Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ultimate French Toast

Last year at the fabulous Rose's Luxury, my husband and I encountered the best dessert of our lives: a small piece of decadent French toast, topped with foie gras and served with a wee scoop of cinnamon toast crunch ice cream. We were informed that the toast had soaked IN melted cinnamon toast crunch ice cream before it was fried up. This detail stuck in my craw, naturally, so when my husband made a rash but delicious impulse buy of a bourbon barrel aged maple syrup the other day I decided to try my own version of ice cream battered toast for an old-school breakfast-for-dinner evening. Uh, sans foie. I might have the budget and the frivolity necessary for melting down some Ben & Jerry's, but I leave the foie to luxe professionals. I'd heard a tip somewhere along the line about toasting rolled oats and crusting them on dipped french toast before frying, so I decided to go all out and do that too. AND invite caramelized bananas to the party.

Freshly whipped cream spiked with bourbon too, if you please.

Drizzled over this behemoth was the bourbon barrel aged maple sizzurp. I daresay this is the Ultimate French Toast.

Bear plate by Rachel Kozlowski for West Elm

Ultimate French Toast
Makes 3 servings

*3 tablespoons butter
*2-3 egg yolks
*1 heaping cup vanilla ice cream, melted
*Pinch of cinnamon, pinch of nutmeg, pinch of salt
*3 slices thick, hearty bread (challah, brioche, French or Italian)
*1/2 cup rolled oats, toasted until lightly browned and nutty
*1 tablespoon brown sugar
*Bourbon barrel aged maple syrup (or regular grade B, for plebes)
*Fruit of choice (caramelized bananas for me*)
*Freshly whipped cream (OR, a scoop of the vanilla ice cream you used if there's any left)

Melt butter in a wide cast iron skillet over medium. Whisk the egg yolks with the melted vanilla ice cream in a shallow dish, and stir in the seasonings. On another plate, toss the oats and brown sugar together. Dip the slices of bread in the ice cream mix, soaking nicely on both sides, before crusting one side of each with the oats. Fry the bread in the butter about 3 minutes per side. Top with the syrup, fruit and whipped cream (can be made a little before you start the toast prep and kept in the fridge). 

*To caramelize bananas quickly, cut up a few ripe (but not overripe) ones and saute in a couple tablespoons of butter over medium. Sprinkle in some brown sugar and splash in a little bourbon. Cook down for a few minutes, then serve hot.

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