricotta dolloped on top.