Caramelized maple French toast

I got to sleep in today. Mind = blown. This is one of the first weekends in months when I don’t have to work (-knock on wood-). It’s a glorious feeling, not being abruptly woken up by the shrill sounds of alarm(s) to a morning that still looks like it’s 10pm outside. I slept to my heart’s delight and went out to grab some coffee. Actually got to sit down and drink it too, imagine that. (I’m used to the grab-and-go-and-try-not-to-spill-on-your-shirt morning routine).

What makes things even nicer is that the skies are finally clear! California finally had a little rainfall the past couple of days and washed out the smog blanket that we were living under. It was the first time in a long time when I was excited to see rain.

I’m taking full advantage of this gorgeous, not-winter-at-all day. I’ve made camp on a lounge chair of my backyard patio, soaking in all that Vitamin D, with my laptop, a cup of tea, and a caramelized maple French toast.

I couldn’t be more pleased. I might just stay here forever.

I thought I’d try to spread the happiness by sharing this French toast recipe. I’d really recommend it – promise it’ll make your day better (even if it’s already great). Happy Saturday!

Ingredients

1 loaf rich bread, unsliced (I used pugliese. Also recommend: challah, brioche, French bread)

1  cup heavy cream

1/2 cup whole milk

3 large eggs

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

2 tsp vanilla extract

3 tbsp pure maple syrup

1/8 tsp cinnamon, ground

Butter

1. Slice your bread into 1 1/2-inch thick slices. If you’re using a baguette-shaped bread, cut at a diagonal for larger slices.

Caramelized maple French toast

2. In a bowl, whisk together the heavy cream, whole milk, eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract. Preheat your oven to 325°F.

3. Line up your sliced bread in a shallow tray, and pour the custard over the bread (just enough to fill about 1/2-inch up the tray). Let them soak for 30 minutes, flipping each over at the 15 minute mark to make sure the bread has evenly absorbed the custard.

Caramelized maple French toast

4. Line a baking tray with either parchment paper or a silicone baking liner. Take each slice of bread, gently shaking off the excess custard, and lay them on your baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, also flipping each over at the 15 minute mark for an even crisp.

Caramelized maple French toast

5. While the toast is baking, mix together the maple syrup and ground cinnamon in a small bowl.

Caramelized maple French toast

6. When the toast is done, take it out of the oven and carefully spread a thin layer of the maple-cinnamon glaze on each side of the bread (careful, the bread is hot!). The toast should be crisp and golden brown on the outside, and still soft on the inside.

7. Heat up a little bit of butter in your skillet (I recommend a cast iron skillet for the best results) over low heat. Use just enough butter to comfortably coat the bottom of your skillet. Low and slow is the way to go, so you get golden brown sides without it burning.

Caramelized maple French toast

8. Give each side of the bread about 3-5 minutes on each side, or until it’s reached the perfect brown.

9. Serve with powdered sugar, honey, syrup, fruit, bacon, mascarpone cheese… or anything you want, really.

As for me, I topped mine off with some syrup, ground cinnamon, mascarpone, and blueberries.

Caramelized maple French toast

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Have a lot of leftover custard? Pour it into a baking dish and bake for 30 minutes at 350°F (until evenly browned at the top, and a chopstick or small knife pulls out cleanly). You’ll get a delicious, silky-smooth egg custard out of it. Double-whammy!

Baked egg custard

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Bought mascarpone to top off your French toast, but have no idea what to do with the rest of it? Try this Baileys Irish cream tiramisu!

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