I strongly believe that the path to the best French toast begins with making an ice cream base (also known as créme anglaise). Sure, this is as decadent as can be, but it’s the holidays; a time when rest, relaxation and indulgences are welcomed. This French toast was designed for the pre-diet, juice cleanse and all that New Year’s mumbo-jumbo that we’ll soon be guilted into.
I have to be honest with you, my favorite part about Christmas is the breakfast. There’s nothing I love more than waking up early on Christmas morning and making breakfast for everyone. I think anything too elaborate is out of the question. The preparation should be easy to execute, the portions large(ish) and the smell needs to be amazing (this helps lure everyone out of bed).
This créme anglaise is made with a combination of whole milk, heavy cream and egg yolks. I kept it relatively straight forward, though the vanilla bean does make it deliciously fragrant; feel free to add a splash of bourbon, dark rum or orange zest – make it your own!
Créme Anglaise French Toast
This French toast recipe is made with an ice cream base (créme anglaise). Use challah bread or a brioche for best results.
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 vanilla bean, caviar scraped (or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract)
- 1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 large egg yolks, room temperature
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 loaf of challah or brioche bread, cut into 1/2-inch slices
- Prepare a bowl with a sieve.
- To a medium saucepan, add the milk, vanilla bean caviar or vanilla extract, sugar and salt; heat over medium until the milk reaches a slight simmer and the sugar dissolves. Once it reaches a simmer, remove the pan from the heat.
- In a medium mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks together, thoroughly. Next you're going to temper the milk mixture. Whisking the entire time, add about 1/4 cup of warm milk to the egg yolks. Add the remainder of the milk to the egg yolk mixture and whisk. Return the entire mixture back to the medium saucepan and place over low heat. Cook the milk and yolk mixture, stirring constantly, until a thermometer reads 170 to 175 degrees F and the mixture appears thick and coats the back of a spoon.
- Pour the mixture through the sieve into the bowl; stir in the heavy cream and cinnamon.
- Preheat your oven to 200 degree F.
- Next, preheat your griddle or frying pan over medium heat. When warm, brush with a teaspoon of vegetable oil or even better, a 1/2 tablespoon of butter. Dip a slice or two of challah bread into the egg mixture, allowing the bread to soak up some of the mixture, about 1 minute per side. Transfer the slice to the griddle, frying on both sides for a minute or so. Place the cooked slices of French toast on a baking sheet and transfer to the oven to keep warm while you cook up the remainder of the French toast. Repeat process until you've dipped and cooked all of the French toast.
Yield: 4 servings
Adrianna Adarme is a food blogger and author living in Los Angeles, California. She writes the blog A Cozy Kitchen, where she shares comforting, everyday recipes from her kitchen. She recently authored her first cookbook, PANCAKES: 72 Sweet and Savory Recipes for the Perfect Stack. She’s a lover of breakfast, pie (and sometimes even pie for breakfast), corgis and cute things. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.