Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Brioche French Toast

Many moons ago, Le Cafe in Christchurch had this glorious brioche French toast which came with poached pears and marscapone. I don't know when they changed the menu - I remember having it with workmates about 5 years ago, so they probably don't even remember it now - but I do, and decided it was about time I made my own. 

Really it's hard to go wrong with something like this - and the concept can be applied to anything sweet and bready; croissant French toast is pretty spectacular, for example. As is a croissant version of bread-and-butter pudding. And croissant anything...

We managed to find brioche at Pandoro (frozen, but we weren't going to get through the whole loaf in one go so the rest of it went straight into our freezer anyway), and instead of poached pears I opted for caramelised pears, which I love dearly - let's face it, I'm not usually one to turn down bonus sugar and butter with my food. And I had some marscapone left from my homemade batch so we were all set.

Since the toast itself doesn't take too long to cook getting the pears on is the first step. Pears, some of the juice from the can, butter, brown sugar and cinnamon, chucked in a pot and boiled until the sauce gets thick and gooey - this is so good, sooooooooooo good, but so easy - great with vanilla ice-cream, and/or puff pastry - or, of course, with French toast. It might not be a particularly revolutionary combination of ingredients but it is one of my favourites, not least because of the lack of effort involved. 

I didn't really do anything too special with the French toast - the brioche is really pretty special already - just coated the bread in egg, then dipped in in a bit of sugar and cinnamon (I do like my sugar - I may have mentioned that already). 

More butter (it's good for you! Honest!) and into the pan it goes. Until Golden Brown, or GB, as we commonly referred to this scrummy state in our student flat (sample usage: "does it have the GB?" "No" "Give it a few more minutes then"). Get your plate, marscapone, eating utensils and pears all lined up so you can scoff the toast while it's still piping hot. I may have gotten into a teeny bit of trouble for abandoning Mr Cake's toast in the frypan so I could snap some quick photos without sacrificing the warm gooey goodness of my food. Fortunately he discovered my inattention before his meal was burnt to a char. Oopsy! Lucky he's so forgiving...

This was our dinner on Sunday night. It seemed like a good way to launch into a new working week to me. ;-) Do you have any Sunday night coping strategies?

Brioche French Toast with Caramelised Pears
Caramelised Pears
1 tin pear quarters in juice, with half the juice reserved
30g butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon

Place all ingredients into a saucepan over high heat. Once the butter is melted stir to combine and leave to cook until the sauce is thick and syrupy.

Brioche French Toast
4 slices brioche
2 eggs
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon
butter, for frying
marscapone, to serve

Heat the butter in a frypan over medium heat. Beat the eggs together to combine and mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together on a plate. Dip the bread first in the egg, then dip in the cinnamon sugar. Fry until golden brown and both sides. Serve with caramelised pears and marscapone. Serves 2.


  1. What an amazing dinner. Seriously good food for Sunday night. I tend to try making something nice/comfort food-y on Sunday night too, as it can be a bit mopey...love the look of those pears, butter and cinnamon and brown sugar are so perfect together.

  2. It was fantastic - I have been steeling myself against the temptation of replicating it all week (what with that dangerous loaf sitting in the freezer and all).


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